The Clutter Queen by Jasmine M

Hello, my name is Jasmine, but you can call me the Clutter Queen.  

Over the years I have gone from being buried under a mountain of my own clutter to being super organised and clutter free. Talking from my personal experience with mental health issues and how my environment has contributed to it, I’ve seen first- hand just how much one affects the other. 

The presence of clutter in our home is a sneaky stress magnet, making us anxious, messing with our sleep, and blurring our ability to focus. A cluttered and untidy environment also causes our brain to produce more ‘cortisol’ ‘the stress hormone’. None of this sounds good right?  

In 2009 researchers from the United States found the levels of the stress hormone cortisol were greater in mothers whose home environment was cluttered. It turns out clutter isn’t just an eyesore; the visual distraction of clutter increases cognitive overload. This in turn can reduce our working memory.  

Further research in 2011 from neuroscience researchers discovered by using fMRI scans (functional magnetic resonance imaging) and other physiological measurements that by reducing clutter from our home it increases our ability to focus and process information. This increased ability in our cognitive functioning also contributes to a greater increase in productivity.  

So, by decluttering not only are we taking control of our environment, we are also taking positive steps towards a happier self.

So what can we do to prevent the build-up of clutter in our homes?  

Try to find the cause of the clutter. Ask yourself “what’s behind the clutter?” For some people it’s part of an ongoing mental health problem like depression. For others it can originate from the breakdown of a relationship or the loss of a loved one.  

It’s important to be kind to yourself if you are going through a difficult or emotional time.  Remember it didn’t get cluttered overnight so it’s not likely to resolve itself quickly.  

Start with small manageable tasks. For example, starting by decluttering a bedroom drawer or a kitchen cupboard would be perfect. Next allocate a time to do this roughly 10/15 mins should be enough to get going. It’s also wise to be in the right mood before you start any decluttering or organising.   

Grab some empty boxes ready to put in the items you want to sell or donate. You could even earn some extra cash for your unwanted items. If you are unable to take the items yourself there are lots of charity shops that will collect these items from your home. You can do a quick internet search or visit your local high street for more information.  

Another way to be practical in decluttering your space is to have a written plan of action. Set out your intentions with a specific goal in mind. You can set out days and times which are suitable for you. An example of a goal would be to clean and declutter the bedroom by the end of the week. By using a plan, you can track your progress. By seeing your progress, it will help keep you motivated. If an area feels too daunting, ask for help.   

Do everything at your own pace …. Remind yourself that decluttering Is a marathon not a sprint.  

Here are some questions I ask myself whilst decluttering and cleaning!  

  1. “Does this have a purpose in my life now?” 
  2. “How do I feel about letting this go?” 
  3. “Do I wear this item, does it fit?” 
  4. “Am I holding on to this item out of guilt?” (unwanted gift)

When clearing your home environment be mindful of Items which often hold no value but take up valuable space.  The once loved but now forgotten items, broken gadgets, toys, old magazines and even out of date paperwork or dead plants.

Often people can attach emotion and meaning to objects. Over the years I have parted with many possessions because they remind me of something I would rather forget. Consider this a part of your routine and detach from material objects which hold negative energy within you and your home, notice how you feel after this process.

By cleaning out the old items that no longer serve us and clearing our personal space we are also freeing up space in our heart and mind. This will create a positive energy in your home. When I clean and declutter my home, which I try to do monthly, I notice a change in myself, I feel lighter and more at ease. Watch out for any positive shifts in yourself too.

Consider your long-term goal. Adapting an ‘everything in its place and a place for everything mindset’ helps keep the clutter at bay ‘long-term.’ The rewards are vast, from a relaxing environment that boosts your mood, improved health, and self-esteem to the added bonus of less cleaning….now that does sound good!

So put on your favourite music…….open the windows, let the fresh air in and start decluttering.

Yours truly ‘The Clutter Queen’

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