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05-22-2018, 03:55 PM #1
Does getting rid of clutter help with anxiety?
Self-care is important, and you recognize your need because you often feel tired and run down. But did you know that taking the time to get organized is self-care?
I hate clutter. Yet, I seem to somehow live in a perpetual state of it.
My countertops are often clean, but my ‘piles’ of ‘put away’ and ‘to do,’ always seem to grow and grow, multiplying at astronomical rates and making me feel very anxious about attending to them. I know that the biggest thing I need to get rid of the clutter is time, yet it’s because I feel like I have no time that the clutter just grows and plagues my brain. How is Getting Organized Part of Self-Care?
What do you do with the stuff you get rid of?
05-22-2018, 04:28 PM #2
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I don't know about anxiety, but I know clutter makes me crabby. I hate it when I don't have work space. I also know it's harder to eat right if the kitchen is a mess. Nobody wants to cook in a kitchen that needs two hours of cleaning before a good meal can be prepped.
I've noticed since I've modded our little camper within an inch of its life to the point everything has a place, and as much as possible, I've made all storage easy to use and ultra-organized so things are easy to put away, it's much more pleasant to be in the camper. It's so tiny if anything is left out, it's annoying.
I know clutter at home makes me tired and cranky, too. We've purged the excess big pieces of furniture but we're still working on the little stuff, and that takes a lot longer. But the areas that have been decluttered and organized are much more pleasant rooms to be in. Things are easier to find and there is work space available so tasks are more enjoyable and can be done more efficiently.
What we do with stuff depends what it is. Some things do go into storage, but I work hard to make sure the things we keep we are keeping for good reason. Storage spaces are designated, and anything that does not fit the designated space either has to leave, or it has to be so special it becomes an exception. Usually I can pare down small items to fit into their designated spaces. I've had good success setting up former entertainment centers to hold categories of items such as beading supplies or knitting, tatting, and crochet supplies. Once each category's items have filled the space, if I still have stuff, I go through everything again and try to part with more things. So far, so good.
We donate a lot of things to thrift stores. We keep a box conveniently located in the house and put things in it to get rid of as we come across them. When the box is full, we drop it off and then start with another box. If things aren't of a quality we would be willing to pay for ourselves, we trash them. We had a garage sale for big ticket items we wanted to get rid of and cleared about $800. In the past we've given things away on Freecycle. Husby sometimes offers items to coworkers if he knows they may have an interest in things we want to get rid of, such as cat toys or small house plants. We've given extra large houseplants to a local nursery.
Our camping gear has been one of the hardest things to work out the storage for. Most of our stuff is in the trailer, but when we travel we also carry items in the back of the truck. Those things have to live somewhere else when we're not traveling. We've also removed items from the camper we're not likely to ever use again, but we have to keep them so they can be reinstalled when it's time to sell the trailer. And we use different coolers for different trips, and they take a lot of space and don't nest together. We've also downsized from two campers to one, and for us it doesn't make sense to get rid of spare semi-expensive things like large awning mats. They do wear out, and eventually we'll need new ones. If we get rid of the spares we have, it will cost us money later on. I'm in the process now of gradually going through and purging and organizing all the camping gear, and hoping to get that under better control.
05-22-2018, 04:44 PM #3
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I wouldn't call it anxiety. Maybe it is for other people. For me it is more of an overwhelming sense of hopelessness and despair: there's too much, it's too big of a job, I don't know where to start, I can't make decisions on what to get rid of.
I found the best approach was to eat the chocolate elephant one bite at a time. Small progress adds up to big progress. And that is a relief.
We donated or trashed/recycled stuff. We also addressed some of the issues behind the clutter, mostly lack of proper storage units. We bought shelves and a cabinet for our hobby room, for the garage, and for the bedroom, over time and as needed. I hide stuff in pretty baskets and storage boxes, so even if it's in the open, it's hidden.Stop trying to organize all of your family’s crap. If organization worked for you, you’d have rocked it by now. It’s time to ditch stuff and de-crapify your world.
If you're not using the stuff in your home, get rid of it. You're not going to start using it more by shoving it into a closet.
Use it up, Wear it out,
Make it do, Or do without. ~unknown
Because we, the people, have the power to build a better future. KH
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05-22-2018, 08:58 PM #4
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Oh, yeah, storage makes a big difference, but it has to be the right storage. Things didn't start to come together for me till I realized my storage had to be the right size and shape for the items to be stored, and the storage containers needed to be a uniform size that fit into the shelving without wasting space.
05-24-2018, 11:18 PM #5
Clutter does cause me anxiety as does an unclean house. If I have an item that I don't use for two years, it is given away, no matter how large or small. I don't believe in accumulating "stuff." I'd rather accumulate good memories and good times with friends. Just last week I gave away three pairs of sketchers and two pairs of expensive sandals because they are no longer comfortable. I sold most of my jewelry because I never wear it. When I retired, I donated all my business suits to the abused women's shelter.Kim
The Lord will provide
05-27-2018, 10:04 AM #6
I feel the same way CPA-Kim does. I don't keep a lot of things for "one day I *might* need it". My thinking now is, there's someone out there right now who could use this. I love not having a lot of things around my house that remind me that they need dusting.I'm too busy working on my own grass to notice if yours is greener.
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