Have you ever felt closed in or crowded in your home? Do you believe that it does you good to get out and take a walk in a garden, park or a forest; just being outside where the horizon is wide and we can see ahead where we are going? It is likely that part of that yearning is a result of that nagging feeling that your home is not quite right.
Being home should be relaxing, and your home should be a place where YOU are in control, your haven from the world. Unfortunately, very often is it anything but that. It is true that having a busy professional life, orchestrating a household around a family, kids, pets, hobbies and household duties (yes: there is that as well) is no easy feat and often we simply do not have the time to keep things spick and span. Why is that so? Part of the problem is that we own too much stuff.
Another part is linked to the expectations we place upon ourselves on so many levels: is the house clean, is everything looking good, do we have enough clean clothes? Where can I store that extra bicycle? How can I get rid of that pile of books that don’t fit the shelf anymore? A lot of our thoughts at home is related to things we feel we should do but can’t, simply because there is no space to do them: no more space on the bookshelf, a full garage, etc.
As a result, all those little niggly thoughts keep eating away at your happiness at home, and that is one of the reason why many of us go out and enjoy nature. There is no need to think about anything as mundane as a bookshelf or the laundry. There is space where our minds are free to roam as much as our bodies are. As they rightly should. The real question is, however, why can’t we do that at home as well? And that question takes us back to the feeling that your home does not quite feel right.
This is what it all boils down to: if you are constantly reminded of things to do and the idea that you are surrounded by stuff that limits your physical and mental movements, you should act on that feeling and make sure it becomes a thing of the past. Making use of this nagging feeling can become just the motivation you need to get going. Turn that downside into a positive tool!
Instead of attacking the overload of items from a practical point of view (“Do I need this?”), try to think of it as a final cleansing from the burden some things lays on you every single day. In that eternal standoff between “I do not need this, really!” on one side of the argument, against the gang of bad guys called “I have paid money for this”, “it’s not really in the way” and “I’m too tired to make that decision right now” and their underling goons, sadly the gang win the argument far too often. Don’t let them!
At the end of the day, you have to reach a point where you can see clutter for what it really is: things that are a neither necessary nor useful, and most importantly are a burden on your mind. If you feel they hold you back from living a happy life, get rid of them regardless of price tags or (improbable) practical considerations, get over your inner lazy bugger and keep going. You will eventually reach a point where the cluttered feeling has subsided to a level where you can accept it as background annoyance rather than being burdened with it.
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Hi, my name is Tilo Flache. My current mission: help my clients declutter mind and space.
This blog contains pointers for your journey towards a happier living experience.