We define our belongings as part of ourselves, and giving up on them hurts us. But a mess in an apartment is a mess in your head. By clearing space around we also clear up our consciousness, and vice versa. This process can teach us mindfulness and awareness, so keep reading to find out how you can attract some clarity into your life.
Determine the functionality of the area
Those rooms that do not have a clear purpose inevitably become a storehouse of unnecessary things. Decide why you need a room and only store items that serve that purpose. If the apartment is small, define the functions of the zones it’s divided into, not the whole room. In an uncluttered kitchen you will eat fewer cookies, and sleep better in a clean bedroom. This principle should be transferred to furniture as well: no makeup in the wardrobe, no newspapers on the dining table, and so on.
Accept the limitations
In fact, any space automatically limits the amount of things we can own. If you run out of space, believe us, you won’t come up with better organization ways to make more things fit in there. Buying a new closet, or even a bigger house, will not solve the problem. Put your belongings in the place where you will store them and get rid of everything that’s too much. The method should also be applied to mental things. For example, hourly, daily, monthly or yearly to-do lists limit the number of tasks in the same way a wardrobe limits the number of clothes. It doesn't always make sense to improve your time management skills, sometimes it's worth accepting natural limitations.
Turn cleaning into meditation
Firstly, meditations are all about mindfulness, and cleaning is very alike ‒ it’s about a conscious attitude towards things. Secondly, body and hand movements while cleaning can make us more focused and alert. Psychologists confirm that cleaning is a ritual that helps to gain control over constant restless thoughts.
How exactly do you turn cleaning into a meditation? Focus on tactile sensations. For example, blogger Karon Grieve, while washing the dishes, focuses on the texture, warmth, and the feel of soap bubbles bursting ‒ her breathing deepens and her mind calms down. And if you don't feel like turning cleaning into the process of reaching the state of Zen, turn on the music: it can also reduce stress greatly. However, if you prefer a calm atmosphere, noise-cancelling earplugs can help take care of that.
Objectively evaluate things
Fumiko Sasaki, the author of the book "Goodbye, Things: The New Japanese Minimalism", encourages you to ask yourself one question: "If I somehow suddenly lost it, would I want to buy it again at full price?" If the answer is “no”, then you don't need it.
Give up everything that does not bring joy
Choose things that are worthy of staying with you at the moment relying on the emotions that they evoke. If you take something in your hands and feel a burst of joy, keep it. This “joy or no joy” criteria is applicable for decluttering, but it also has psychological potential: we indulge in reminiscence of the past through the contact with things, and getting rid of them takes away our emotional burden. This allows us to live here and now instead of inhibiting our memories.
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