Clearing the Clutter
I recently moved from a 2000 square foot house into an 800 square foot condo. Because of downsizing, I had been living in a state of disarray with clutter strategically-hidden behind closed doors until I had a chance to organize. I don’t think we truly realize what a collection of “stuff” we gather over the years until it comes time to move or downsize. Nor do I believe we have a complete understanding of what “clutter” can do to our state of living and state of mind or what a relief it is to finally de-clutter.
Clutter is usually defined as a collection of items left scattered about or an untidy mess. It can also be known as a confused or disorderly state. In my opinion, clutter has nothing to do with size, space, or even a physical item, it has to do with disorganization and unwillingness to let certain things go. As I streamline and de-clutter my living space, I realized that I should also look at other aspects of my life, including my thoughts as clutter is a distraction and can lead to an unfocused mind. Don’t get me wrong, determining what to keep and what not to keep is a process and when it comes to sentimental items that are hard to discard. But like our homes or spaces, our minds can only hold so much before it starts to impact our daily routines and thought patterns.
Along the lines of physics, two objects cannot take up the same space at the same time. This is the same for our minds – positive and negative cannot occupy our minds at the same time. Interestingly, the area of the brain that is used to give up an item is the same area that registers physical pain. Once you are committed to an item, whether emotional or financial, it becomes very difficult to give it up. The same can be said about our thoughts, once we have a preconceived notion or ideal in our head either from past experience or upbringing, it is hard to delete this from our brains.
Clutter impacts how we think and act. Clutter and disorganization is a distraction from projects that can result in decreased production and often increases stress. This is similar to what multi-tasking does; not just increasing stress, but also overloads the senses and impairs the ability to think creatively.
Just like turning down the volume on a TV or radio, you can turn down the volume on your clutter. Get rid of the excess; streamline your products and your services, instead of offering eight different types of pedicures, offer three or four. Keep your stations clean and tidy, anything you do not need to use during the service should be stored in a drawer and throw out old or unused implements and products. Remember, the less clutter you have, the less you have to clean. Another example is polishes – if you have 50 different colors of polish for your clients to choose from, reduce that to 15. You will find that not only saves time (clients will choose much faster) but also saves costs. If your client wants a new fashion color, offer it to her at a discounted price.
Words of wisdom: Stop trying to escape the clutter and start organizing it both physically and mentally. Let go of negative people in your life, take time to decompress, do things like go for a walk, meditate or have a bubble bath. Take time every day to organize, clean and straighten. If you can’t seem to get the clutter under control, engage a friend. Above all, practice the ABC of clutter (always be clearing) and remember less is more…