Outer order contributes to inner calm.
I’ve read this numerous times on J’s blog, in Danielle LaPorte’s guest post, and quite a number of times on Gretchen Rubin’s blog and it made me start contemplating.
For the longest time I haven’t actually thought about the reasons behind starting cooking, baking, crafting or cleaning when I was upset. It felt right, so I did it.
But after I’ve read this simple statement, this little six word sentence, it rang so true.
Another thing I’ve noticed as I started thinking about this, was the immense amount of clutter the human mind can hold on to and process for the longest time.
These past few weeks haven’t exactly been the best, nor the easiest ones I’ve lived through so far in my life.
So, as I like to clean when my life is in disarray, I’ve found myself cleaning the bathroom, the kitchen, my room, my closet, drawers, and as to provide further evidence of the mild case of OCD I have, I even helped clean other people’s rooms. (My work area is sometimes a "creative mess," but that’s an exception.)
It’s vital not to get overwhelmed and only tackle little things. So these smaller tasks were perfect… for small happiness boosts and getting energized.
Regardless, over the weekend, I’ve decided to move my room’s entire content into my mom’s room for a day, move around all my furniture keeping nothing in its old place, then throw away everything that seemed like junk and only keep/take back the essentials.
It gave me a concrete thing to focus on. Being surrounded by disorder makes me feel discouraged, overwhelmed, and depressed, and straightening things up even a little bit makes me feel more in control.
While it may sound as a distraction and some people did call it (including myself at one point before realizing it really wasn’t) distraction because of the immensity of the task I’ve taken on, I (now) simply call it clearing out and letting go.
While I was tackling all this, throwing away boxes and bags of stuff I’ve found I could live without, and some of which I wondered why in the world I’ve kept for so long, stuff which I most certainly won’t need ever again, my mind was in a different place entirely.
I took pictures of that advent calendar hanging on the wall covering a huge hole where I tried to once hammer a nail after we moved into this house fourteen years ago. I took pictures of the vase and of the plastic flowers my friend and I painted more than ten years ago before she moved away. I took pictures of the pretty colorful striped flower pot I broke, then glued back together when I accidentally knocked it over last year.
I took pictures of a lot of things I won’t ever admit to having held on to for this long.
Then I threw them all out.
And at the same time of clearing all the clutter my room once held, I somehow managed to clear my mind.
Although emotional crap isn’t as easy to let go of, nor to overcome in just one weekend, and while I know this is far from over – as I let go of many things I’ve collected over the years, I could more easily let go of the clutter I had going on in my mind as well.
I “took pictures”, then I threw them all out…
The result? My room looks brand new, incomparable to its old layout and infinitely better.
I don’t feel like I can’t breathe anymore. I have a wonderful new writing space!
And most importantly, I don’t feel like I can’t think anymore.
I think choosing to clear some clutter, letting go – both physically and metaphorically – is the best way to start a new chapter!
So, any of you in the mood for de-cluttering after reading this? Do you find yourself doing the same when life gets too demanding?