Clutter and the Stress of Life
Clutter causes stress—there, we said it. It also makes us feel swamped with items and puts pressure on us to find some kind of place to store all of the objects that we accumulate through life.
Doing this is easier said than done, and so we find ourselves becoming even more stressed at that thought, and we enter into a downward spiral that resembles a cluttered abyss.
Hygge is anti-clutter.
Hygge hates clutter.
Clutter is the complete opposite of hygge, and that’s why there is so much of an emphasis on de-cluttering not only your home but also your life. Because of this, you will feel refreshed and as if you have more space to breathe, which can never be a bad thing at all.
But how does one do it? How do you go about de-cluttering under the relatively rough guidelines as laid out by hygge? Well, the answer to that has to be, in the least stressful way possible. At the root of this approach is the very idea of mindfulness.
Understanding Mindfulness for the Home
Mindfulness is all about being in the moment and allowing your mind to focus on the thing you are doing or experiencing at that time. It’s about blocking out those external thoughts that allow our minds to race ahead and put our brain under even more stress.
Now, you might be wondering how on earth you are going to apply mindfulness to de-cluttering your home, but mindfulness uses some very basic concepts that are easy to take advantage of.
The first step is to not just start throwing things out; this would be crazy. While de-cluttering, you need to be in the moment. You cannot just get a garbage bag and start throwing things away. That’s not what this is about. Instead, you have to refer back to the earlier post that looked at objects and how to assess their need, importance, and meaning to you. By doing this, you can then peacefully ascertain if something should be kept or moved on to a new home.
Instead, you need to think about the points we have mentioned in previous chapters.
- What is the function?
- How easy is it to use this item?
- Do I have any attachment to the object?
- Is it obstructing me from using the room as I want?
The one thing that we don’t want you to do is having regrets when it comes to de-cluttering your home. You must feel safe in the decisions you have made as to what stays and what goes, and that’s why doing it at any time other than when you have a clear head is not acceptable.
Dealing with that Clutter
Remember the post where we spoke about giving items away? If not, then it’s recommended that you read it once more because it’s important.
Just because an item is a clutter in one room, does not have to mean that it is clutter in other rooms. It may be that it is just in the wrong location, so you need to think over the entire house rather than just the room you are dealing with.
That’s another reason why you must do this when you are in the correct frame of mind. It’s far too easy to make some mistakes, and then how will you feel when you realize this and it’s too late to rescue the item in question?
This needs to be done methodically. You need to do one room at a time and understand why you are taking these actions. You must look at one object at a time and come to that decision as to whether or not it stays or goes.
Do a bit of the room, stand back, and see how you feel. Have the feeling that you have for the room improved, or is there still some work that needs to be done? It might take a few attempts for you to reach a point where you are content with the room.
Overall, clutter isn’t bad—it’s just annoying and weighs you down. Hygge is all about that freedom and only having the items that serve a purpose. Clutter tends to not serve any purpose once you get to a certain point. Do you need those extra chairs that are never used? Are those ornaments serving a purpose other than gathering dust?
Be honest with yourself, as honesty is a good trait to have. If it won’t hurt your life or enjoyment of the room or its purpose, then it could be classed as clutter. However, even after you have managed to throw out the items that you don’t need, there’s still the organizing to do, which is what we will move onto next.