Clutter and anxiety frequently go hand in hand; clutter can create a lot of anxiety.
Clutter is a constant reminder of things that you haven’t completed yet. Do you have stacks of laundry you haven’t washed? Do you have a lot of mail and packages that need to be opened? Most likely you are feeling a lot of anxiety, consciously or unconsciously, whenever you walk past these items.
Besides the clutter there is the added anxiety of “What will people think? What will family and friends think if they come over and see my mess? What would neighbors think if they could see the inside of my home?” If you were not anxious before the clutter came, you are likely to be anxious now.
Through the years I have learned some very valuable techniques to help manage anxiety. This post comes straight from my heart. Here are my five tips on easing the anxiety from clutter.
Deep breathing. Try doing this away from your clutter. You can practice this in a car, park, or quite place. Inhale through your nose for a count of four; hold your breath for a count of five; and release your breath through pursed lips (like you are blowing out a candle or making a wish on a dandelion). Repeat until you feel relaxed. Try and keep your mind free and clear of intrusive thoughts while you are practicing deep breathing. If your mind starts to race, gently redirect it back to a place of peace and quiet.
Journaling. Write down how you feel in the moment of anxiety. Write down all of the reasons why you are anxious. Release all of the clutter and anxiety you are hoarding in your heart by journaling and letting go of all of that tension.
Exercise. Burning off that anxiety helps release all of that pressure. Exercise stimulates your nerves and circulates your blood, allowing you to relieve tension and gain clarity. I know many of my readers are retired, disabled or injured. Exercising doesn’t mean you have to go out and get a gym membership or start skiing again. I am not talking about overexerting yourself. Trying walking around a bit or wiggling without your walker. Gentle stretching is also a form of exercise.
Seek professional help. Cognitive behavioral therapy, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) are some possible holistic ways to deal with anxiety. You can see a psychiatrist who would help you find medication to deal with your anxiety. You don’t need to suffer any longer! By seeking professional help, you are going let go a lot of the added anxiety and depression that you are carrying with the clutter.
Affirmations. You are what you believe. If you are terrified and anxious, then your physical self is going to respond accordingly. Every day tell yourself you are strong, you are brave and you deserve to be happy. Try and tell yourself affirmations for five times a day, for two weeks, at least. Write affirmations on your mirror, put a post note it in your car. Do whatever you can to try and change your negative thinking patterns.
Does clutter make you anxious? Would you like to clear clutter to reduce you anxiety? Would you like to walk into a decluttered and peaceful home? Collector Care can help you with extreme clutter, regular decluttering work, and work with you if you are a hoarder.
Call Collector Care at 925.548.7750 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your free 30-minute consultation and learn about how we can help you!
For more information about EMDR: http://www.emdr.com/what-is-emdr/
For more information about EFT: https://www.emofree.com/eft-tutorial/tapping-basics/what-is-eft.html
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What Now? I Still Have Too Much Stuff!
This month, we are continuing with my What Now? Series on decluttering. You can check out all Hoardganize episodes here: http://hoardganize.libsyn.com.
What do we do when we have too much still? If you have been following the series, you have gone through your inventory and paired it down. You may still feel like you have too much stuff. If you are a hoarder, it may have felt like you only have half of your stuff and it still feels cluttered.
First, remember how you far you have come. Think about when you first read the blog and all the amazing tools and techniques you have learned. You are in a different place! It may be hard to feel satisfied because you are chasing a perfect outcome of a clutter free home and ignoring how far you have come. Don’t beat yourself up or feel like you’ve failed. You have not failed. You have learned you have a lot less tolerance for clutter than before.
Keep going through your stuff each day. For example, some of the summer tops you kept at the beginning of the process. You may discover you don’t like some as much. As you try on clothes and use products, you will know what you like because you actually tried it on or used it.
A few months ago when you saw that unopened QVC skin care product, you were immediately thought “keep”, but now that you have actually used it, you may realize you don’t like it. Go ahead and donate unused portions of items you don’t like, don’t wear, or toss. If you aren’t going to use something, it has officially become clutter. Don’t hang onto it to give to the perfect person; let it go. You still have too much because you haven’t been letting go.
Try on, test out, and let go of what doesn’t make you feel attractive. Don’t hang onto because you might fit into it someday. Maybe keep one or two items for an incentive or sentimental reasons, but no more than that. Keep these items away from what you use daily. Keep it in the closet to avoid creating clutter. Clutter that every time you see it, you feel fat, older, gross, etc. You might not notice that you are beating yourself up, but your subconscious knows.
As you go through each item, let go of what doesn’t serve you or brings up negative thoughts and feelings. Surround yourself with items that make you feel attractive or evoke positive feelings.
Collectors, you have grown! You now know your threshold when it comes to clutter. That’s huge. You are learning to live life in a more organized manner. It doesn’t happen overnight; it could take weeks, months or years to declutter and that is ok. You are aware of your issues, you are working on them, and you are reading the blog to learn tools to change.
If you are still constantly acquiring things while doing this program, you are also bringing in added guilt and this is counterproductive. Slow down and even stop. If you are still over acquiring, knock it off. You are not helping yourself. My hope with this program is that you get so sick and tired of sorting that you don’t want to buy.
If you are still buying and acquiring, you might need additional help. Call a professional organizer. I offer a free phone consultation and work virtually with people. I cannot help with compulsive shopping, but here are two resources for compulsive shopping: http://www.shopaholicsanonymous.org/ and http://www.debtorsanonymous.org/find_meeting/spenders.htm.
Do you struggle with deciding what goes into each room? Are you discouraged after a round or two of decluttering? Collector Care can help! We can help you with decluttering or getting organized whether you are in an apartment, office or home.
Call Collector Care at 925.548.7750 or email email@example.com to schedule your free 30-minute consultation and learn about how we can help you declutter and get organized whether you are an extreme clutterer or hoarder or just need a helping hand.
Photo credit: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/estate-sale-perspective-im-moving-have-too-much-stuff-krys-galakatos