Did you know that having too much clutter can affect how you feel?
Whether it’s piles of laundry, a messy desk, or an overstuffed closet, it can cause a drain on your energy.
You might not even be aware of it. You can think of it like a fish in a fishbowl who doesn’t realize he’s surrounded by water, but he is.
I can relate to this feeling. Sometimes, I feel like there’s just too much around me, only it’s not water. It’s clutter.
Sometimes, I feel like I’m in a clutter battle with one of my kitchen counters. I clear it off, and then there’s mail, boxes, or groceries again before I know it. So, I keep working on it. I put things away, and then I breathe a sigh of relief, even for just a moment or two.
And the clutter isn’t just limited to my kitchen counter. As a runner, I’ve acquired many running clothes, including the coveted race shirts you get for entering a race.
Recently, I gave myself a tremendous gift. So many of my race shirts have sentimental value, but I wasn’t wearing all of them. Some were too big, or the colors weren’t my favorite. So, they were just hanging there, taking up space.
I thought of getting a quilt made with some of them, but I just kept thinking about it. Finally, a couple of months ago, I decided to research it. I found a company to do it, and the first requirement was that I had to cut the shirts in half. I piled my shirts up to make sure that I had picked the ones I really wanted to use.
I counted them many times–adding new ones and removing some before making even one cut. It felt like a significant commitment because of the sentimental value. I knew that it would either be in my blanket or go in the trash as soon as I cut a shirt.
Finally, I decided which shirts would be a part of my blanket, and I made the first cut. It wasn’t as scary as I had thought. In all, I cut 37 shirts in half.
Side note, my blanket has 36 shirts. And, yes, one shirt ended up in the trash. Thankfully, I decided it didn’t hold enough value to be a part of my blanket, and at that point, I was ok with it going in the trash.
It felt surprisingly freeing to cut these shirts that meant so much to me. Then, finally, I folded up the parts that would become my blanket and got them ready to mail.
But the excellent side effect was that it made me look at everything else in my closet differently. I no longer felt so attached to everything in there. I could look at my tank tops, sweaters, and everything else with new eyes. I’d think, “Yes, that outfit is pretty, and I paid good money for it, but I never wear it. Wouldn’t it be better to donate it and have someone actually use it?”
And in the words of Marie Kondo, I’d say “thank you” to the clothing and add it to the donation pile.
So, I started pulling more items out of my closet to donate. And I breathed another sigh of relief.
When you have too much stuff around you, it can place a load on you mentally. It takes up space–physically and mentally. And it can weigh you down.
And just like that fish, you don’t notice it until you look at it from another perspective.
And cutting up my shirts gave me that gift. And, yes, the race blanket was another gift that I gave myself.
Decluttering can be a great way to start spring cleaning–and it’s helpful for your overall health.
I include it as one of the first steps in my upcoming Spring Cleanse. It’s a gentle, guided reset designed to help you pause and refresh–similar to how you reboot your computer. We start on April 7th, and you’ll get all the tools to help you along the way.
Want to know more? Send me an email, and I’ll send you the details.