You probably knew it was coming, former procrastinators… I’ll say it: Clutter is a major rest buster. We’d like to cover our ears and block out all those piles and stacks that call to us in mocking tones, “Yoo hoo! Here I a-a-am! Gonna clean me up?”
Clutter drains us. Because it shouts for attention, it interferes with our abilities to mentally process what needs doing. It draws attention away from where we should focus or it hides the very items we need to focus on. It’s a large extra burden to carry on the road to our God-directed destination, and its weight hinders our progress. It disturbs the peace of our homes and our spirits.
I like making the bed in the morning because it’s a simple task with maximum impact. The bedroom is immediately decluttered in a major way. In hotels, we spread up the coverlet. It helps us feel more relaxed and keeps us from losing things we’d have to search for in a pile of linens. (Done that.)
I’ve read that clutter comes from failure to make a decision. Where does this item go? Put it there now.
This is a battle for me. Here are a few tips that help me in the fight against clutter that robs my rest and peace:
- A place for everything. Age old advice. Return the item there as soon as I’m done with it. Not having an assigned place for something means I have to deal with it over and over – which is making work for myself.
- Make one pile or stack. A professional de-clutterer told me having many stacks is more draining than having one large one. True.
- Fewer footprints. If not stackable stuff, I look around and see how many items are out. Each makes a “footprint.” I lessen the number of footprints.
- Sort mail the moment I bring it in – or place it in the same basket every time.
- Bring less in the door. I don’t accept receipts unless necessary, don’t pick up business cards, I cancelled magazines, catalogs, etc.
- Quick evening pick up. Before bed (or before children’s bedtime) I do a five or ten minute pickup. The next day starts fresh, free from yesterday’s leftovers.
What rest-reclaiming, clutter-taming tips can you pass on to help us?