Stress busting and productive ~ Why clearing out is good for you

While having yet another clear out I started to think about why I get such a buzz out of it and how beneficial it is in the long run.

Mainly a bit of escapism from whatever stresses I have going on while being incredibly productive really boosting my mood.

 
Bear with me on this…at first you may think ‘yeah in an ideal world’ or ‘if I ever had the time’ but believe me I too am one of those busy working Mums who is out every night taking my daughter to dancing, tuition or doing my voluntary charity work, blogging as well as running my home. And I know there are always many more pressing things that are a priority however, there is a method to my madness!
lifestyle blog stress relief organised home

Previously, I’ve only ever had a major sort out a couple of times a year because it has become so out of control that I keep putting it off.  My intentions this time is to get to a point where it is not a colossal undertaking because everything is organised well enough that I can put things in the right place from the start!  One of the key things is to have a place for everything then you don’t stuff it in a drawer or cupboard with lots of other random things. 

The first thing I do is get myself a cuppa!

WHY IT IS WORTH IT

Most of us live extremely busy lives whether we have children or not, regardless of how many hours we work or our hobbies so during busy times I find myself shoving things in drawers, baskets, random places etc to sort out later, but that later never seems to come. Then I find myself losing important things, I know they are in the house somewhere but they could be in one of several places. After wasting too much of my valuable time searching for something I promise myself I will once and for all get everything in order. To date this is something I have never achieved and probably never will 100% but I’m going to have a very good try!  This whole process has taken me about three weeks

Some points to keep you motivated;
  • It helps me to feel more in control and more optimistic about being less stressed going forward because I will have everything to hand pretty quickly.
  • Finding things I’ve forgotten about (in the past when I’ve brought something and shoved it away in a rush I lose or forget about it) – a lovely feeling, like getting new stuff again!
  • Finding items that have been lost; losing them has been driving me mad so I feel elated when I come across them
  • Not feeling that everything is a mess, every corner, every cupboard, drawer, it may not be in view but I know it is there…taunting me, telling me it needs my attention.
  • Feeling inspired as I come across articles I’ve pulled out, ideas I’ve jotted down, coming across things that trigger old memories, like a photo, card from my daughter when she was little, old notes, project ideas I’ve forgotten about, make up I haven’t used for ages, etc.
  • It takes me away from my everyday stresses for a little while, a really good way of mentally detoxing or escaping temporarily.  This form of distraction is both productive and rewarding. Giving you a mental break from worrying which I find really helpful and calming.  Often this break then gives me a new perspective on problems I’ve been struggling to solve.
  • Stress buster; if I am dealing with some of life’s frustrations I find it helps me to clear those emotions out.
  • We all have drawers like this…yarn-clutter   and though it may take time to sort out initially, in the long run its beneficial as when you are looking for one thing in particular you won’t have to spend precious time looking for one thing in particular.  I know I’ve done this in the past ending up frustrated and running out of time to do the task I was originally aiming to to


Here are some tips I’d like to pass on;

Be prepared for the mess!  There will be lots of mess as you need to make lots of different piles and spread things around before you start to make progress.  View this as a positive mess, a productive mess and remember why you are doing it.

The start of my mess!
  • Be prepared; get some tubs, empty files, a plastic carrier bag (for putting recycling paper in to throw away) and some large A4/A3 envelopes (to put documents to shred in).
MY TIP; Label boxes, folders, tins, etc so that you don’t have 
to open every one to find out what is in them or find the one
you are looking for.

  • Get the family on board; by this I mean let them know what you are planning and not to move anything or place anything on top of your piles…also to bear with the mess!
  • The piles I usually make; general filing, to shred (goes into envelope), paper to throw (straight into carrier bag which I hang on chair nearby), scrapbook stuff, booklets/magazines to go through, receipts to file, for my household file (where I file bills, warranties, school info, insurance info, registrations, appliance serial no’s and registrations, medical info, etc), not sure pile (to go through when I’ve finished), to check with my husband if he still wants/needs and whatever else is relevant for you.
  • I can recommend the Ikea furniture range, Kallax – in a small house like ours I have found this range so versatile and you can fit a lot of different things in.  From papers, craft supplies and household filing to spare cables, beauty electronics and food.  We have these in my daughter’s bedroom, on our landing and in our Kitchen Diner.

My Ikea unit, with baskets, deep storage bins, box files, etc
(still a work in progress)

 

Another of my Ikea units
  • Quite often when I get in from shopping, tired and hungry I put (or if I am honest ‘shove’) what I’ve purchased somewhere, anywhere and then forget where.  So now I have a place, which is easy to get to where I will put them from now on.  Then I can go straight back to this place later. This idea stemmed from a recent experience with a Mother’s Day gift, I’d put it somewhere out of the way then had to spend a stressful hour looking for it…well no more.
MY TIP; Think about the things you need to get to on a daily basis and put them in places close to hand then items you rarely use in harder to get to places.  I find that if something is hard to get to it is too temping not to bother and it will also be the same when putting things away when you are busy.  So make sure your place where you plan to put things that you regularly need to put away like your child’s school homework in an ‘easy to get to place’
  • A ‘Christmas Drawer’; I now have one of these (actually I borrowed this idea from my Mum) I put anything relating to Christmas in it.  For example, random things that I come across after I’ve packed my decorations away in the loft (there is always those odd decorations that have dropped behind something), presents I’ve purchased early, left over cards, labels and stickers so nearer the time I can check if I need to buy any more, craft bits so I can start them before I need to get all the decorations out of the loft.
MY TIP; Take photos of the decorations you have before you 
put them in your loft and then put the pics in your Christmas drawer so you don’t forget what you have! This is something
 I do after several years of forgetting what I had, purchasing
 more new bits only to find I already have lots of lovely decorations!  I also photograph and the decorations when
 they are in situ at Christmas so I don’t forget how I’ve used 
them and add these pics to my drawer too.  
  • My ‘Where to find it’ list;
  • After spending hours in the past hunting for something that I don’t use very often I have devised a ‘where to find things sheet’.  Because I don’t use a particular item very often I can’t always remember where I’ve stored it.   I kept making the same mistake…wasting my valuable time searching for things.  It would be something like my camera tripod or seasonal items. Then I had a light bulb moment, (probably in the middle of the night) and the next day I created it.  The sheet goes in my ‘Household file’ which is easy to get to,  I even add things that seem insignificant because you never know.  I am pleased to report that my sheet has saved me time, no end of times now!!

IN CONCLUSION

Doing this has given me real boost, I feel like it has been a cleansing and enriching experience.
I hope I have inspired you to give it a go and if I can do it…anyone can!!
Don’t be too hard on yourself though, this is in no way a ‘smug, my home is super organised, super clean and tidy’ post.  I really struggle to keep on top of things at times and if you have a ‘life’ it’s impossible to achieve it all of the time as something has to give but having the basics in place can make a big difference.
Oh and before you go…I came across this picture recently which certainly made me feel better about my home…when your clutter gets to this stage I would definitely say its time for a clear out!
junk-shop-1561897_960_720
Photo entitled ‘junk shop’ from Pixabay by MrsBrown


Please leave your thoughts below!! Many thanks… ButterflyinRemission


 

18 thoughts on “Stress busting and productive ~ Why clearing out is good for you”

  1. I love a good tidy up. It makes me feel just as you describe, free and less stressed. Maintaining the clean isn’t always easy, but I so love it when I know I’ve cleared out the messy stuff and am ready to move forward with just enough and not too much.

    Liked by 1 person

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