Less Clutter Gets You A Lot More
Imagine waking up at a luxurious hotel. You are greeted by soft morning light streaming through curtained windows. The bed is fluffy and cozy. There is a lamp, a glass of water, and an alarm clock on the bedside table. You put on a posh bathrobe and slippers to head to the bathroom. There the vanity counters hold a few essentials for your hot shower. The towels are neatly hung, easily accessible as soon as you’ve finished bathing. Once you are dry, you select an outfit from the closet and dress while making your first cup of coffee. You feel rested and ready to start your day.
A few years ago, I did some traveling for work and spent short stays at quite a few hotels and resorts. On one trip, I realized I was able to get dressed and ready for breakfast in about half the time I usually used when I was home. I found this curious. I was doing the same exact actions: showering, brushing my teeth, styling my hair, applying makeup, dressing, and making coffee. Why was I able to complete these steps so much more quickly in a different environment? The answer was simple. The hotel did not have clutter like at my apartment. As a result, I did not have to spend time making as many choices during my morning routine.
Clutter Promotes Decision Fatigue
Making decisions takes time and energy during our day. Let’s take the same routine and apply it to when I was at home. When I woke up in my bed and headed to the bathroom, I’d be walking by laundry to wash, dishes to put away, and mail to sort. My mind is making note all of the chores awaiting my attention. Then I need to pick towels from the linen closet. What color do I want to use today? Do I have any of the extra soft towels still clean? Which shower gel should I select? The one that’s fruity or the one that’s floral? Should I straighten or curl my hair today? What color makeup will compliment my outfit? What am I going to wear? Is my favorite suit at the cleaners? Where are my black pumps? I should turn on the coffee pot or it won’t be ready for me to take a travel mug while driving to work. Oh, and did I put the files I took home last night back into my laptop bag?
I’m exhausted just writing all those questions! I have so many options at the start of my day. Usually, we seem to automatically filter through these choices without much thought, but what happens when we don’t need to make all of these decisions? We gain back time, energy, money, and brain power. It’s remarkable how if I asked you what would you like to be limitless during your day, you’d probably answer something like, “I’d want more time.” or “I’d love to have more stamina.” or “I wish I had endless amounts of money.” So, why are you keeping the clutter if it directly relates to depleting your resources of time, energy, and money?
A few years ago, I started asking myself this question. I reflected on the pros and cons of having lots of stuff. I thought I loved having choices when it came to my wardrobe or my home’s seasonal decorations. I felt I deserved these luxuries because I worked hard for long hours. Plus, I’m a memory keeper. I like to save greeting cards I receive and I have lots of family photos and videos. After my experiences traveling, I realized the “luxuries” I coveted were lovely, but they did come with a price. Once I considered the full spectrum of having lots of things, I began to become much more selective about the items I chose to bring into my space. This was a game changer for me. I still felt my environment was comfortable and decadent, but I was no longer overwhelmed by the sheer volume of things I owned and had to manage.
Clutter Costs More
Here are the facts:
Clutter costs time because you are searching for the items you want or need (lost keys, sunglasses, your favorite shirt, etc.)
Clutter costs energy because you need to physically find your way through all the “extra” to get to what you really need, plus you need to clean it
Clutter costs money because often you will buy something you already own just because you can’t find it when you need it
Clutter costs brain power because you will be making decisions about how to deal with all you have surrounding you
Try asking yourself, “How many things do I want to manage in my home in addition to the responsibilities I must keep (a job, home maintenance, cleaning, etc.)?” Would you rather free up your time and energy to have more experiences in life? Reducing clutter gives you the ability to experience so much more positivity during your day.
Stuck on how to declutter your home or office? Check out my course on decluttering using intervals of 10 minutes, plus my favorite “Decluttering Questions” and finally get rid of all the stuff which is holding you back from living the life you desire.