You only have to open the newspaper (or the internet) and you’re bombarded with articles about how to live more mindfully and in the ‘now’. It’s the latest health trend. And rightfully so. Being more aware of the present moment can do wonders for leading a happy life. But the benefits of mindfulness don’t just apply to the mind, they work for the home too. In fact, it’s an important part of the mindfulness journey. There’s a fascinating study by professor Sabine Kastner from Princeton University that proves that the clutter around you affects productivity, concentration, stress, anxiety and your state of mental clarity. So, if you’re looking to upgrade to a
Why do we hold on to so much cr*p?!
Sentimentality. It’s definitely one answer. But in my opinion, the majority of the time we use it as an excuse. Take a DVD for example – let’s say it’s the first movie you watched with your loved one, we’ll hold onto it because we think it’s a precious memory. But it isn’t. Watching the film is, but the plastic shell you’re holding on to isn’t. It’s important to
Photograph by Samuel Zeller.
You can apply this way of thinking to almost anything in your home. DVDs, old clothes or a mass of old college work. Be selective. Of course it makes sense to keep things you’ll use again, but not when they’re renting so much space in your home and adding little value to your everyday life. Ask yourself questions like, what does this mean to me? When was the last time I used this? When will I use it again? Don’t underestimate how much space these simple questions can create.
I encourage my clients to take a glance at the spines and titles of each book and consider whether they would read it again. More often than not, about 20% are binned.
So many of my clients are book lovers. These can be some of the hardest
So what now?
Photograph by Jazmin Quaynor.
Don’t get me wrong. I completely understand that it’s hard building up the motivation and time to work through old possessions. There’s nothing more off putting than the thought of clambering into your loft and spending the whole day working through
During your 20 minutes of mindfulness at home practice the following:
- Focus on one area e.g.
- Pull everything out and place it in one corner
- Sit with a bag ready
- Ask yourself:
- What have I given no attention to for a while?
- When will I use it again?
- Can I live without this?
- What can I absolutely not live without?
- Who in my life would appreciate this more than me?
- What possessions in my home, that are stored somewhere else, should sit in this space?
Living with less isn’t about minimalism. It’s about being in control of your life and home. It’s about keeping what we use and need, so that our space serves us rather than hinders us. Our offices should be
Vicky Silverthorn is your Better in 30 Professional Organiser. Vicky will declutter your home and your mind so you can stick to your New Year’s resolutions. Vicky is the author of ‘Start with your Sock Drawer’ and Founder of You Need a Vicky, a professional