De-clutter Your Outside to Find Space in Your Inside
I believe people bring too much stuff into their lives for many reasons. First, it makes us feel good. We feel rich; we are comforted; safe. We also seem to think that the more stuff we have, the happier we will be. Will we be seen as more successful, thriving, fulfilled? Envied, looked up to, or more popular?
Some people love the feeling of having stuff around them.
To not be in need of anything. To have it all at their fingertips, at their disposal: the newest gadgets and models with all the upgrades. It’s a good feeling. But is that real and will it last? Many people overindulge and bring excess into their lives. Maybe they’re trying anything to make their days easier to deal with. Stuff keeps them busy, occupied and always doing so they do not have to deal with the “tuff stuff.” The inside Clutter.
This excess appears in behaviors such as too much food, liquor, negative thoughts, awful relationships, or spending. They try to fill their surroundings because they may not feel adequate or worthy of just being who they are. There are also mental disorders that play a huge role into this behavior as well.
Many people feel lost inside. They assume that those who have stuff must be happy. They must be worthy, popular, fun and smart because they have all the stuff. So, if we get stuff, we will be happy too. When all the stuff is really doing is handicapping them and filling their lives with distractions, confusion, excuses and fantasies…dreams?
When this happens, when all of the “space” gets cluttered—mentally and physically—life becomes overwhelming, small, and lonely.
As a young girl, I experienced these feelings on and off throughout my childhood. Growing up in a typical middle-class family in the suburbs of Chicago, as the only girl, with three brothers, my mom would take me shopping at the JCPenney Outlet. She would basically buy anything that was on sale and in my approximate size.
We would come home with bags and bags and I remember feeling rich and lucky, almost “better than”, if not at least equal to my friends who seemed to have everything. Over time, I learned not to look directly into my dad’s eyes because I knew behind his huge smile and the love he felt for us, he was thinking: “How the hell am I going to pay for all of this?” Even though he had a smile from ear to ear, he was full of fear and what now? He was cluttered mentally and physically.
It took me a long time to be able to not have to fill myself up with stuff: food, clothes, work, friends, or events. Now, when I feel the mental clutter, I look at my surroundings and see what can be changed and change it. If there isn’t anything outside, I go inside and do a little mental de-cluttering.
If you have experienced any of this, take a look and see what changes, if any, would make your life easier and less stressful. All it takes is a little time, focus, and energy. And perhaps, less stuff.
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Lisa Geraci Rigoni is a professional organizer and owner of The Organizing Mentors, LLC. Lisa and the Team Mentors help clients remove clutter from any area in their home and work spaces while providing them with guidance and encouragement to develop new habits. www.theorganizingmentors.com