It’s so easy to let things get out of hand around the house. Shoes here, a jacket there, all because you’re busy being a working parent or spending time with your kids. Guess what? That’s OK! We don’t all always pick up after ourselves every single time. But, when your surfaces are piled high with you-don’t-know-what you start experiencing negative health effects. This isn’t just physical clutter; mental clutter counts, too! How does clearing clutter help with weight loss?
Clutter Holds You Back
Clutter has this innate ability to keep you stuck where you are. It physically holds you back and keeps maintaining the status quo. It’s stifling; it smothers you and drains your energy. You already know this. How many times have you cleaned your room or a room in your house and felt SO much better afterward? You actually feel lighter when you’re finished, right? I don’t know how many times I’ve stood in the middle of my living room just looking around at how clean it is. Of course, that doesn’t last long, but, for those brief moments, I feel amazing!
When you have a lot of clutter (I live with Fred Sanford so I know what I’m talking about), you feel overwhelmed and don’t know where to start. It’s easier to close the door, push it in a cabinet, or just ignore it all together. Before I took full control of my household, I would often walk through the door and automatically feel blah. I could be in the best mood ever, but, as soon as I walked in, I’d feel completely drained and unmotivated. I was overwhelmed with the amount of shit piled up everywhere.
Decluttering Teaches You Discipline
It’s not enough to spot clean – yes, that’s important – but those big, deep cleans are what getting rid of clutter is all about. Going through all of your crap teaches you discipline. How? Weight loss is all about taking one step at a time. Decluttering is the same principle. You can’t go from full on clutter to absolutely no clutter overnight…just like you can’t go from overweight to skinny overnight. You have to painstakingly handle each and every piece of stuff to determine if you need it, use, want it, or to toss it.
It’s been within the past few months that I’ve taken full control, I’ve followed a few rules, if you will, when it comes to hanging on to stuff. These rules come from a few different places, like David Allen’s book Getting Things Done.
- If I haven’t touched it in more than 3 months, I think about whether or not I need it.
- If I haven’t touched it in more than 6 months, I throw it away or donate it to charity.
- When I think of something, I stop what I’m doing and write it down immediately.
- If anything is considered a “maybe” (maybe I’ll use it, maybe I’ll follow through with that idea), I hang on to it for 4 weeks then re-evaluate. If I haven’t done anything with it by then, I probably won’t so I let it go.
It takes discipline to adopt a new way of doing things, such as keeping clutter at bay. This type of discipline is exactly what makes weight loss successful. Once you have developed this discipline, nothing will ever stop you from achieving your goals. How awesome is that?!
New House, New You
Your weight loss journey is all about making improvements to your habits and your health. Changing your habits is hard work – it’s the single hardest thing you’ll ever do in your life, in my opinion. If you’re going to change your habits, why not change them all the way around? Remember in math when you were taught to combine like terms? It’s basically the same thing with clutter and weight loss. Let go of what’s holding you back! Your clutter represents who you USED to be, not who you’re BECOMING.
The new you deserves to enjoy being at home, in a clean room, without stress or worry about having so much stuff to sort through. This new you also deserves to have a mind that’s free (well, as free as it can get) of random thoughts and ideas always floating around. Start writing all that stuff down onto different lists, such as Home, To Buy, Someday/Maybe, etc. Each of these lists serves the purpose of getting thoughts out of your head (you’ll forget them anyway) and onto paper for you to process later, when you can give your undivided attention to them.
Do you see how clutter is related to weight loss? It’s all about clearing out your mind, body, and environment to achieve your goals. I highly recommend reading David Allen’s book Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity to help you get started. I firmly believe that weight loss is more of a mental game than a physical one. With that being said, it’s important that you prepare your mind for the journey you’re about to take and this includes learning to let go of the past.
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