5 Ways to Spring Clean to Improve Your Mental Health
by Nichole Eaton
Organization is something I am slowly working on improving in my life. For a long time, it wasn't a priority and that worked for me, to an extent. However, the more energetically sensitive I became the more I found myself needing clean spaces and clutter-less places. It was pure stress in coming home to the kids papers scattered on the counter or back packs on the floor. Laundry piles began to make me squeamish. I thought well it’s about time my adulthood neat freakiness kicked in. I’ve been waiting for this.
But here’s what’s REALLY going on. Your external environment reflects your internal environment. The amount of chaos around you will resonate, and even potentially amplify, the chaos within you. For highly sensitive people more “stuff” can equal internal chaos.
Some psychological studies have found a direct correlation to clutter and depression/anxiety. A UCLA study found that the high levels of cortisol were found in female home owners possessing high density of household objects. More stuff, more stress. It was also found we unconsciously connect a clean house with success and happiness.
Objects and clutter hold stagnant energy.Here’s how I’d describe stagnant energy. You know the feeling when you put on brand new sheets (my personal fave) and you crawl in them and feel all delicious and like somehow the clean sheets sucked up every stupid, awful thing you encountered that day? OK, me too. But then a week passes and they no longer feel magical and you know you have to switch them out? Or even consider a time where you walked in a room and it just felt like it needed fresh air, so you cracked a window or brought a fan in. That is stagnant energy and it doesn’t feel great. It feels flat and lifeless.
Our bodies and minds respond best to clear energy. Piles of clutter don’t exactly create that environment for you to feel at your best. Whether you consider yourself energetically sensitive person or not, clearing your physical space will likely have an impact on your mental space.This is more than simply cleaning. It's purging. Plus do you really need those knick knacks from your childhood bedroom? Do you still have that same t-shirt from your senior pictures even though you’ve been out of school for 10+ years (Lord, I hope not). Maybe it’s time to purge. #everythingmustgo
Clearing anything in your life physically makes room for NEW energy. It allows us to release old energy that we might tie into emotionally. Objects hold energy. And they can either bring you joy or bring you down. That’s why we recommend burning your ex-boyfriends shit. (Like, don’t go to his house, but if you’ve held on to something like a letter or even t-shirt, light it on fire. Safely, of course.)
So, if you find yourself feeling “stuck” here are some tips of ways you might clear your space:
1. Move some furniture around.
Feng Shui is REAL, yo. Energy has a flow and furniture can act as a block. It can also create stagnant spaces and by simply moving furniture you can create a shift in the energy field.Ditch the crap. Have you used it in 6 months? Is this second blender something I actually use or is it more of an “I might need it someday” item? And my most obnoxious question: Who the heck would want that if you die? My dad used to collect phonebooks… Phone. Books. If you aren’t actively using it, consider letting it go. If you're not sure if you CAN let it go, put it in a box and check back in a few months. Did you miss it? Did you need it?
2. Clean surfaces make the heart happy.
We are visual creatures. We are drawn to clean lines and flat surfaces. Are you a bill/paper stacker or do your surfaces act as a catch all? Consider what that’s about. Is there part of your life that you are procrastinating on or storing? Are there other moves your not making in your mental or emotional world? It’s all tied together.
3. Does it bring you joy?
There’s a book that I admittedly haven’t read, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, but that has been brought up at least 9 million times to me. (I know, I know, it's on my list) But I get the gist and it’s this: If you look at your possession, does it bring you joy? Your job is to go through everything in your life (physical and non physical) and explore whether or not it brings you joy. My personal number is 80. Does this bring me joy at least 80% of the time? If the answer is no, it’s got to go! I recently did this with my closet and for the first time in years, I now don't look at my closet feeling like I have nothing to wear.
4. Create a system that works for your busy life.
Because I’m not naturally an organized person and because I’m an entrepreneur and momma of 2, I used to say if I shower, it’s a good day. Which is true. However, I have full awareness a clean house feels good to me. I’m more relaxed and patient with the kids. I feel less stressed out and more like my self. I’ve created a schedule for myself. It’s not rigid, but it helps me keep up on things instead of waiting until the weekend and feeling like I spent the whole weekend playing catch up. It helps me be present more. It helps me tone the to-do list in my head down. Maybe its something as simple as 15 minutes before bed my kids and I spend picking up our rooms. Or every time you get up to walk to the kitchen you grab 1-2 items to get rid of or clear.I always say if you are unsure, play around with it. Try one room. See if it makes a difference or feels good. See if you can make it a priority. See if you can do it as a family. Just play. You don't have to tackle everything at once. Making small shifts will play a big role in bringing you inner peace.
As Tony Robbins says, "progress is happiness".Happy Purging!
Make sure to keep up with Nichole by following her on instagram @nicholeeaton.xo and make sure to pick up a copy of her book Rock Your Soul: The Down-to-Earth Guide to Mastering Your Mind now available on Amazon.