Come on hands up! Who likes a tidy home?? Meeee!!!! Yep I knew it. All of us!!!
It's funny how just a single set of nicely placed cushions can create that hygge cosy home feeling. We seem to like the sense of calm and order and softness. It's why we loved 60 Minute Makeover back in the day and a good declutter. A tidy space puts our mind at ease and organising a space reduces stress as it releases endorphins - the happy hormones.
A Professor from California University says it gives us a sense of control over our surroundings and many of us feel less mental strain when things are tidy, especially those of us who are detail orientated. Does it mean we are spotless? Definitely not. But it is an opportunity to be mindful. I used to do it when the kids were young. With each child I would recite positive affirmations over their life while folding each child's clothes. It was my way to be efficient with my time and also, I believe in the idea that things have energy. Ok, so before I start nerd-ing out, back to business!
“When people go through the process of decluttering, they feel a sense of freedom and liberation. It’s a reclaiming of a sense of mastery and control. They feel more competent and efficient.” States Catherine Roster, PhD, a Professor of Management in Mexico. Apparently, clutter impacts our productivity and produces cortisol, the stress hormone. It's been noted that those who struggle with clutter are actually struggling with an attachment to personal items and that is the real challenge. I think it is also a coping mechanism for some who need to see things visually around them to remember to do certain things or know where to find stuff.
Active Calm is when we are productively at mental rest, but not stationary. That's what tidying up does, it puts us in a state of Active Calm. When tidying is stopping us from doing the things we need to do, then it is no longer helpful. (Not sure I can stick at tidying long enough or often enough for that) but it can really help centre us when we feel restless. My teenagers use it as a tool (not that I'm wishing they felt restless, more often lol.) But it's a way to physically release adrenalin and be productive. And it's that after feeling of joy and accomplishment that feels so good.
Positive Psychologist Roster says "It's a form of selfcare." Others say it's stress cleaning. Either way it's “happy days” when we do it. Here are 3 ways to de stress the tidying way:
1. Beds are the way forward for sure! Fresh linen and, you know, beds can be a palaver with layers of toppers, heated blankets, flat sheet, boudoir cushions. It seemed like such a good idea at the time to get 6 million cushions. Err, I need to rethink that one! Take your time and enjoy beautifully spreading the bed.
2. Declutter a cupboard or draw. You know what it's like when you open the door and swear the next chance you get it's time to sort out those odds and ends. It is so satisfying once it's done. Have a bin liner ready for that one because there are always things you know you'll never use. You usually find a 'Oh I've been looking for that.' moment too. Which is always a nice surprise.
3. You might disagree with me on this one, because my friend is all about the bathroom for that feel good factor, but I'm more of a 'hoovering the landing and stairs kinda girl'. It's instant results, quick and I see the results over and over again as I wander round the house, which produces secondary de-stressing feelings.
So if after tidying up your surroundings, how about decluttering your mind???
Click below for practical ways to free up your headspace.