Good time for clut­ter clean-out

The Gazette (Derwent Valley) - - LIFESTYLE - Stacey Al­dous Stacey Al­dous is owner of Free­dom Health & Well­ness.

MY lit­tle girl, So­phie, is three years old and loves Peter Rab­bit.

When­ever she has pock­ets in her clothes, she likes to put random things in her “just in case” pocket, like Peter Rab­bit’s friend Lilly Bob­tail. Might be a hair clip, a piece of string or a rock – you never know what you might need!

The adult ver­sion of this is hold­ing onto ma­te­rial pos­ses­sions “just in case” we might need them one day. I know I am guilty of do­ing this. “One day” rarely ar­rives but clut­ter in our hall cup­boards, junk draw­ers, spare rooms and garages con­tin­ues to grow – just in case.

Re­search has shown that a clut­tered en­vi­ron­ment can have a neg­a­tive im­pact on your abil­ity to fo­cus and process in­for­ma­tion.

Phys­i­cal clut­ter in your sur­round­ings can com­pete for your at­ten­tion, over­load your senses and in­crease stress.

In to­day’s so­ci­ety not only do we deal with phys­i­cal clut­ter, we also deal with dig­i­tal clut­ter — files on the com­puter, no­ti­fi­ca­tions from Face­book and for some of us our watch vi­brat­ing to tell us that we are get­ting a phone call, or our phone vi­brat­ing to tell us we just got a text mes­sage. When our brain has too much on its plate it be­comes dif­fi­cult to fil­ter in­for­ma­tion, switch quickly between tasks and fo­cus on one thing.

Ev­ery­one’s tol­er­ance for clut­ter is dif­fer­ent, so try to find how much you can tol­er­ate so that it doesn’t af­fect your abil­ity to con­cen­trate, or to find things.

I’m sure we’ve all been in a sit­u­a­tion where you are try­ing to get out the door and you can’t find your keys or your jacket, and you frus­trat­ingly spend 15 min­utes look­ing for items be­cause they didn’t get put back where they be­long.

Winter is a good time to go through all your clut­ter, have a good clean out and then find a “home” for the things you want to keep.

Ask your­self “do I re­ally need to keep this, just in case?”. Make sure items you are go­ing to keep get put back where they be­long each day to min­imise clut­ter and cre­ate an en­vi­ron­ment where you can con­cen­trate ef­fec­tively and min­imise stress.

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