Cost of a Cluttered Environment

What is Your Environment Costing you_.jpg

What is your environment costing?

Have you ever driven up to your home and immediately felt overwhelmed or frustrated? Or walked into a room with the intent to sit down, but immediately started cleaning in an agitated state because things were cluttered?

Yes, this is NOT depict our best selves. I absolutely have been there and still do slip into these patterns from time to time, especially during times of “busy” like the holiday season.

So, again I ask what is your environment costing you?

Yes, we can agree that owning or even renting a home is costly. It is. It costs our time and money.

BUT I would argue that it may be costing you more…

Studies show that our environment can impact our mental health and our physical health.

WHAT?!?!

Yes, so you have heard me say that when my environment is cluttered, my brain is cluttered.

Well, friends I am not alone. I am sure you have felt like this from time to time. We just all have a different threshold of what we can handle.

So, what is clutter/environment costing you?

Back to the science. Studies show that clutter increases the Cortisol in your body. Cortisol is a stress hormone. Some level of Cortisol in your body is completely normal and even good. BUT when you are in chronic stress or at high levels of stress then this level can cause problems.

Clutter can cause mental health problems, such as depression and anxiety. Sometimes, we are so busy that we do not realize that we are struggling until we are forced to slow down.

Chronic stress can lead to physical health problems, such as inflammation, illness, etc.

For me, my environment was making me feel completely overwhelmed. I would spend hours cleaning and focusing on making my environment perfect. I was searching for a solution to end my stress. To help me be more efficient. To help me be a better mom. To help me be a better business owner. To serve more.

I had the right idea. I just spent some time lost in getting there. It took a long time. It affected my health. I was depressed, anxious, and had several migraines a month. YES – a month.

The definition of insanity is to continue to do the same action OVER and OVER and expect a different result. It will not happen.

Now, we know what our environment can cost us. What are our solutions?

Communication:

You do not need to take everything on yourself. We often do because we feel like we need to. We do not want to ask someone for help. OR we have everything in our head and cannot delegate OR we feel like “they” should know.

Well, I will tell you right now I absolutely keep it all in my head, struggle with delegation, and OVERWHELM myself.

Use verbal and non-verbal communication tools to inform everyone in your home what needs to be done and what they can help you!

Cleaning Schedule:

Sometimes, it is too overwhelming to know where to start. Again, we know that there is magic in just writing everything down. Not running the mental list of To-Dos over and over. That creates more anxiety and is not efficient. Some of the to-dos in your head, may or may not even need to be done.

Create a simple schedule for the day, week, and the quarter. Examples of weekly tasks may include deep cleaning the bathroom, etc. Quarterly may be cleaning out the gutters or changing your furnace filter.

My favorite tip is the non-negotiables. These are 1 – 3 things that you will do daily. Not all chores are created equal, so pick the things that will likely be most impactful for you.

In our house, it is clean counters, sinks, and floors. Not a deep clean. But dishes are done every night, counters are cleaned/clear, and floors are clear of debris.

De-Clutter:

Start off loading the clutter in your home. Get rid of things that do not serve you or your family. A little less will help you clear your space and feel more empowered to keep working through to create an environment you enjoy.

What is your WHY?

If this is not already clear, many of us need a WHY. It is the reason we do something. The reason we feel inspired to take action.

For me, my why was that my environment was affecting my health. In that, it was affecting my relationships. All of the important ones. The ones with my kids, my spouse, my friends, and close family. It was also affecting my relationship with me. I was not putting time into myself because I was pouring all my time into my home – inefficiently I may add.

My Why?

Well, it is simple. A clean, clutter free environment helps me maintain a healthy lifestyle. It is one that allows me to cook for my family in my kitchen, it allows more time in the moment with my family, and it allows me time for me.

Yes, time for me. When there are no dirty dishes or laundry calling my attention, I am able to spend time meditating. I am able to spend time exercising or enjoying a good book. It has allowed me time to start a business and write. Things that I have always wanted to do, but felt that I did not have time.

That my friends is what busy does to us. It tells us we do not have time. It prevents us from living a life of intention, a life that we have dreamed of living. It makes us wait for a day when we feel less busy. It forces us to stop or place our dreams and our health on hold until one day….

Clutter and a chaotic environment will no longer place a hold on me. BUT it starts with my mindset. My environment was costing me A LOT of things. More than just the surface level things like time and money.

So, I ask you again, What is your environment costing you?

Intentional Living Tip: Take a moment to journal or draw out your ideal self/home. If you could have ANYTHING you want, what would it look like?

Dream big my friend because you are worth it. How would your house feel? How would you feel? What would you do with more time? What dreams would you pursue today? How would you family feel? What would they do?

Then compare that to today. Just understand what your limitations or perceived limitations are. What is standing in your way? What is your environment costing you?

Now, pick a goal or intention for the next 30 days. Do not overwhelm yourself. Choose only one or two things to start with. Then take action.

If you need accountability, direction, or help, reach out to me! I am always here for you. Joint the Facebook Group, Home Intentionally. There you will get real time support from myself and a community of people with similar goals and intentions. Let’s do this together!

Ashley

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