Clutter-clearing your psyche

Finding peace and stillness day-to-day is hard. And yet when I don’t, I feel frazzled. I find I can’t get truly excited and inspired. I go through the motions but I don’t really feel it from heart level.

I’m not sure that achieving peace and calm is something you can just decide to do – because then there would be no stress in the world, right? Apart from those odd people who are addicted to it! But I have always found that creating outer order and simplicity creates a mirror effect in the psyche.

You would think that having made that discovery, I would forever keep my living space clean and clear! Not quite. But every now and then, when I’m particularly overwhelmed and know something has to change, I take to major clutter-clearing.

I used to just come up with ingenious storage methods, and put the clutter out of sight, neatly arranged. But it’s still there, bubbling under the surface. When I stumbled upon the idea of actually getting rid of all this crap – and living as a minimalist – I knew I had struck on gold.

It’s hard to get rid of stuff, though. There’s something innate about the human condition that makes us want the shiny stuff. And lots of it. Not only do we attach sentiment to things: we seem to feel that our very survival depends on all this stuff. It insulates us. It will be there to save us when catastrophe strikes.

So I haven’t got rid of everything. But I’ve boxed up my clothes, keeping out only a few items that I truly want and will actually wear every week. And little by little, I turn to a cupboard or a drawer and have a look at what I don’t need.

Once it’s gone, you don’t miss it. And the calm runs a little deeper.