Saturday, March 4, 2017

Radical Self Care: Cut the Clutter

Just in case you need a reminder or are new to this are the first four posts on Radical Self Care

Suggestion One: Have a Hobby or Two

Suggestion Two: Cultivate Comforting Rituals

Suggestion Three: Say No to What Deserves a No

Suggestion Four: Practice the Pause

'Tis the season for respiratory crud, and it laid me low in February. The number of products we need to get well is simply astonishing, and as I recovered, the clutter of tissue boxes, medicine bottles, cough-drop wrappers, and pill blister packs overwhelmed me.

While putting away all that "sick" stuff gave me deep satisfaction, I simultaneously noticed an alarming amount of other clutter that's accumulated in my house, especially my bathroom and bedroom. My make-up drawer was so cluttered that looking for the right item was like finding Waldo. Minutes pass, and then I exclaim, "There it is!"

With these experiences in mind, I stumbled across this pin on Pinterest.


Unmade decisions contribute mightily to stress. Half the stuff in my make-up drawer, for instance, simply needed to be tossed: used-up lip gloss tubes and eye-shadow trays, dirty cotton balls, an empty mascara, a dozen hair clips that my new, shorter do won't even accommodate. I needed to make the decision to throw away the trash and move the unused supplies to storage.

I made that decision.

It felt glorious!

A half hour of my time cleared all the clutter from my bathroom and my beside table. Ever since, those places fill me with satisfaction and peace each time I visit them.

Often, we labor under the assumption that we have to clear all the clutter at once. This is such a huge undertaking for most of us that it's much easier to procrastinate...and add to our stress. Instead, take care of the small, manageable messes. Pick one small but frequently visited area and tackle that. Then pick another. And another. Cut the clutter one manageable mess at a time.

You'll be glad you did.