Lifestyle

De-clutter your life and clear your mind

de-clutter-your-life-and-clear-your-mind

Hi there,

Today I’m going to write a list of things you can implement in your daily life and surroundings that will help you de-clutter your mind and help you move forward as a better you. To be honest, i was never a particularly tidy person and never minded seeing clutter around the place. Nowadays i hate the sight of mess and i can’t relax until my space is somewhat tidy. Its an interesting transition i went through when i realised how much better i felt in general when i de-cluttered my life. I honestly believe my wellbeing went from strength to strength once i started using the following principals. It sounds a bit obsessive and i myself used to hate when people got angry over a messy room or an untidy house but it wasn’t until i had my own house that i began the process. I lived in many rented houses and apartments over the years and it was rare that they were tidy, in fact quite the opposite! Ps thats not my living room in the pic so you know! Or any of these pics for that matter. I wish!!!

We did a big renovation on our house before we moved in. It was a real labour of love for us since the house was very run-down and it was a massive job, considering. The house was covered top to bottom in various and equally ridiculous wallpapers. It hadn’t been decorated since the 70’s and even had wallpaper on the ceiling in the living room. There was an old man living here alone for around 45 years and he had done some little jobs here and there but the kitchen was the only room we didn’t have to completely strip back. We fell in love with the old charm of it and most of all the beautiful view. Needless to say, we were working day and night to get it finished in order to move in. We had a 9month old baby so it was difficult to manage but by some miracle we managed everything in 3 months and we were in at last just after Christmas. We had hand-stripped all the wallpaper, plastered and sanded. Sanded the floors, painted the walls and ceilings and re-wired the electrics aswell as built a bathroom upstairs. We really out-did ourselves. As the saying goes, ‘where there’s a will theres a way’ really applied to us since we were so hell-bent and determined on getting in. If you really want something, let nothing stop you or deter you and you will get there! I will do a post and show pics of said house in the various stages if you’re interested later on when i get the photos together.

So after living in a dusty and cluttered mess day after day, the end result was one of sheer delight when we got to the final stages. Arranging the furniture was the last hurdle, although there were-and still are, a lot of little bits and pieces that needed fixing. For me, it was the best part and i relished the idea of having our own place to decorate however we liked. Such a joy to choose all the finishing touches and finally use my interior design skills. I had studied interior design in college yet i had never had a real project to work on so i was over the moon. When we finally varnished the floors, we knew we were ready to get the furniture in and the fun began in setting up the rooms. We had most of the furniture downstairs since we had been moving bits and pieces to the basement as we got closer to moving in. It all came together like a big jigsaw puzzle and we were delighted with ourselves. It was so cosy and comfy and altogether, homely. I vowed to keep the place as tidy and de-cluttered as possible.

It was hard with the baby at first because of the mound of toys she had but i found that when she was asleep i would be picking them up and placing them in neat piles or in a toy box. Sure, they ended up scattered all over the floor again as soon as she woke, but i just found it to be a habit over time and eventually didnt even notice myself doing it. They say habits take a while to form but by repeating things over and over again, it becomes second nature. So the hard part is basically the repeating of the chore until it becomes the habit. In my case it didn’t take long and now i do it on auto-pilot! Such a chore, you are saying to yourself, but actually once you train your mind, its the simplest thing to achieve.

The next thing i remember was, once a room was clean, it was so much easier to keep it that way by just doing little things like, making the bed quickly in the morning. Simple and effective by just pulling the cover back and fixing the pillows. It was something i rarely bothered with in my days of renting and i don’t know why but i think it was because i became house proud and i always want it to look well. Maybe its because we spent so much time on the house to get it the way we wanted it, that i wanted it to be perfect. Either way, i noticed when i did these little sprouts of cleaning, i felt much better and way more energised and positive. I would routinely pick up any dirty clothes and put in the laundry basket, fold anything to be worn again, put away coats left around or put in the bin any rubbish or papers not to be kept. As i went on with my little bits of tidying here and there i realised that i actually really enjoyed the satisfaction of the end result and how much more relaxed and at peace with everything i felt.

I became conscious of the fact that the little things i did to de-clutter and tidy were making it way easier to maintain the clean house and ultimately my clear mind. Having lived with clutter my whole life, i became uncomfortable with it now, probably because i realised that i felt way better in general without it and i could relax more when i sat down with my cup of tea on my comfy couch in a lovely serene and uncluttered space. I felt i could chill out completely knowing the house was in proper order and there was no mess that needed cleaning. I decided to keep it up and it really gave me a boost and compelled me to see what other areas of my life i could de-clutter, as such. This relaxation of knowing everything was in order made me wonder what else could i remove from my life in order to relax even more and feel serene even in times of stress.

My home was now my sanctuary but i didn’t want it to be the only place i felt completely relaxed. Its not to say i always have a tidy house because that would be a lie! I have two babies now so thats pretty much impossible but i still do my best and i do a good clean at least once a week by hoovering and mopping the floors and dusting etc. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a complete clean freak and i don’t be up at 6am hoovering or anything like that. Dear God no! I am relaxed about it but i just feel better sans clutter and mess. I would encourage that you take it lightly and don’t stress about cleaning since it is meant to be a stress-free and simple habit that you even begin to enjoy once you get into it. You may think to yourself, what a chore and how can it be a job you enjoy but its the end result you enjoy and once the cleaning and tidying becomes habit, you won’t even notice it! Also, don’t feel the need to do it all at once or be too perfect about it. Just little bits here and there when you have time as you go about your day. For those of you who already do this, you are well on your way to de-cluttering your life!

Next up i decided to look into ways to de-clutter my mind. I felt as though i often got caught up with certain things/events/problems that led to overthinking and worrying and often about things that were irrelevant or minor. It was a habit of over-thinking and this led to problems that weren’t even really there a lot of the time. I wanted to free my mind and be less conscious of minor issues. The saying ‘Don’t sweat the small stuff’ comes to mind. Worrying is pointless and brings no solution but causes stress and affects your wellbeing. I had heard of people meditating in order to reduce stress and anyone i knew who practiced it seemed to be always in a calm state of mind. I decided to try it out since i had nothing to lose. I began using an app called Headspace which i read about online and it had fantastic reviews from all walks of life including celebrities so i said id jump on the bandwagon and see what all the fuss was about.

Its free to download so i got the app and began immediately. It only takes ten minutes a day so i figured it was do-able. I would wait until baby was asleep and then turn off the tv or any other distractions and plug my headphones into the phone. I absolutely loved it and i instantly felt serene and dare i say it, happy! It sounds a bit crazy and i was a bit reluctant to write that because it might sound a bit much but thats how i felt so i did another ten minutes the following day and same result. I was going around delighted with myself haha. Ok i definitely sound crazy now, and maybe it was just me but it was working and i was happy to keep it up.

It really helped to clear my mind and rid myself of the constant negative self-talk, which i have always done. I began to feel more confident and relaxed in general and i think it helped my self esteem in a big way. Because i had enjoyed the meditation so much, i decided to take it a step further and purchased a few hypnosis downloads online. A lot of people think hypnosis is some scary witchcraft nonsense where people end up doing things against their will such as flapping their arms and bawking like a chicken. Been watching too many 80’s tv shows most likely. There may be extreme levels of hypnosis but i for one have never believed in that kind. I do believe that in some circumstances a professional hypnotist can bring you into a deep trance to regain memories that may have been blocked, but that’s another level. What I’m talking about is self-hypnosis that you perform on yourself in the comfort of your home with an mp3 download and some headphones. You have complete control of the situation and can stop at any time.

I was apprehensive at first, thinking what if i go into a trance and never fully recover? Like something from the twilight zone! Haha I’m laughing now as its seems hilarious but thats what i genuinely thought before i took the leap of faith and gave it a go. You have to find a place that is comfortable, you can fully relax your body and where there are no distractions or noise. Its recommended that you do this either first thing in the morning or else in bed at night before you sleep. The reason being is that your subconscious mind is at its most vulnerable on waking up or else just before sleep. This is better for the affirmations of the hypnosis to really sink in. It will reprogram your mind over time with whatever you want to hypnotise yourself for the better, be it more confidence, less stress, weight loss, the list goes on. I personally loved the de-stress one. The only way to describe it was it made me feel like i was floating on a cloud. How cool is that? I used to spend an hour a day listening to this and sometimes even in the middle of the day just because it felt so good! Just find a place to relax and lie back for a while.

You can find a lot of free downloads online too. If you want to try before you buy then just google free hypnosis downloads. You will be surprised how it works. Especially if you have any trouble sleeping, do this before bed and you will sleep like a log. And the quality of sleep will be great because it makes you sleep deeply so you wake up feeling way better and no brain fog in the morning. The really cool part is that when you do this before sleeping, you’re programming your mind with the thoughts you want to train yourself with. The hypnosis convinces your subconscious mind of the thing you desire, and over time and practice you will begin to notice your behavioural pattern change! It easy as pie and has a huge benefit. I tried out the confidence one and soon after i realised that actually confidence IS relaxation. I became way more relaxed and my anxiety practically disappeared. I had hypnotised myself mindfully to relax whenever i felt anxiety creep in. The hypnosis made me remember in situations where i would normally feel uncomfortable to relax! Who would have thought it was that easy? I kid you not.

The next thing i decided to do was incorporate Feng Shui. I don’t follow all the principals but i decided to purchase a book and look online for inspiration. I was always amazed at how much energy a room can give you with the right principals in place. The main thing is flow. There needs to be a nice flow through the room for the energy to flow. Therefore, you need to make sure there are pathways through each room. Nothing blocking or obstructing your path and no sharp edges in the way. You can move freely at all times and there is most importantly, minimal clutter. I then decided to add foliage in the form of leafy green plants. They not only look beautiful and freshen the place up, but they clean and purify the air. Heres a few examples-

My Fave – Areca Palm  

Pachira Aquatica – indoor tree

Snake plant

Boston fern

Peace Lily

Lady Palm

Bamboo Palm

Dwarf Date Palm

Ficus Alii

They are well-known air purifiers and work wonders for the Feng Shui. They’re also completely beautiful and are completely on trend with all the fab palm inspired decor on the market now. However, be sure they will never go out of fashion and you don’t need to turn your house into a jungle either! One or two is enough to make a difference and they go with every style so no need to worry about matching. Just feel serene and breathe in their lovely air as you meditate haha. Relaxing or what?

I want one in every room! Anyway, moving on to the next thing which i find incredibly relaxing is an aromatherapy diffuser and it can be used anywhere in the home but if you have babies i would keep it in the spare bedroom or only use it when they’re not in the room. Its not recommended for babies. Just a precaution so take care with that. There are lists online as to what you can consider safe and from what age so always refer to that if you want to be sure. Erring on the side of caution, i just use in the spare room while meditating as that is pretty much the only chance i get when one baby is at creche and the other is asleep. I recommend a proper diffuser in order to get the best result from the oils but if you want to try this out before spending the money then just buy a ceramic one to start. You can blend the oils or just use alone, depending on the mood you wish to achieve. For relaxation i use lavender for instance and for energy i would use lemon or peppermint. Those are just examples. There are essential oils for many psychological as well as physical benefits and they can be applied topically with a carrier oil or else inhaled through molecules in the steam. There are tonnes of recipes available online and i will be doing a blog post dedicated to essential oils soon so if you are keen to try it out, stay tuned or subscribe and i will go into that more in-depth. There is a whole blog post, hey, even a book on that so its just the tip of the iceberg!

The next thing i recommend is Tai Chi, Yoga or Pilates. A nice light exercise really gives you the extra boost and helps with those endorphins which basically help you feel good. Yoga and Pilates are both relaxing techniques and can help you release negative energy and use proper breathing techniques to make you relax. It seems like hard work but it helps you to unwind and at the same time tones and strengthens your body which work together to make you feel better. Your wellbeing will be much improved if you incorporate even 10 minutes a day! As little as that will give you more energy and have you feeling like a new person when combined with the relaxation tips i have mentioned. It seems hard to find the time but if i can do it, with 2 babies in the house then i think its definitely something anyone can achieve. Don’t pressure yourself if you can’t manage all the things into your day but just whenever you get a spare few minutes, try and incorporate any of the above. There are lots of videos online on Youtube or tutorials on Pinterest, etc.

These are the main things i did in order to de-clutter my life and start a new chapter. I hope this works as well for you as it has for me. If you would like to follow up or hear more about this, do subscribe and i will be adding more soon.

Carpe Diem!

Love,

Ciara x

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