Clutter isn’t just a physical hindrance. It can actually cause stress in your relationships, create health challenges, and block your ability to think and act clearly. Clearing clutter in your home and workspace creates more than a peaceful, orderly environment—it will enhance success in all areas of your life.
What Is Clutter?
Clutter can be viewed as physical items that take up space that are either not needed or are unorganized. From an ancient Vedic perspective, physical congestion affects more than the serenity in a home or workspace. It actually affects you physically, mentally, emotionally, and even spiritually.
The Impact of Clutter
Scientists have conducted research using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and other physiological measurement tools to map the brain’s responses to organized and disorganized stimuli. Their research led to an article published in the Journal of Neuroscience, which concluded that if you want to focus to the best of your abilities and process information as effectively as possible, you need to clear clutter from your home and work environment. The research also proved that uncluttering and organizing your home and office can help you to be less irritable, more productive, and distracted less often.
The Vedic Perspective
The Vedic science of environmental harmony, Vastu Shastra, identifies how clutter creates stress in an environment. Vastu, or “yoga for the home,” comes from the same wisdom texts as Ayurveda, meditation, Jyotish, and yoga. According to Vastu, stress caused by clutter reduces and restricts life-force energy. Depending on the area of your home or office, clutter impacts different aspects of your life in specific ways:
- Clutter in the northwest affects relationships, business partnerships, and stability of the mind.
- Clutter in the northeast blocks growth, both spiritually and financially.
- Clutter in the southeast affects health and productivity. It also affects passion, creativity, and your physical energy.
- Clutter in the southwest affects support, which includes your skeletal structure (showing up as back pain) and your career.
Steps to Eliminate Clutter
It’s time to eliminate what is old, unnecessary, or doesn’t reflect who you are any longer. This system for clearing clutter will help you create better energy flow and help you feel more productive and less stressed.
- Begin with something small, like a drawer.
- Consider how much time it might take to complete the task and set a timer. Having a finite amount of time for the task will help you stay focused.
- Take everything out of the drawer and then create three plies:
• The first pile is to give away
• The second pile is to throw away
• The last pile is to keep
- Make sure you keep only what you want or need. Otherwise, place the item in one of the other two piles.
- Placing your kept items back in the drawer in an organized and easy-to-identify way is as important as deciding to keep them.
- After finishing this short project, take a moment and check how you feel inside. Put your hand on your heart and take several deep breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth to settle the mind. Taking the time to check in with yourself allows you to experience the subtle energetic effect of clearing clutter.
• Ask yourself: Do I feel lighter, calmer? Do I feel more energetic? Do I feel inspired to continue?
- If the answer is “yes” to any of these questions, consider moving on to the next drawer and eventually to bigger tasks like shelves, cabinets, and closets. At this point, you may be ready to organize larger projects: the garage, your basement, or a storage room.
- Keeping clutter under control is just as important as clearing it. Make sure you have a place for everything. Remember: mess causes stress.
Clearing clutter is something everyone has to deal with. From a Vedic perspective, once it’s removed, it will free up the energy in your home or office creating an environment where you can thrive. Eliminating clutter simplifies your life and opens the space physically and emotionally for new possibilities to enter.