External Clutter is a Sign of Internal Clutter

When your issues are showing

As cliché as it sounds, it’s true, external clutter is a sign of internal clutter. This will prove true time and time again.

Perhaps this is why moving does a real fandoosey on my neurons. That and my refusal to admit that I’m human and thus subject to the stress of a move, or two, or many of them.

Ever notice that when you get real wound up in life there tends to be piles accumulating IRL? Papers, pens and random bits start to take over your desk. Your kitchen counter has gone missing underneath the mail, grocery receipts and broken bull figurines. As for your car, it’s a tossup if you ought to clean it, pay someone to do or set it on fire it’s such a disaster.

Disclaimer: Regardless of how nasty your car gets, do not set it on fire. It’s illegal for starters, but mostly it’s horrible for the environment and unsafe.

All that clutter didn’t come out of nowhere. It builds up over time. For me I get so wrapped up in running a million different directions away from the anxiety monster, that I create a life where there is no time to organize myself, which in turn leads to more stress and chaos. Typically all the papers building up are from the million different endeavors I’ve signed on for and grocery receipts from near daily runs because I won’t make time to make a proper list and proper grocery run. I sure as shit made time to write a run on sentence.

Declutter your space, life and mind.

But don’t go at it all or nothing. All or nothing works for no one.

For me straightening in the morning while my coffee pot goes has become a happy ritual. I like to do it at the end of the work day as well to physically signal to my brain it’s time to stop creating and start winding down.

For my life and mind, one word: prioritize.

I have a pesky habit of letting my heart sign me up for more than I can take on. As someone who is really hard on herself, the thought of quitting or splitting duties never seems to occur to me. Neither does giving myself credit for what I am already doing being enough.

After this anxiety relapse, I sat down and made a list of absolutely everything I am working on and a part of. Yikes. It was actually 3 weeks after I thought I had eliminated all excess times sucks. I discovered I had 4 that instantly had to go. Then I looked at what remained and it was still a lot. What pays the bills must come first and while I enjoy volunteerism, there has to be balance… a positive one in the my bank account.

I reduced down to one volunteer activity. From there I prioritized all my existing obligations, putting my self-work as number 1 priority. I spend my time according to my priority list. It’s simple, but not easy. It has helped me seriously re-evaluate how I spend my time, how I approach things and keep the main thing the main thing.

And each day as I’ve gone through all of this, my home is becoming more organized and homelike. After nearly 2 months here, I have only 2 moving boxes remaining. Hell, even my desktop is in order. I must say, getting to spend a little time each evening shredding papers I’ve hauled around for too long feels pretty damn amazing.

When you look around do you see your issues or your progress?


This is article #16 of a 31 part mental health series. If you enjoyed it you may also dig the previous article Extraordinarily Stupid Anxiety Triggers and the next article Keep It Simple.

If you want to start from the beginning of the series go to the first article Anything You Put Before Your Recovery You Will Lose.

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