Clutter is Unhealthy. Really unhealthy.

pile of papers

Did you know that those piles of papers, cluttered closets, and garages from hell are making you sick and overweight?

Clutter is defined as a crowded or confused mass or collection. Disorganized spaces cause stress and clutter bombards our senses, overstimulating our brains. Clutter distracts from focus and leads to feelings of guilt that one should be more organized. Even worse, stress of ANY kind erodes our health. Stress increases cortisol production leading to weight gain. Additionally, stress decreases nutrient absorption by impairing liver, pancreas and stomach function. The links to heart disease and stroke are also well – documented.

How do we fix this?

This answer is simple.


Let me show you how:

  1. Make a plan.
    • Chose a category (books, moments, clothing) OR an area (drawer or closet or room)
    • Block off time
    • Collect boxes/bags for sorting
    • Purchase organizing containers or systems
    • Gather some cleaning supplies
    • Pick (and play) your favorite music to match the project
  2. Remove everything in that area to allow for cleaning and upgrading.
    • Clear all the shelves.
    • Dump entire drawers.
    • Remove EVERYTHING out of the closet.
    • Clean empty space thoroughly. Maybe touch up with paint or shelf liner.
  3. Touch each removed item and ask the following questions:
    • Do I like it?
    • Do I use it?
    • Does it spark joy?
  4. Sort the items according to your answers to the above questions.
    • Trash
    • Giveaway
    • Donate
    • Exchange party (this is a good idea for jewelry or kitchen items)
  5. Celebrate!
    • Enjoy the space
    • Breathe deeply
    • Bring up the corners of your mouth.

You can do this alone or with a friend or a coach. Your body and mind and family will thank you!

How to Feel in Control During Times of Stress

take deep breaths to relax

When stressful times come around, and they always will, it can be easy to let the stress get to you. Here’s how you can feel in control during times of stress.

When I first heard of the coronavirus and the subsequent restrictions, I was overcome with some scary thoughts. How do I protect my family of young adult kids and aged parents? What happens next? As I was in this stressful headspace, I was also wrist deep in a bag of pistachios. Anyone else a nervous eater like me? But then something CLICKED. 

I was not eating because I was hungry. I was eating because I was STRESSED, and ANXIOUS, and SCARED. 

When we are stressed, our judgement becomes clouded and it is easy for us to make poor choices. In stressful times it becomes even more important to know how to relax your mind and body. 

But I can’t de-stress in this situation, you say. Actually, you CAN de-stress, it just takes a little trick. 

Step 1: Take a breath.

Step 2: Take another deep breath.

Step 3: Take another deep breath and hold it.

Notice where you feel that breath. Do you feel it come in through your nose? Into your chest? Into your belly? Follow your breath as it moves in and out. 

Repeat again.
And one more time. 

Now that you have relaxed your brain and your body, you have the clarity to make better choices, both big and small. Even in times when our choices are limited, this simple exercise can give your mind the freedom to explore creative solutions. 

When I practiced this exercise today, I decided that what I need most is some intentional time outside with my husband. So, tonight we are having a picnic. I have stuff to make a macaroni salad and a tuna salad, found some onion rolls in my freezer, and of course some wine! Before we sit down to the picnic, we will take a walk, as if going to our picnic park.
Mission “be relaxed” accomplished. 

What comes up for YOU when you relax into your breath? What action will you take to find your peace in today’s world?

Be well,