December 2013 issue: How clutter is stealing your joy

To the layperson, clutter seems a harmless, if inconvenient, phenomenon. But make no mistake. Clutter can, and frequently does, affect all aspects of your life.

More or less?

Complete Wellbeing December 2013 issue cover

The newspaper shelf is flooded, the centre table has dozens of unopened envelopes, the drawers are in utter chaos, the cabinets are a mess and the closet is overflowing with surplus clothes. There’s stuff all around the house. And then you wonder why you can never find your keys, blaming some guy called Murphy!

To the layperson, clutter seems a harmless, if inconvenient, phenomenon. But make no mistake. Clutter can, and frequently does, affect all aspects of your life. It drains your energies and makes your environment vulnerable to small and big hazards. Perhaps the worst consequence of physical clutter in your surroundings, research points out, is that it diminishes your ability to think and act clearly, leading to poor performance and increased stress.

There’s more. Peter Walsh, author of Does This Clutter Make My Butt Look Fat?, actually found an association between excess weight and the amount of clutter in your kitchen, your pantry, and your home. Who could’ve imagined that clearing out your closets and cabinets could be the best exercise for getting rid of that extra flab, which by the way, is akin to clutter in your body.

OK, you are convinced of the hidden dangers of clutter. Now what? Go to the cover story right away and let Andrew Mellen tell you the rest. An organisational expert and best-selling author of Unstuff Your Life!, Andrew has used his years of experience to explain the value of living a de-cluttered life and offers easy and fun ways to getting and staying organised.

First he tells you why identifying your core values is fundamental to successfully de-cluttering. Later, he shares The Organisational Triangle®—an easy to understand and easier to implement method of clearing the mess and bringing back order into your life.

I particularly like his ideas on how to stay motivated through the process of de-cluttering, especially when you are aiming to reverse years of accumulated mess. His approach to deciding the value of a possession strikes a chord too. There’s a lot more well-meaning advice in there, which I’ll let you discover.

But once you’ll finish reading the cover story, you’ll appreciate, as I do now, the real meaning of the old adage “less is more”.

Don’t forget to write to me about your experiences—it’s a pleasure to know that we made a difference.

Manoj Khatri
Manoj Khatri is a counseling therapist, a wellbeing consultant and a teacher of mindfulness. He is also a writer-editor and has written on topics ranging from strategic marketing and business management to art, culture and even philosophy. His more than 1500 published stories—articles, interviews, full-length features—have appeared in some of the leading newspapers and magazines of India. He is the author of What a thought!, a critically acclaimed self-improvement book based on powerful ideas of some of the greatest thought leaders. Manoj runs Complete Wellbeing and believes that "peace begins with me".


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