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By Lance Gard DC


Use less useless stuff. 


Just about everyone reading this has a number of things lying around that they never use, and probably will never use. This extra stuff creates constant input into our brain. Even though at a certain point we no longer “see” our own mess, our brain is always acknowledging it. It changes the way we move through our home as well as the way we move through our lives. Your clutter is cluttering your brain. 


Everything extra laying around is still being perceived and processed each day so it brings our baseline level of stress up. Ideally, we want to keep our environment less cluttered. That keeps our brain less cluttered, which feels less overwhelming to our actual day. 


We all have a personal max tolerance level for clutter, and that level is usually different between roommates, siblings, spouses, etc. Be aware that one person’s ‘trashed’ is another person’s ‘a little disorganized’. When we share space it is important to be in agreement about how cluttered things can be. My wife and I differ on this, she is a devoted minimalist and committed to the ‘a clear environment equals a clear mind’ adage, and I, on the other hand, have a slightly higher tolerance for perceived disorganization. Once we realized this we discussed it and found a middle ground that allows each of us to exist in an environment that does not amplify our stressors.


Your environment should be set, and maintained, in such a way that it reduces stress. If you are surrounded by useless stuff, it may be a distraction, or lead you to constantly feel the need to organize versus being able to relax. Or, the opposite may be true, you might be forced to exist in a sterile, uninteresting and uninspiring habitat. Neither sound fun to me. 

So, I suggest that you take inventory right now of what you are surrounded by and ask yourself if it’s necessary….Marie Kondo style, ‘does it bring joy?’ If you’re not using it, and it doesn’t bring you joy, it may be time to stick it in the back of the closet for 10 years. Just kidding, you should pass it along to someone who needs it, will appreciate it, or can repurpose it. Don’t stick it in the closet, it will haunt your headspace from behind the coats (some of which you hardly ever wear anymore). Maybe tackling the cluttered closet should be next on the list.


Your environment can be a reflection of your mindset/headspace. If it’s cluttery chaos all around you then you can expect your brain to be the same. The opposite is true too, clear your space, clear your mind. However, this can be true in reverse too. Have you ever walked into a chaotic space? a crazy birthday party for a 5 year-old? A frat house after midnight?….a waffle house after midnight? You get the idea. Where you are can make it difficult to think clearly. Control the spaces you can control and prepare for the ones you can’t. Clarity in living is clarity in thinking, and vice versa. 


Time to tidy up! 

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