Clearing Clutter Opens the Creative Juices

"It's not just stuff, it's emotional baggage and unfinished business that's standing in your way. Here's how to get rid of it."
hoarders,Household Products, Spring Cleaning, Gay Men, Clutter

Have you ever walked into a guy’s apartment and become speechless by all the clutter? This has happened to me more than I would like to admit. When it has happened, I would always wonder how someone is able to surround themselves in so much chaos? Is it a personality trait or a psychologic behavior that should be addressed?

Researchers have shown that creative individuals are more likely to do drugs, sleep less and are more creative in a cluttered environment. They also add that creative individuals are more likely to suffer from depression. A person’s surroundings is a sneak peak into their state of being, mind and oftentimes represents how they feel about themselves at the present time.

Life throws us curve balls which is why it is easy for us to turn a blind eye to the chaos we’re living in from time to time. We all get so caught up with work and our personal lives that we forget to pay attention to our personal surroundings. Our surroundings tell a story; a story we would never post on Facebook.

Personally speaking, I work better and become more creative when my surroundings are organized and uncluttered. Oftentimes, I serve a brave face for the public, only to ignore the warning signs at home. It’s only until I start cleaning that I began to realize I’ve been living in a certain state of confusion (chaos); a negative and damaging state mind.

Clutter at home says a lot about who we are and how we feel about ourselves. It’s also the first sign of depression or voidness created by a cluttered and a negative state of mind. When a person is experiencing struggles in their life they become unable to deal with those issues. It’s also easy for them to surround themselves in dirt and clutter. They are unaware of their surroundings, so it is no surprise to me that depression is closely related to a cluttered apartment.

When I start collecting stuff, notice clothes scattered on the floor and the mail is piling up, oftentimes it means my mental state of mind is out of balance. Although, I am unaware of it until I start “spring cleaning.”

Hearing the term spring cleaning never meant much to me until I started to incorporate the practice in my daily life. I never really wait until spring to clean. I excel when I periodically “spring clean” or conduct the necessary data dump of negative energy that I’ve allowed to surround me.

The act of spring cleaning should be practiced whenever you’re feeling stuck, in a negative state or mind or find yourself moping around for no apparent reason. The term spring cleaning is also used metaphorically for any kind of heavy duty cleaning or organizing.

“Traditionally, the Catholic church thoroughly cleans the church altar and everything associated with it on Maundy Thursday, the day before Good Friday, in the Spring. It is traditional to clean the house thoroughly either right before or during the first week of Great Lent, which is referred to as Clean Week. This also often corresponds with the Julian New Year, or April 1.”

In my opinion, spring cleaning is not a tradition but a necessity.

“We’ve all got those filing cabinets or drawers filled with stuff we can’t bear to throw away or look at—items that seem simultaneously useless and important. If I dug around my files, I’d find defunct credit card statements and notes from stories written nearly a decade ago. And then there are the personal items: the crusty bouquet of dried roses I’ve kept for more than 16 years (a relic from my first boyfriend), the giant stack of anatomy books from my yoga teaching days now gathering dust in the corner, the endless piles of birthday cards.”

“June Saruwatari knows all about this kind of clutter. She used to hang onto old contracts and paystubs from long-gone jobs—relics of the success and money she’d once made. But all that stuff was weighing her down—and not just because it was taking up space in her home. It was translating into emotional baggage.” “I was creating drama in my own life,” she says.

“Saruwatari started throwing stuff away. She chucked documents from past careers, love letters from old relationships, stuff that got in her way in whatever way it did. And she didn’t stop at just material things. Saruwatari started crossing unfinished business off her list. Did she really need to run a marathon one day? No.”

“She’s since turned other people on to her ruthless purging skills. Her new book, Behind the Clutter, looks at not just the physical stuff that takes up room in our lives, but the mental clutter that keeps us from feeling productive and happy.”

“Decluttering, believes Saruwatari, isn’t just about getting your desk and closet in order. It’s about relieving yourself of all the stuff you’re hanging onto from past careers, relationships, and unfinished business. It was a huge ‘aha’ moment for me to realize the power of going through your clutter and letting go of it,” she says.”

Things from out past are a symbol of hope. “We hang onto far more objects than we need, and, instead of motivating us, they become talismans of guilt and shame. You hope to lose weight, catch up on reading and finish that abandoned project. But when you don’t, it’s hard not to feel like a jerk about it. “How much stuff do you really need to represent that thing?” says Saruwatari. “How many items do you need to hold onto before it starts controlling your life?”  (Fast Company)

When our goals and dreams are never realized they become harder to achieve. Letting go of the things you think you might need later is often harder to give up. However, it’s also the very things that hold us from achieving our goals.

I need to be ruthlessly honest with you; it’s hard to attract a good guy when you’re living in a cluttered environment. It’s hard to live a stress-free lifestyle; when you take small steps to remove the clutter you will relieve yourself from negative energy.

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Founder, Co-Owner & Managing Editor. Corey has experience in the corporate financial services, training, brand development, and when he is not writing he's at home dancing nude with a glass of wine.

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