How Decluttering Helps Set Boundaries

I am an "everything in its place" kind of person. The books are ordered on shelves, albeit in my own particular (chaotic) kind of order with size, colour, and topic heavily mixed. The playroom is organised into neat and tidy boxes that are culled every spring and late autumn. I get rid of takeaway menus as soon as they arrive in the house, and rotate the kids’ clothes, dropping the best of the lot to the charity shop.

I have always been someone who regifts, clears away the clutter, and if I’m to keep something it has to tick a good few boxes before I even consider its sentimental value. Decluttering, you see, helps set healthy boundaries with the spaces in our lives.

What Lies Beneath The Clutter

We may think we declutter so that we can finally see the floor in that one room we throw the random boxes into. Or that we sort out the junk drawer in the kitchen once a year for the simple reason that it’s getting trickier to open and close. We may order a skip with great intentions to clear out the shed or empty the attic, but decluttering is so much bigger than simply creating space and getting rid of what we no longer need. Decluttering nurtures our well-being.

Living in chaos has a mirroring effect. The more chaos in our lives, the more it has the potential to reflect back into our minds. When we declutter, we acknowledge what is taking up unnecessary space in our lives. We give ourselves permission to let go and overcome the overwhelm. The same can be said for other aspects of our lives, such as our relationships and connections, our workplace and how much of our time we allow others to take from us.  

Decluttering And Boundaries

Our stress levels can be linked to the amount of clutter in our lives, whether that is our messy homes, our disorganised routines and schedules with work and family life, or confusing chaos in our relationships. Decluttering aspects of our lives can lead to managing these boundaries which become blurred. In this way, we can attempt to avoid stress, burnout, or anxiety.

Allowing ourselves to declutter and eliminate the unnecessary in our lives can be a tricky one. We become comfortable in our routines no matter how hard they work against us. But when we ask ourselves, "Is this needed?," acknowledge when a friend is toxic, or remind ourselves that "It’s okay to let go," we can learn to manage our needs when the load gets a little too heavy.

By reducing our belongings, setting clear and consistent boundaries, we can live our lives outside of the expectations placed upon us by those around us and from society in general.

Geraldine Walsh

Mum of two Geraldine Walsh happily works from home as a freelance writer chatting about parenting, wellness and mental health.

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