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How Clutter Steals Us Away From The Present Moment

If you asked me to go hiking 10 years ago, I probably would have said “no” out of fear of falling or twisting my ankle! Even hiking on a flat trail! I am not joking haha.

Fast forward to today, I LOVE hiking. Being in the woods, around trees, the sounds of the birds, and smelling the fresh air bring me so much peace. I feel whole when I am outside in nature.

In our old house, we had this wonderful place to walk that was behind our neighborhood. It was a closed road that was lined with tall mature trees for about 2 miles. Nobody was ever back there except the deer. It was so quiet and peaceful. I used to walk back there with Mojo and voice out loud everything I was grateful for in my life. I called the walks my “gratitude walks.” I still do them today. I did one yesterday with Ed in a different location.

I remember always feeling so focused while I was walking back there. You know when you get into “the zone” and you’re laser-focused on whatever you’re doing or thinking about? It felt like that!

But the minute I returned to my neighborhood, I could feel myself quickly losing focus from so much stimulus everywhere.

From the sound of construction hammers, to the smell of truck fumes, to the loud cars driving by, to the eye sore of trash on the ground, so many things can compete for your attention at once. It’s easy to then find yourself distracted in reaction mode.

Well, the same distractions apply inside the home as they do outside the home…

Think about a super organized space. Nothing is out of place. Everything is put away. The space feels calm. Like nature, there is no clutter. This may sound unrealistic (especially if you have children) but plenty of people do live this way.

Now, think about a messy space (or if you’re reading this in a messy space, have a look around). Everywhere you look, something is either out of place, needs to be put away, needs to be re-organized, or needs to get done.

Which space are you more likely to stay focused in? The organized space 🙂

Here’s why.

Clutter tends to steal us away from the present moment. It can drag us into the past with thoughts and feelings of guilt (I should have done this, I should have done that) while also pulling us into the future with what can feel like constant thoughts and feelings of being behind in life (I need to do this, I need to do that).

Clutter seldom keeps us present in the moment. And all is well when we are fully present.

When we are fully present we are more effective in everything we do. We’re better listeners and communicators. We’re more focused. We’re better able to give our love. And we make better decisions too.

Decluttering and getting organized are two of the keys to staying present and focused at home.

That means getting rid of the things you don’t need/use/love, creating systems for every category of item you do need/use/love, and lastly, creating and implementing routines to stay on top of it all.

The bottom line is this: The less clutter you have, the easier it is to stay focused on what matters most to youfamily, fun, faith/spirituality, health, community, career, & personal growth.

If you haven’t set any organizing goals yet, allow me to suggest one. First declutter. Make your goal to fill one bag of stuff you can donate in the next 7 days. It can be stuff from any space inside your home. Not only will you make progress in the right direction, but you’ll also help multiple people in need. Both parties win.

Focus on function over aesthetics & aim for progress!


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    Alejandra Costello
  • About Alejandra

    Since 2008, organizing expert & certified life coach, Alejandra Costello has taught thousands of students in 132 countries how to get organized through her video-based training programs. Her YouTube videos have been viewed 100+ million times. Named 1 of the 5 most organized people in America by HGTV and "The Decluttering Queen" by Good Morning America, Alejandra's expertise has been featured in The New York Times, Oprah.com, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Good Housekeeping, Family Circle, Woman's Day, Parents Magazine, and CBS. You can read more about Alejandra here.


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