MAKE ROOM FOR SPACE AND ORDER
clutter: a collection of things laying around in an untidy mass. Now you
know what clutter is. It is simply things that are crowding out the things
you actually love. From personal experience, I believe a cluttered space
can make a cluttered mind and an unhealthy mind can lead to unhealthy
Clutter leads to poor performance and a lack of style. According to Dr.
Sherrie Carter (2012), “Messy homes and workplaces can leave us feeling
anxious, helpless and overwhelmed.” When I have large piles of mail,
laundry, and toys filling my spaces, I am less able to focus. I feel beaten
down by the workload, and I feel out of control. A cluttered home and the
accompanying feelings are not your style; they are what keep you from
enjoying your home and finding your story.
Mental clutter can also be the culprit of physical clutter. When I was a young adult, I was busy with my new career and dating my now husband. My mind was always racing and or down about the last break-up Cody and I had just had or about the papers that needed to be graded. I was not in a good place mentally. I wasn’t eating much, and I disconnected from my friends who normally brought me joy. I remember coming home one day to my room cleaned. You would think that having my room cleaned was a positive thing, but it was actually mortifying.
I had not cleaned my space at all—in a long time. It consistently looked and
probably smelled like a garbage can. One of my girlfriends that leased the
house with me went through the room and got rid of the really awful signs of neglect before my boyfriend came in to clean my room as a kind service and to surprise me. He did, indeed, clean my room, and I figured he left my room validated in his apprehensions about our relationship.
Before you jump to visions of rats and literal garbage, I will paint a picture of what my room looked like. There was nothing on the walls, my bed was
never made, my clothes were rarely in a drawer or in my closet, and I just
slept in my mess on repeat. I am embarrassed to admit this, but the reality
was that my cluttered and unhealthy thoughts were being reflected in the one space that I occupied. I shut the door and tried to act like everything was okay on the outside, but really my room was a perfect example of the real mess inside.
Around the same time, I was called into a conference about a student in my
English class. He was struggling academically, he rarely interacted with his
peers, and he was painfully shy and apathetic. His parents were obviously
concerned and wanted to know what they could do. One of the school
counselors was there and asked the parents one question that I have never