Ignore clutter at your peril

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An untidy environment may appear fine to you on an everyday level, but you may not realise that it likely gets in the way of further development.

Cleaning that mess out of the way could notch you up to a higher gear and take you into a more confident realm. Even if you don’t care about mess, or if you think you have an ‘ordered mess’, the mental difference is shocking.

From living in the family home as a kid, to living on a student village, and from renting my first house with friends, to living where I am now with my wife, I’ve experienced many different states of tidiness. I’ve always achieved my best with a lack of jumble around to bother me.

The more people I speak to, the more I find the following consensus:

If it’s cluttered, it’s cluttered.

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In my first year at uni, I didn’t have a place for everything and I took half the year to unpack properly. That situation didn’t help my productivity, even though I managed to get a lot done. Despite clear ambition and hard work, I knew I could do a lot better.

So in my second year, I lived with a group of friends and I deliberately spent a bit more on the rent in order to secure the biggest room in the house. It was about double the size of the other rooms. But I used less space than those in the smaller rooms.

In fact, I maintained a pretty empty room most of the time. A few strategically placed ornaments and mementos kept the place from looking clinical, but it gave me space to think and branch out if I so wished. It’s one of the best moves I made.

I kept this approach throughout uni, but I returned to the family home for a while after I finished my degree and returned to a more disorganised approach.

I can’t tell you how many aspects of my life went into reverse gear when I had to face the muddle around me again. It altered my perspective, productivity, outlook, positivity, development, ambition, happiness, and general being.

Fast forward to today and I’ve got my own space, so there’s no issue. But can you say the same thing?

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Physical and mental clutter get caught up with each other more easily than you could imagine. The external outlook features just as prominently as the internal.

It’s all too easy to look past your nose and search far and wide for a quick productivity fix and an answer to life’s problems. But the most important aspect of your life is the environment that you surround yourself in. When your own private and personal space lacks an order and is overflowing with unimportant triviality, it doesn’t matter what magical ideas you find, because it will just get lost in a sea of junk. This is just as pertinent for your bedroom and living rooms as it is for your mind.

Before you do anything else to further your life skills, look around the space you already have made up for yourself and get a bit of spring cleaning done. It could be the most important thing you do for your future.

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3 comments

  1. I really like this post about productivity. Often times I find myself in a time crunch, and the tools I need to get a job done are not where I thought they were. I justify my clutter by convincing myself that it would take too much time to get organized. I have come to realize the time I “save” by not getting organized, I lose ten fold when trying to be productive.

  2. I looooove my mess lol but i have an organized mess looks bad to everyone else but i know where everything is within it šŸ™‚

    Probably should clean my mess up now that ive read your post . . . .

  3. teaaker, you’re certainly not alone with that thought. It just looks like another thing that can be ignored for later (if later ever comes). It’s great to read that you’ve turned a corner now. Clutter can be scarier than people imagine.

    Tyrone, I’ve never felt comfortable with the ‘organised mess’ oxymoron. It’s caused trouble in the past for some friends of mine, so I’ve been even more cautious to avoid it myself. When I see mess, I want it sorted.

    If you do a bit of uncluttering, I hope you dig up something valuable to make it all worthwhile!

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