Something prompted a bit of a cleaning spree recently (the visit of Vikki’s mum) and, like most cleaning sprees, it concentrated on surfaces. Sparkling sides, polished cupboards, hoovered floors. Lovely. But what about all that crap that lurks behind those cupboards? The wardrobe that is practically bursting with clothes? The chest filled with DVDs…
That last one? Guilty. To fit with the general decor of this old house, we keep our DVDs within vintage shipping chests and trunks. It looks nice, even if it isn’t so practical. It keeps unattractive items (DVDs) out of view. But I still knew they were there and it bugged me.
Why? Well, for a start, now we have a Netflix and Amazon Prime account, most of the movies were available to stream. And, even if they weren’t, nearly all of them were one-time-viewers and they were now just sitting in a box. During Vikki’s mum’s visit, we had cause to enter the trunk to find something to entertain her with. Being confronted with all the DVDs sitting there forever doing nothing, I decided to have a clear out.
Some 200+ DVDs later, they were bagged up and taken to a nearby charity shop. With my Gift Aid, that is a whopping £500 that we just generated for a worthy cause. That felt good. Really good. What felt better though, was going through the trunks (and cupboards – some were kept in cupboards) and emptying them. Now, all of our DVDs are in one place and they are all ones that we think we will watch again.
But this isn’t a blog about our DVDs. I have noticed how clearing away and tidying up has a very positive effect on my mind’s clarity. There is a reason why minimalism is so calming: declutter your space and you declutter your mind. In the past, I have likened an untidy desk to the visual equivalent of a screaming infant – it disturbs me that much. I try to keep my immediate spaces generally clear but, as with most lives, crap gets accumulated.
Just knowing that I have untidy drawers (oo-er) or an overstuffed cupboard or a trunk full of useless DVDs bothered me. It wasn’t at the forefront of my mind but, having seen it, it can never be unseen. Hiding stuff behind closed doors only hides it from your vision but not from your mind’s eye. You may not be actively thinking about it, but it is just creating mind noise.
Don’t believe me? Try it. If you have a wardrobe, cupboard, drawer – whatever – that, every time you open it you cringe, tidy it up. Anything in there that hasn’t been used for six months, chuck it or donate it to charity. Once done, note how good it feels. Just knowing that you won’t have that visual assault everytime you go for a biro adds to a calmness. The more calmness we have in our lives, the less stress we have. The less stress we have, the happier we will be. The happier we are, the less things will bother us. The less things bother us, the better we will deal with unwanted situations.