It’s Time to Purge Your Junk

Summer’s nearing its end, which means you probably have an onslaught of fun, new projects to tackle for autumn. But do you find yourself having difficulty focusing? The brain-rattling sound of your upstairs neighbor (pacing around in what can only be traditional Dutch wooden clogs) might not be the only thing keeping you out of your productivity groove. In fact, it’s more likely that you’ve accrued one too many decorative trinkets at yard sales this summer. If you’re having difficulty with your productivity, too much uninspiring clutter could be the cause.

Neuroscientists at Princeton University linked clutter to a reduced ability to process information, along with increased frustration, distractibility, stress and reduced productivity. Our brains simply get overstimulated and cannot put energy into processing the clutter along with completing complicated mental tasks.

Don’t blame yourself. Visual stimuli take a higher priority than our mental goals. That is simply the way the human mind works. We are more likely to become consumed by the tangible, by what is here and now, than by some mental task we are attempting. This is especially true of projects you do not enjoy and would prefer to be distracted from, such as updating your resume, doing taxes or dealing with the seemingly impossible task of changing your healthcare plan—ew.

Luckily, there is something you can do—get rid of your excess stuff. Not only does getting rid of your unnecessary junk clear out your space, but it clears out the cobwebs of your mind. What’s more, researchers at the University of Maryland found that purging your clutter is associated with weight loss. Not only can your space and mind feel lighter, but so could your body.

Yes, Einstein had a famously cluttered desk. But 1) you’re not Einstein, and 2) his clutter was seething with inspiration and brilliance—books, papers, correspondences, pens, pencils and the like. His desk was not full of porcelain cat trinkets that cost 99 cents, empty cardboard boxes from Amazon.com or old bills yet to be filed away. There is a difference in the quality of clutter. To think more clearly, you need to rid yourself of the junk clutter, the excess that just distracts your mind without offering any further benefits.

Get rid of things you haven’t used or worn in over five years. If the thought of that overwhelms you, there’s a good chance you really need to do a deep clutter cleansing. Suck it up. Set aside a day to cleanse before autumn arrives in full swing. You’ll be more productive and happier if you do. Need some ideas? Here are some great places you can start:

-email inbox
-junk drawer/closet
-desk
-clothes closet
-garage
-attic
-kitchen cupboards (old food goods)
-refrigerator
-kitchen storage
-any miscellaneous shelves, boxes, buckets, or bowls that sneakily hold clutter

Happy organizing!

Related:

Being Exhausted Is Not Normal
Will Sugar Labeling Save Our Waistlines?
Start Being YOU, It’s Time

107 comments

Jane M.
Jane Mabout a year ago

THANK YOU!!!! I NEED TO TRY HARDER!!!

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natasha salgado
Past Member about a year ago

Did a lot of junk purging a few months ago felt so good afterwards!

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Shailja Mukhtyar
Shailja Mukhtyarabout a year ago

dispose one item, before u purchase could work-- but too hard for me. cant predict in advance...

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Shailja Mukhtyar
Shailja Mukhtyarabout a year ago

near impossible task. i try 7 cloths / day - fold / put away/ organize, dont count the dirty i discard to wash, or 50/ wkend, similarly 1 shelf- closet/or bookshelf / or one drawer/ on night table, above an armoire , etc. small/ achievable/ goals, .... goals i see, & basque in the glory, enjoy, & smile cheek to cheek, & a push to continue to clean !! easier yet, avoid buying junk!! b/c u have no room to keep it!!

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Brett Cloud
Brett Cloudabout a year ago

ty

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Teresa Antela
Teresa Aabout a year ago

Thank you

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Ricky T.
Ricky Tabout a year ago

I'm glad hoarding has become a recognised mental health issue, nit as sign of laziness or carelessness...

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Jeanne Rogers
Jeanne Rabout a year ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Quanta Kiran
Quanta Kiranabout a year ago

noted

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Peggy B.
Peggy Babout a year ago

But I might need it.................

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