At least once a week I receive a message regarding the order and cleanliness of my little 635 square ft condo. “It’s so neat!” “Your home belongs in a magazine!” And I’m often asked, “How do you keep your place so clean?” The answer is quite simple – I can’t help myself.
Over the past several years, I’ve realized how cleanliness, order and structure impact my overall well-being. To be clear – I do not have obsessive compulsive disorder. I can rest at night with things out of place or dishes in the sink (even though I don’t like to.) But please know that my home is not tailored for the ‘gram. Friends can attest that if you stop by my house on any given day, it’s likely to look just like it does in the pictures that I share. That’s because not having order and structure (and feeling in control of my space) can trigger my depression. Clutter can very quickly lead to me feeling overwhelmed. One of the coping mechanisms my therapist suggested years ago was that I restructure my life with fewer responsibilities. Minimalism has worked wonders.
I love that I can clean my house in less than two hours. It’s a wonderful feeling knowing that I need and use everything that is in my space. I cannot remember the last time my depression was triggered because of my home environment. In fact, it’s been quite the opposite – my minimalist home has become my safe haven and sanctuary. And I’m very very thankful.
If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed by your space or the amount of things that you own, it might be helpful to talk to a professional about ways to decrease your responsibilities. You can also start to take note of your feelings around every day activities and chores. Is there so much to do that you just do nothing? How do you feel when you open your closet? Are you hiding and hoarding rather than attacking the to-do list? Visualize your house with less. Consider how a simpler life might not only help your wallet but your mental health as well.
PS. I am working on a post with my therapist on the benefits of minimalism so stay tuned!