Decluttering makes you more creative

It may come as a surprise to readers to find that I have never really enjoyed cleaning up and tossing out. I like to be creative and do new things. There isn’t much creativity in cleaning, maintaining and tidying.

At least, I never thought so.

This year my perspective has changed.

We’ve been in our house for nearly five years now and for four and a half of those I was not happy with the kitchen and family room area. Nothing matched or went together and the general impression was of a slightly cluttered mish-mash.

We all – kids and adults – brought stuff into the room and put it down, but because there wasn’t really a dedicated place for anything, the piles grew until one or other of us got so sick of them that we did a massive cleanup and a throw out every couple of months.

I can’t honestly remember how it happened or why, but sometime in January, my husband and I made a decision to try to tame the mess. We took a good look at what was getting piled up on the kitchen bench and what was taking up space. By moving a couple of items into cupboards, creating vertical files on the wall for the paperwork and shifting a bookcase across the room to pick up some of the rest of the items, we were able to solve the problem of the kitchen bench pile.

We then spent two months successfully keeping the area tidy and pile-free. I know! Us!

It wasn’t creative work, but the effect it had on our head space was nothing short of a creative miracle. Once we were mess-free, it was as if our minds were opened up to see what could be done in the room. The lack of clutter made a path for creativity. We painted a wall, recovered chairs and hung some new art on the wall. Before, when I walked into the room, I felt mildly anxious. Now, I feel like I’m getting a hug from my home.

The work itself wasn’t fun or invigorating, but it has made us more creative and very energised to get more out of space and really enjoy our surroundings.

If you’re decluttering this month and all you can see is the drudgery of the work, think about the possibilities that will open up to you once you’re free of the anxiety-causing mess that is taking up space in your brain.

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