“Clutter is symptomatic of delayed decision making.”
― Cynthia Kyriazis

We are making things harder for ourselves and we don’t even know it. What if the simple act of cleaning out our closets, ridding our pantries of year old tuna and finally doing away with that “sentimental” clay panda Aunt Linda gave you in 10th grade could lead to a fitter and healthier you?

A study in the Journal of Psychological Science found that people who worked in a neat space for 10 minutes were twice as likely to choose an apple over a chocolate bar than those who worked in a messy office for the same amount of time.

The National Health and Nutrition Examination Study found that convenience was the number one reason why middle-class Americans are the most obese people on the planet. Being exhausted and overwhelmed leads people to just “wing”their lives, leaving things like food choices to chance.

Why are we exhausted and overwhelmed? There are significant arguments to suggest that we have created a hot bed of confusion and black hole of time-wasting right in our own homes.

Did you know that Americans spend nine MILLION hours a day looking for misplaced items?

Did you know that decision fatigue leads to more reportings of exhaustion than major life changes do?

How many times have you purchased the same thing multiple times because you forgot you misplaced the item you bought a week ago? How many times have you clawed through your closet looking for clothes that ACTUALLY fit you? How many times have you opened your fridge wondering what to eat because there are too many options?

We are constantly overwhelmed by clutter, creating too many options for ourselves and not being focused.
This decision and sensory exhaustion leads us to rely on convenience to feed us — we head to the work cafeteria instead of bringing a lunch, we do the drive-thru for dinner, eat the free pizza at a conference…

…and…

…20lbs later…

All our hard work in the gym statistically degrades when we enter our cluttered home, office or car. We are prone to make unhealthy choices, we aren’t set up for success.

What do we need to do?

Let it go.

The clutter I mean. Well, probably much more than that, but the clutter is a good place to start.

Why do we hang on to clothes we don’t wear anymore? Why do we need a pantry FULL of canned goods as if it’s 1999? Why do we keep nic-nacs, old blankets with stains, DVDs, VCRs and other vintage, unusable relics from the 90s?

Fear.

Psychology Today reported that the two reasons we hold on to things we don’t use or need are:
1 — fear of deprivation
2 — fear of regret

We live in a world where abundance is at our fingertips, yet we have this deep fear that we could lose it all in a heartbeat or that the Zombie Apocalypse is really only days away. We also feel guilty. We feel selfish throwing out the kindergarten drawing our kids made even though the real live grown-up person is in front of us!

The feeling in our hearts is what matters. A nic-nac or old picture doesn’t prove your love for someone. Having enough health and space in your environment and mind matters much more.

The only way to combat fear is to face it.

Join the minimalism movement. Whatever day of the month you are reading this, challenge yourself to get rid of just as much stuff as the number on the calendar.

Today is the 10th of the month, so I will find 10 things to throw out, donate or sell. Tomorrow, it’s 11 items.

Start small — → Did anyone say old stale pasta and a broken hairbrush?

As time progresses, you’ll have to make harder decisions, but face the fear and just do it.

At the gym we are doing 20 Days of Clean for the rest of the month. Join us or create your own challenge! Make space for a clear mind and a healthy body.

You work too hard to let stuff get in the way of your best self. Surround yourself with open space and focus in on a few options, not many.

Only shop for what groceries you need for the next few days. Have 2 pairs of jeans, not 20. Throw out the oversized Christmas mug your secret santa bought you 5 years ago. Throw out socks with holes in them!

Move on with your life and surround yourself with intention.

Want inspiration and information on living a minimalist life?

Watch the minimalist documentary here (Netflix).
Listen to this awesome podcast with Lewis Howes on the Minimalists (Josh Milburn).

Don’t become a statistic.

Use science to benefit you. A healthier, happier you will exist in a clutter-free life.

Now, don’t delay that decision-making - get purging!