I was in a yoga class a few months ago when the instructor gave me an amazing tip to destress. He told us all to think about where we lived. We were all pretty relaxed at this point. He then said to think about what part of where we live stresses us out the most. Immediately, the cupboard in the back room of our house came to mind. It’s the place where I shove everything that doesn’t have a home or needs fixing.

This cupboard stresses me as it is completely cluttered. It’s full of things that we probably don’t really need or need some work done but I keep it all anyway. The yoga instructor went on to explain that this one area, wherever it is where you live and however big or small it is, is something that will keep holding you back and stressing you until you deal with it.

So I got home and decided to deal with it.

Since the kids were in bed, I pulled everything out of that cupboard and for nearly an hour sorted the stuff into a few piles. The piles were things to throw out, things to recycle, things to fix (and to think through whether I REALLY was going to fix them!), things to give to charity or someone else and things to keep.

Here’s the key for this tip to work so you can destress …
  1. I put the things in the recycling pile straight into the recycling bin.
  2. I put the things for the bin straight into the bin.
  3. I put the things for charity into a garbage bag with a post-it note on it and then put it straight into the boot of my car to drop off some time that week.
  4. I had a pile of things to fix.  I challenged myself to think about whether I was actually going to fix them and although I wanted to, for most things the answer was no.  So they went into the recycling or bin.  There was 1 jacket that needed a new button and I left that out to deal with that week.
  5. I had a small pile of things to give to other people. I put these on the bench to action soon (and yes, some took a few weeks to do and some made it back into the cupboard to deal with later!).
  6. I then only had a small pile of things that I actually wanted to keep. So these went back into that same cupboard, in a more orderly way.
This sounds like a really simple tip to destress but it actually lifted a huge weight off my shoulders.

That area of my house made me think that I was so disorganised and not in control. This feeling completely changed after that hour. I felt so much more organised.

So if I were to ask you the same question, of what area where you live stresses you out the most, what would it be? Think through when you can schedule in an hour where you can have an “hour of power” to go through and declutter it. I strongly recommend doing this when the kids are in bed so they don’t see what you’re throwing out!

You’ll have no idea how good you will feel after.
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