Mindfulness and clutter

1 Oct 2019

You've probably heard about mindfulness. But what is it and why is everyone talking about it? Also, what does it have to do with emotional and psychological clutter?

Bec and Tara chat about mindfulness - what it is, what the benefits are, and how you might include it in your life.

Show Notes:

What mindfulness is:
Mindfulness means maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment. When we practice mindfulness, our thoughts tune into what we're sensing in the present moment rather than rehashing the past or imagining the future.

Benefits of Mindfulness in general:

Reduction in Anxiety: 2013 Massachusetts General Hospital study

Another study (UC Davis) found that focusing on the present through the practice of mindfulness can reduce levels of cortisol, the stress hormone.

May help to prevent and cure depression: Study by American Psychological Association

Improves focus: Harvard study

Get better sleep: JIM research

Manage chronic pain: Mayo clinic study

Increase brain grey matter: Psychiatry research

Increase Body Satisfaction: Study by Albertson, E.R., Neff, K.D. & Dill-Shackleford, K.E.

Reduces racial bias: Central Michigan University

How can it help with clutter?

Decrease anxiety:

If you’re feeling less anxious or less stressed, you’ll cope with making the decisions necessary to physically part with belongings

If you’re feeling less anxious, you can expect to engage less in avoidance strategies like finding something else to do instead of the job you know you need to do

Increased focus:

Less likely to abandon things before they are finished

More likely to remember what you are doing and therefore not lose things as much

More likely to finish a section of decluttering or organising all the way

Better sleep

When you’ve slept well, you’re more tolerant of stress overall, and cognition is improved.

Reducing negative feelings

It may help us when decluttering because we might tend less towards catastrophizing and therefore make more balanced decisions

Our “what’s the worst that could happen” scenarios we run through might be more realistic


Less decision-making anxiety


Day to day clutter often exists because we work on auto-pilot. If we’ve practiced mindfulness our focus will improve and we may be better at finishing because we spend less time in autopilot

How to practice it:


Mindfulness is a state, meditation is the state of actively practicing mindfulness, sort of like training.

When you meditate, the thoughts will come in, they always do. The key isn’t to stop thoughts coming in, but to acknowledge those thoughts without judgement, and move on.

“Crappy to Happy” podcast that explains mediation in a way that makes it really accessible to everyday people.

Kikki K Mindfulness Journal

Includes tips on everyday mindfulness Including:

S - Stop

T - Take a breath

O - Open and Observe

P - Proceed mindfully

Use this acronym as a tool to remind you to stop and refocus - Pop it on a post-it on your desk or laptop/ front of diary etc

Other links:

What happens to your mind when you meditate

Hidden Brain Podcast episode on arthroscopies and placebos

Research on knee arthroscopy

Reference links