How to step out of the go-go-go lifestyle and have fun while doing it.

  • The average 10-year-old owns 238 toys but plays with just 12 daily (The Telegraph).  
  • We spend 10 minutes every day looking for lost items (phones, keys, documents, and glasses top the list). On average we lose up to 9 items every day (The Daily Mail)

Stuff. Its everywhere. Many of us are stuck in the consumer focused mentality. We don't  realize the deep impact this STUFF has on our lives.

If you have you ever felt that your life is stuck in go-go-go mode, then this post is for you.   

Hint: It's easy and its fun ...stay tuned for the fun challenge at the end of this post

For many of us life has become one priority after another, kids' schedules, stress at work, chores and responsibilities, and not to mention the overload from social media. 

We seem to be stuck in this endless cycle 

rush --> overwhelm --> stress --> clutter/chaos --> too much (stuff/to do/catchup) --> rush
We slip into this cycle one way or another and can't seem to catch our breath long enough to figure our way out. 

Hang in there, there is hope.
It helps to understand the why we need to come out of this cycle. 

Next, we need to find a fun way out.  Everyone knows that fear and statistics fail time and again to motivate us to change. Its usually the fun factor that gets us moving. So here goes.

First: the effect this stuff has on us

"There are many types of body maps. In western medicine, anatomy maps the muscular system, and brain maps identify how every function is connected to its own region of activity. Yet in Chinese medicine the nervous system is mapped using meridians tracking the flow of our Chi or energy." 
Deepak Chopra. M. D. 

Just as the human body has energy channels or body meridians, a physical structure has energy channels or meridians. These meridians (both in the body as well as the structure) carry life energy through the body or building.

Now the statement, your house is a reflection of you, takes on a much deeper meaning.

When there are blocks in your physical body meridians they will "show up" or reflect in the corresponding meridian on your structure. And the reverse is also true, blocks on the meridians of the building (your home/office) will show up in your body.

In the body it manifests as stress, blood pressure, various ailments and disease. In a structure it manifests as clutter, too much stuff, broken appliances, blown light bulbs, leaks in the basement, broken roof etc. You get the point. 

Lets make this more concrete...
  • too much clutter, or broken things in the South West (SW) part of your home, maps or converts into back/spinal pain and problems. You may also notice problems or blocks in your career
  • blocks in the North West (NW) will translate into your ability to make clear decisions. It will also affect the relationships.  
  • South East (SE) clutter will affect your passion and your digestive system
  • Blocks in North East (NE) lead to fertility problems

As you can see there is a one to one strong correspondence between the body and the house. 

Now here is the interesting part...
If you make a change in yourself, it will show up in the house. The reverse (which is usually easier to do) is also true.  if you make a change to your environment/structure it will most certainly show up in your body and living experience. 

Next, The How
Do you ever feel like you want to clear out and organize, but simply don't have the time?

Having struggled with the go-go-go lifestyle we have tried several, and I mean several ways to get a grip on things. None of them seemed to work. Until we figured out that it needs to be fun and  involve even the kids. 

Here are three of our favorite resources

1. 10 creative ways to declutter your home.  Joshua Becker, on his blog, becoming minimalist, shares his collection of fun and creative ways to clean up.

2. How to help your kids get rid of stuff. How do you recognize a house with kids? By all the stuff. Carey Wallace, TIME magazine,  has a helpful article for those of us with kids.
 3. Marie Kondo, KonMari Method. If you are up for the challenge of taking your life in full control, and de-cluttering once and for all, check out Marie Kondo,  New York Times #1 best selling author share her KonMari method
Japanese Consultant Marie Kondo, shares the KonMari method in her Google talk below.  (head ups this is a long video about 42 minutes)

Now here is the fun challenge

Step 1: Make a note of your stress level on a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being the most stressed)

Step 2: Pick 1 creative way from Joshua's List. 
Whether you have 5 minutes or 15, you are sure to find one that clicks with you. Feel free to add your own variations.

Our Favorite - the 12-12-12 Challenge had all of us (kids included) laughing, playing and  racing to win. We made it a fun  game. On a chalk board we listed each player's name and 12 blank spots. Each member had to put back/clean up 12 items (the two year old included). The fun prize at the end, the one who did their 12 the fastest got a special treat. 

In less than 20 minutes the whole house was in order (kids laundry included) and we all had such a fun time doing it that the kids have declared Wednesday's the 12-12-12 game day!

Step 3: A day after the de-cluttering, measure your stress level. 

As for us, with 20 minutes at the 12-12-12 challenge, our stress dropped from about a 9 down to about a 3

Let us know how you did in the comments below! What was your fun or creative way to de-clutter? Did you notice a shift in your stress level?


Preeti Raju said...

Definitely trying the 12-12-12 and the 4 Box method! Thanks for the comprehensive post!

Monica Verma said...

Way to go Preeti!

Our kids have been asking to play the 12-12-12 everyday. Plan to do it weekly so they look forward to it instead of getting bored of it :)

Thanks for sharing!