Messy Room, Messy Head

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Have you ever had a room so messy you dread cleaning it? The pile of mess is so tall that the thought of having to sift through it is daunting. You’d rather close the door pretending it doesn’t exist. We’ve all been there. At some point, like it or not, the room needs to be cleaned.

Our heads can get like that too. Sometimes we’re filled with so many must-dos that we’re overwhelmed and crunched for time, maybe even resources. We stress even more over the notion that we need to do something to destress, that we stress more! It’s exhausting!

Just like we need to eventually clean out that messy room, we need to clean out that messy head. It doesn’t have to be hard. Here’s some tips that work for both.

Clear the Area

Room: Start on the messy room by clearing off the bed. Dump it all on the floor! Then, once your bed is cleaned off, make it. A clean, made bed is a sign of accomplishment, a restful sight, and – more importantly – a clear workspace for the rest of the room!

Head: Start in your mind by going somewhere quiet and be alone for a moment. Your deck, bedroom, back yard, personal office, or even your car. Take a notepad and pen with you for later. Just be alone with no distractions. Image a table in your head and sweep your arm right across it to clear your head. Breathe. Breathe again. When you’re calm, your head is ready.

Dump the Trash

Room: Grab a bag and start picking up all the trash you can find. Maybe play some music to get yourself moving. See how much you can collect in a short period of time. Don’t worry about crumbs; you will clean later. Just grab the trash and anything you need to toss.

Head: Jot down your biggest worries. Just put them on paper. This is NOT a to-do list. This is a worry list. Now, next to each one, write down what counters this worry. For example, “I’m late on the electric bill, but there’s a grace period.” Or, “I don’t know how I’m going to make dinner tonight, but there’s frozen pizza if I run out of time.” Even this, “My manager doesn’t understand me, but my supervisor has my back.” Every time you counter a worry, cross it out. It feels so good, doesn’t it?

Put Things Away

Room: Anything that’s clean and can be put away, put away. If it goes in a different room, use the now-clean-and-available surface of the bed to sort this! When this step is done, take those items in their organized clusters and make trips to the other rooms in which they belong. (This is also where you would make a give-away pile.)

Head: Start listing all your to-dos in as much a prioritized order as you can. It’s okay to be out of order now, but try to keep the most important at the top. Maybe even put a due date on some items. This is like a brain dump.

Tidy Up

Room: It’s time for the finish work! Set things how they should be (tipped over items, open drawers, pens in their holders, etc.). Vacuum or dust if needed. The majority of the cleaning is done so you just need to tidy up a bit to finish it off!

Head: Highlight or relist your top three to five items that must be done this week or today. Do not go over five items. Keep it super simple and prioritized. If there’s not three for the day, make the list for the week. You will stay focused and on track to feeling successful! Cross off what gets done as it’s done. It feels amazing to cross things off your list!