We all know that clutter can cause stress in our lives. Whether it is physical, mental, or emotional, it puts a lot of pressure on our day-to-day routines. But when challenged with developmental difficulties, the stress is multiplied. Stress is increased even further through the stress of others.
My younger sister, Karley has just this problem. She is faced with epilepsy and developmental difficulties that seem to be worsened through stress caused by clutter. She lives with my mother, who also deals regularly with clutter-induced stress. Karley is affected indirectly by my mother’s stress, which indirectly increases her stress levels.
While helping my mother in her path toward minimalism (perhaps not quite as extreme as our vision), we decided that it would be more beneficial to work in the rooms that affect Karley directly, before continuing to declutter the remainder of the house.
There were a few things we considered when sorting through her room. It was actually very simple for her, as she doesn’t often place sentimental value on things. I actually admire that quite a bit and wish I had the ability to do the same.
So we weeded through the bulk of stuff that was kept around Karley’s room for sentimental reasons. Donating that which had no meaning, and moving that which had meaning to my mother to the appropriate home. This made a huge dent in the room.
We moved on to her toys, books and movies. Here, it was obvious which things she used and brought her joy, and which things did not. The sorting began, and went very quickly. We left a few things that she does not currently use, but that we hope she takes notice to. Things that will promote advancement in motor skills and problem solving. We will watch her for the next few weeks and see what truly needs to be removed.
Her clothes have not yet been sorted through, but we do hope to reduce this area as well to help with the over-stimulation due to too many choices and clutter.
Once her room was reduced to only that which she used or brought her joy, the difference in stress could be noticed almost immediately. That being said, once she visited the more cluttered rooms in the house, the rise in stress was much more noticeable.
Hopefully, this inspires further minimalism and decluttering in the household and will allow for my mother and my sisters reduce their stress and enjoy life more.
What did you minimize this Minimalist Monday? In what areas of your life have you reduced stress? Do you have, or know someone with development difficulties or sensory processing disorders? Let’s discuss it in the comment section below.