The things that lead to stress in your life can be wide ranging and often vary as much as individuals vary. The one stressor that seems to be a common denominator in many lives is clutter and the chaos it causes.

Clutter, when it is everywhere in your home or office, prevents the home from being a safe haven from the outside world for the family, the bedroom from being a sanctuary dedicated to rest and regeneration and you from being focused and productive in the office. Clutter, whether in the form of stacks of magazines, tons of paper and piles of clothes or books, boxes and “stuff” everywhere, creates chaos which leads to stress.

The stress comes from being overwhelmed by just looking at all the clutter and resulting chaos while finding no place of calm or somewhere to rest and regenerate. There are so many things to do all over the place that nothing gets done, leading to further chaos and stress. Clutter in the bedroom leads to restlessness and incomplete sleep which contributes to intensifying already existing stress. Clutter in the office is a distraction and drains effectiveness and efficiency.

Clutter is an energy drainer and stands in the way of success. It is also disruptive and stands in the way of focusing and productivity. De-cluttering and eliminating chaos leads to reduced stress because your personal energy goes up so you can focus better, improve productivity and be more successful.

Unclutter by Categories

Clutter often comes in at least three categories, Visual, Audio Visual and Audio. Your imagination may immediately jump to all the stacks of stuff in your home or office (Visual) but, as you will see below, there are other subtle ways clutter creeps into your world and has major impact on you and your ability to remain calm and in-control.

The answer to de-stressing and feeling calmer is to eliminate the chaos by uncluttering your surroundings.


• First, start in your bedroom so your body can get much needed restful and regenerating sleep. Take everything out from under your bed so fresh nurturing energy can flow completely around your body. Use three boxes named KEEP, TOSS and DONATE to sort the clutter. Put away into their proper place the things that went into the KEEP box as soon as you have cleared an area. Get rid of those in the TOSS box, and those in the DONATE box give to your local church or charity. Move on to all areas of your bedroom, closet and personal bathroom one section at a time until they are clutter and stress free.

• Next, move into the kitchen and follow the same process. The kitchen is almost as important as the bedroom for eliminating clutter and de-stressing because it is used for physically nourishing your body. If it is cluttered it is filled with chaos causing stress, which can lead to all types of nervousness and digestion issues. Use the same boxes and get rid of anything that is broken, chipped or rusted and anything you haven’t used for at least two years. Make sure the kitchen counters are almost empty so you have the feeling of calm when you step into your kitchen rather than chaos by not being able to find enough room to set even a glass on the counter.

• Move on one room at a time through your house, including your garage and attic, until you are clutter and stress free. Clearing out clutter is an un-ending process so if you deal with a little stack or pile every day you will keep it clutter free and the chaos and stress under control. Or, unclutter one room every month making the project much smaller so you can be more efficient and experience less stress.


• Eliminate negative energy stress causing clutter by limiting the amount of time you listen to the radio or watch the evening news. It is always filled with doom and gloom. If you view such messages day after day that same doom and gloom will poison your personal energy making you feel depressed, discouraged and disconnected. Limit such viewing to no more than one hour daily and never do it just before going to bed. Remember, your subconscious mind focuses on the last thing you saw and heard before going to sleep which further deepens the doom and gloom message.

• Limit the negative energy doom and gloom reading as well. Read those materials that are necessary and then shift to positive energy by doing light recreational reading or motivational and inspirational reading. At minimum, you need to create a balance to all the negative information but ideally, to be totally stress free you need to read a lot more positive energy books and magazines than negative energy ones.


• This form of clutter is not quite as obvious as the others. When you start thinking of audio as the voices you hear from the people you surround yourself with, you will have a whole new appreciation for audio clutter. Limit the time you spend with negative thinkers and those who buy into the doom and gloom scenario. Even though you do need a certain amount of information that comes from others in your surroundings, it will not serve you well to be constantly barraged with their negativity.

• To overcome and balance this type of negative audio energy, find a new set of people to spend time with or fill that vacated audio space with calming uplifting music energy. Use classical, new age or meditative type music to take your mind to a positive energy place that will help you overcome the stress created by such negative voices in your life.

Stress can lead to burnout very quickly and become debilitating if left unchecked. Use some of these techniques to unclutter your world and eliminate the chaos in your surroundings so you can live a calmer more peace filled life with much less stress.

© Pat Heydlauff, all rights reserved 2008

Author's Bio: 

Pat Heydlauff, president of Energy Design, uses Feng Shui design principles to eliminate chaos and stress at home and within oneself. More than a Feng Shui expert, Pat is a consultant and speaker who helps remove clutter and negativity while encouraging personal growth, improved relationships and prosperity. Her forthcoming book, "Feng Shui: So Easy a Child Can Do It” shows how small changes can lead to a big improvement in one's personal and professional success. For information on her consulting, speaking and artwork, visit: or call: 561-799-3443.