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Employee Engagement Effects

De-stress By Decluttering

I’ve just had a brilliant idea – instead of reducing clutter (taking hours of spring cleaning), say no to ‘stuff’ before it becomes clutter. Clutter breeds more clutter, so de-stress by decluttering. 

This message support’s both the global warming movement and reducing the  ‘stress’ we experience as a direct result of having too much clutter in our lives. According to the Australia Institute research “Stuff Happens”, 88% of Australians have at least one room full of trash stashed, and it is making us stressed just thinking about it.

Somehow the RedBalloon ‘funky’ office space has turned into a storage house. What once looked like productive chaos now seems like we are bursting at the seams and cannot cope. This weekend we are about to have a massive spring clean.

And his is bothering more than just me, apparently: 84% of people feel stressed by the clutter in their lives.

I’m in the fortunate position of having a fellow RedBallooner who is a professionally trained organiser (and she sits across from me). At first, I found this rather daunting – like having a personified conscience – until I realised that she was not judging everything that I brought to my desk – in fact she was looking for ways to support me in this never ending habit.

She advised me: Never deal with something twice (or more than that) – and when you bring something into your environment determine its purpose. Have three piles

Start by having three piles:

  1. Action now (use it or file it in its permanent place)
  2. Action by end of month
  3. Action never (so bin now)

On point 2 – ‘Action by end of month’ – if you haven’t used it by the end of the month then process the pile straight to option three (the bin).

It simply is a waste of mental energy which has the opportunity cost of not allowing me to focus on the bigger game – the plan and delivering on the strategy.

So exactly which pile do I put the ‘Jumbo collapsible toy horn’ in? It seemed funny at the time. But it’s just a piece of plastic that now clutters my desk. Note to self ‘deal with it – and fast’ and  ‘keep clutter out’ – I’m sure my campaign will catch on.

Note to self: ‘deal with it – and fast’, and ‘keep clutter out’. I’m sure my campaign will catch on. For more steps on decluttering, see here.

Reader Interactions


  1. I agree with you completely, after seeing some places you realise how cluttered yours in get stressed when you are expecting people round!

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