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Undo the Clutter: Lifestyle Practice

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Clutter. It’s everywhere. Maybe it’s in your room, or your closets, your desk, your garage, your inbox, your to-do lists, your unreturned voicemail. There are aspects of our lives that accumulate incompleteness simply as a result of inattention. They suffer from a lack of any kind of order. But it’s not really them that suffer. It’s you.

Having things be incomplete or cluttered is a weight to carry. It causes worry. It causes stress. You’ll actually spend a part of your daily energy just thinking about – what to do about it, what’s wrong with you that it’s always like this, how you’ll ever discover any kind of order. It costs you valuable resource, even if it’s just in the back of your mind.

I’m not talking about neatness. Lots of people can be messy and have things completely in order. I’m talking about attending to what needs completing, regardless of your personal style.

Just because you’re not dealing with it does not mean you’re saving time. Taking the time to get things straightened out will give you freedom to spend your time and mental energy elsewhere. You’ll have all that energy you’ve wasted worrying about it.

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Your Practice Is to Undo the Clutter

What does that mean? Every day of this week, you will earn your points for actively remove clutter from your life and from your spaces:

  • You can take one project, like cleaning the garage, and attack a part of it each day
  • You can pick something new each day. Desk, kitchen drawers, bathroom cabinet.
  • Don’t forget, it does not have to be a physical space like your desk or your garage. It can be your email inbox, or your to-do list. Go at clutter in your life wherever it lives
  • It does not have to be “big” to get credit every day. A clean desk might be a small job with a huge impact.


Photo Credit: “i love clutter” by Karl Sinfield – Flickr. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

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Michael Stanwyck
Michael Stanwyck is the co-founder of The Whole Life Challenge, an idea that developed during his seven years as a coach and gym manager at CrossFit Los Angeles.

He graduated from UCLA with a BA in philosophy as well as a degree from the Southern California School of Culinary Arts, and feels food is one of the most important parts of a life - it can nourish, heal, and bring people together.

Michael believes health and well-being are as much a state of mind as they are a state of the body, and when it comes to fitness, food, and life in general, he thinks slow is much better than fast (most of the time). Stopping regularly to examine things is the surest way to put down roots and grow.

He knows he will never be done with his own work, and believes the best thing you can do for your well-being starts with loving and working from what you’ve got right now.