Clutter is a state of mind

I’m going to let you in on a little secret about myself; my car is a reflection of the state of my life and mind. For the past few weeks I have had a loaner vehicle while the dealer has been looking into some funny noises in my SUV. I have been extremely careful to keep this loaner vehicle clean and not unleash my usual carnage on it. I did have a few pairs of shoes to move back to my car but on the whole I kept their car in good order.

When I got back into my vehicle I was a bit overwhelmed by the stuff I have scattered about. Now, please keep in mind that I live and work out of my vehicle so there are many paint decks, usually fabric and window covering books as well as shoes — there seems to be a problem with the shoes. But as I drove home I was consumed with the urge to clean my vehicle which I am planning on doing ASAP.

Our environment is a direct result of our state of mind and the condition we keep our homes has a direct result back on our psyche. Clutter, disorganization and disrepair can have a negative emotional impact often without us realizing it. I’ve always driven my car in the state it is in but after spending a few weeks in a super clean vehicle I found going back to that chaotic environment to be disturbing. That tells me that the chaos I have been driving around in for months has had a subconscious depressing effect on me.

This makes me wonder if the reasons teenagers are so tired and depressed is the condition of their rooms. If you have a teenager you can understand; if you have a teenager with a clean room I would like to know your secret.

So, what do we do? How do we set out to improve our state of mind and our state of living? Whether it is your home, office or vehicle it is important to be organized and be cognizant of how much clutter sometimes accumulates. When we have had items for a long time we tend to overlook that they may be outdated, damaged or redundant. Take a very good look at what you currently own and make sure that it still has value and usefulness. If you have repeats of anything or haven’t used something in two years, donate it to charity or give it to someone who needs it more than you do. Try putting things away for a time and see if you miss them.

As a rule, most people’s homes are too cluttered and we tend to hold onto stuff longer than is necessary. I believe it is because after a time we no longer see the things that are in our own home, we get so used to them that they do not affect us. Bring a friend you trust or even a designer to your home to help you evaluate your interior, you will be surprised at what other people notice.

Its not that I am an advocate of throwing everything out and buying new but there is something to be gained from de-cluttering and clearing the gum wrappers out of your home — oh wait, I’m back to talking about my vehicle again.

Kim Lewis is an interior designer in Red Deer with Carpet Colour Centre. Contact her at 403-343-7711 ext 227 or email her at