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Having Trouble Remembering Things? It’s Time to Declutter

When was the last time you forgot something important?

And not just your wallet, I’m talking about forgetting your responsibilities or forgetting an idea. All of those brilliant ideas you have exploding in your brain. You think, “Oh, that is good. I’m going to do that as soon as…” as soon as you get home, or as soon as you wake up, or as soon as you get. that. coffee!

One thing nearly all of our clients complain about is not being able to remember things. They feel absent-minded when they’re at home and lose their train of thought easily because they are overwhelmed with tasks. They have piles of stuff staring at them, reminding them of all the things they need to get done.

This feeling of overwhelm is especially true for people whose homes are filled with wall to wall stuff. It seems like the more stuff we have, the less we can remember. 

How much is too much?

But, how do you know if you have too much clutter? People have different clutter tolerance levels. I would argue when you feel perpetually annoyed by your clutter, you have too much.

If you are ashamed of your home, avoid going home, or feel stressed at home, these are signs your clutter is problematic.

Forgetfulness and clutter

What about clutter’s effect on our ability to remember things? People with more stuff have to remember where more things are. They may also feel greater pressure from the upkeep of all of their belongings. They are putting a strain on their brain that is so great, no human could accomplish it. It’s not that their memory is failing. Their expectations are way too high.

In other words, the more things you own, the more things own you.

Are you doing this to yourself without realizing it? Are you expecting yourself to remember way too much simply by holding on to too many possessions?

Getting rid of clutter vs. Writing things down

Sure, it’s a great idea to go through every drawer and closet to get rid of superfluous stuff. But not everyone is in a great emotional state to make that happen. You may be struggling with depression, another mental health issue, or with overwhelm right now.

If the idea of decluttering your home feels impossible to you at this time, there are other things you can do to give your memory a break. My favorite easy solution is to use a list. When you think of an idea, write it down on your To Do list. When you put your thoughts and ideas in writing (or a sketch) you free your brain up to be in the moment. Even if the idea is something as simple as “I must remember to put that folder in the car tomorrow.”

Do yourself a favor. Write down “folder to the car” somewhere you’ll see it.

It may seem trivial to write such a mundane thing on a list. But getting the chore out of your brain and onto some paper will help you relax a tiny bit more. It takes pressure off of your brain which seems like a great idea to me!

I’ll give you a whole diatribe about making To Do lists someday. But for now I’m merely asking you to give your mind a break.

Another good trick, take a picture with your phone, email it to yourself using reminder
words in the email’s title. Then, at any point in the future you can use the search function in your email and find the picture, find the idea, the inspiration.

In the mean time, don’t be hard on yourself by trying to keep everything in your head. Write your ideas and reminders down on paper so you can stop and smell the espresso. 

Benefits of Decluttering

Here’s a succint list from Zen Lemons’ article “Conquering Clutter: Enhance Productivity and Mental Health” of the benefits of getting organized and decluttering.

  • Mental Health Boost: Research shows that clutter can increase stress and anxiety levels, so removing clutter helps to alleviate these negative emotions.
  • Better Focus: A clutter-free environment allows you to concentrate better on important tasks, leading to improved productivity and efficiency (source).
  • Inspiration & Creativity: With fewer visual distractions, your mind can explore new ideas – hello, creativity!
  • Sense of Accomplishment: Successfully decluttering gives you a sense of achievement, which in turn boosts self-esteem and confidence.
  • Easier Decision-Making: When faced with fewer choices (think wardrobe or kitchen), decision-making becomes simpler and quicker – saving time and cognitive resources.

Making lists and clearing your clutter are both proven ways to stay more organized and, as a result, to feel less stressed. A boost in your ability to remember things is the extra bonus! 

Thanks for reading.


Read More About the Effects of Clutter

How to Conquer Clutter: 3 tips for reducing clutter in your house