The correlation between Menopause (peri-menopause) and clutter.

Everyone’s experience of Menopause will of course be different.

But if you’re suffering from lack of energy, finding it hard to concentrate, struggling with hot sweats and feeling anxious; then probably the last thing you want to be doing is stress yourself out more with trying to battle a cluttered space. However, it is amazing how big the impact of a cluttered or disorganised space can have on how we feel.

I watched a keynote at APDO 2022 Conference with Menopause and Mindfulness Expert Clarissa Kristjansson, who said there was a stat that 40% of doctors have no training on Menopause and those that do equate to only a couple of hours! Crazy! It’s imperative that you do your own research regarding Menopause and Peri-Menopause, but to also understand that help is available. Clarissa has a podcast “Thriving Thru Menopause”, which I highly recommend! You can listen here. Additionally, you can find more information on British Menopause Society.

My advice for dealing with clutter whilst having menopause:

Don’t throw everything away!

Decluttering and organising is something that helps (anyone actually), but specifically those going through menopause. However, the peri menopause can on occasion make those going through it feel like they just want to get rid of everything on a whim, which isn’t always the best idea. It’s important to understand why they’re feeling like this and that creating calm and uncluttered spaces around them is important, but it needs to be done in a way that will benefit them going forward and they will not look back in remorse. What can be helpful to do (if you have the space), is store a box for the items that are you are planning to get rid of. If within a month you haven’t needed or wanted them and still want to get rid of them all, then do so.

Take a deep breath, pause.

Looking at how our emotions can be tied into irrational thoughts – getting rid of our belongings can sometimes cause a feeling of grief later down the line. It’s important to see the correlation between letting go of those items that no longer serve us and our emotions, that may be short-lived. Practising mindfulness and using meditation can be such a powerful tool to practice (or start if you don’t already). It can help you make rational decisions, based on whether you’re wanting to get rid of an item in haste or whether it might actually be useful or sentimental. Give yourself time and space to reflect by journaling on what you would like to get rid of and the reasons why. It can also be good to connect with a life coach who can help you through this transitional time. Having a good self-care routine can really help us when battling with brain fog and it can be better to take a time out, than just taking lots of action. You could start by finding a local yoga teacher who specialises in menopause.

Tackle one area at a time.

It can be quite overwhelming when you look at a space as a whole. Rather than trying to tackle it all in one go and getting stressed or failing, because you’ve lost the will to live; it’s much better to take one section at a time. That’s why it can also be really helpful to work with a professional organiser and de-clutterer who understands menopause and can also work at your pace.

Create space.

But there are so many benefits to cracking on with a space. There are so many important studies that tell us the power of creating calm in our homes and decluttering spaces and surfaces. We know the benefits to our mental health by living in clean and tidy homes: we feel so much more physically and mentally lighter and happier once we’ve cleared a space. This can be the time to get excited about the prospect of living a clearer and more organised life. Even giving space for new styles and decorating to give new life to your space, whilst you enter this new time in your life. Giving you chance to experience greater confidence and freedom!

Example.

I had a client who was really struggling with menopause physically and mentally. She had recently downsized and felt overwhelmed by the transition happening in her life, but also by the number of belongings she had accumulated in her home, with nowhere to store the majority of them. During our initial consultation, she expressed how half of her didn’t want to bother even starting/and the other half wanted to just throw it all away. So we made a plan for her to create a clear calm space in one of the rooms, so she could take just one box of items at a time to go through. Usually with my clients we will have boxes for bin, keep, sell and charity. With this particular client we decided to keep the sell and charity boxes to begin with, so we could go over the items again at a later date.

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