How Cluttered Thoughts Lead To A Cluttered Environment

Do you ever wonder why clutter keeps creeping into your life? What if I told you it starts in your mind? It does. Our cluttered thoughts lead to our physical clutter.

Cluttered thoughts: Photo of a single large rock in a barren desert.

People often think of minimalism as “living small.” But that’s actually not true. Minimalism as art, music, and sculpture often lends itself to huge works. But the works are simple, using limited style, color, and melodic structure. 

Minimalism As Lifestyle Isn’t Small, It’s Big

Here’s where we get in trouble with clutter. We think of minimalism as getting rid of things. We think of minimalism as downsizing. But when we get caught up with those ideas, we get consumed with details; with little things. We wind up with cluttered thoughts.

You can’t eliminate clutter if your mind is the source of that clutter. It’s a little bit like the alcoholic or drug addict that focuses so hard on quitting that they tempt themselves right back into using. 

Cluttered Thoughts Are The Problem

Rather than constantly thinking about the little things like:

  • How many dishes should I own?
  • What size house should I live in?
  • How many pair of pants should I have?
  • How many hours should I spend on social media?

Perhaps we need to focus on minimalism from the broad scope. Rather than always thinking about what to get rid of, start by asking yourself what you really need. A minimalist piece of art might be huge but it also might only use two or three colors. The artist decided that’s all it really needed. 

You could be a minimalist and own 20 sets of clothing if those clothes are all one simple style and color. You can be a minimalist home owner and own a 3500-square-foot home if the structure and decor are very sparse and simple.

The key is not in focusing your thoughts on what you own or don’t own, but rather on an overarching simplicity in style. The key isn’t in always thinking about minimalism, but rather in emptying our minds of excess. 

Our Thoughts Create Our Surroundings

We don’t buy things without thinking. It’s our overactive minds that lead us to buying more. It’s our inability to slow down and be one with silence that keeps us busy all the time. Our cluttered homes and cluttered schedules are born of our cluttered thoughts. 

Therefore, the first and greatest step in living simple is to clear your mind. Learn to be at peace without overthinking, without being constantly stimulated. It’s only then that you’ll learn the true path to minimalism.

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2 Comments

  1. This is why I like to refer to myself as a ‘simplifist’ and not a minimalist. I am not focused on minimizing anything. I try to stay focused on maximizing my space, maximizing my time, maximizing my freedom.
    The ~things~ I want more of are space to be, and breathe.
    If that results in fewer possessions, that’s good.
    If that results in fewer bills, that’s awesome!
    I am trying to simplify my life, simplify my space, simplify my thoughts and actions, and take the time to listen to what I am saying to myself, and how I respond to the rest of the universe.
    Thank you for writing what you write. Thank you for sharing what you share.

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