Australian Natural Health

By October 17, 2012

Spring is the perfect time to transform the things that may not be working in the home. With every change that you make in the household, there is a distinct change to your mental well-being that not only promotes positive and healthy growth within the home, but in all that you set out to do.

In most homes there are places that accumulate mess, piles of paper or objects that cause clutter and chaos. This can be a reflection of an area of your mind that needs uncluttering so to speak, and can often be attributed to having a lazy mental habit in a particular area. This mess is a great reminder and prompt towards positive action and change.

For many Australians – around 1.1 million – the mess becomes much more than just a pile or two of old newspapers, bordering on the much more serious habit of hoarding. The larger the mess, the bigger the underlying issues. Dr Paul Cullen advises, “ for extreme cases, relief can be found through medication, but it needs to coincide with counselling to be of any effect in the long run. Healing the emotional difficulties and isolation caused by hoarding is really important”. Control can play a large part, and hoarding becomes the only thing that they feel they have any control over. There are areas that they feel they cannot actively participate in and therefore decision making becomes next to impossible. “Attachment to objects can cloud judgement and makes parting with them very painful and difficult”. In this way, nothing is ever decided upon, piles of paper get bigger and nothing is recycled or thrown out.

Naturopath Tammy Safi has found with many patients over the years that the long-term outcome of hoarding or leaving rooms as they are can lead to depression. “It can also bring about apathy, lethargy and loss of hygiene. Using hoarding as a means to coping with situations that are otherwise too difficult for them to deal with, even though, it can end up being messy and ridiculous. I encourage my patients to look inward as a way to begin the healing process and in clinic I use the Bach flower “walnut” to begin the first stages towards movement, to help with becoming unstuck”.

One of the best ways to work out what the underlying problem might be is to actually get physical and set upon the task of cleaning the area of the house that is crying out for attention. You will find that throughout the process, or indeed soon after, you are able to see more clearly what it is that has been holding you back and in the place of a clouded mind, there will be a clear indication of what is you need to do in order to instil change in the area that needs it.

It can feel a little overwhelming at first, but with help closer and easier to find than ever before you don’t need to do it alone.

Eco Organiser and Home Styling director Tanya Lewis works with the emphasis on responsible living and has over time developed the ten R’s. Refuse, rethink, responsible, restyle, research, reorganise, reduce, reuse, recycle and reward. “My main goal is to reduce the amount that we send to landfill, to rethink – do you need it, do you love it, how would you feel without it? And more importantly how do you dispose of a product when your finished with it? Life is too short to be looking for stuff, I believe that people shouldn’t be wasting their time looking for things when their time could be better spent on more important things” she says.

With careful consideration and planning you need never again look upon an ‘accumulated mess’ with dread, not only enabling you to spend more time with your family and friends, but with a clearer mind and a stronger sense of focus. Spring helps to prepare you for the next six months. It rejuvenates your thought process and readies you by clearing away any old habits that might have settled in over winter.

Living Room

Ideally the living room should meet the needs of all family members equally. This is a great way to check to see if your family life is in balance. Too much clutter here is suggestive of an imbalance in the amount of quality time your family shares. The room needs to be free to create an inviting atmosphere to talk and engage as a family. Keep in mind, schoolwork and other similar items should be kept to a minimum and have their allotted cubby-hole or area. This room provides the greatest benefit when it is not too cluttered with children’s toys; this in itself constructs an unhealthy balance for parents and older siblings. With winter over, couch cushions and throw rugs would have collected a lot more dust than usual in last 3 months. Giving them a good airing in the sun is akin to shaking off any remanets of old thoughts and habits linked to winter to mentally prepare you for what lays ahead.


Where the lounge can sum up the needs of the whole family, it is the Kitchen that goes one step further in the balance stakes by representing your own personal inner order. You will find that the underlying cause of clutter is attributed to poor time management. An untidy bench is showing you in more ways than one that discipline and structure is missing from your daily routine. Begin by compartmentalising everything in the cupboards; there should be nothing that is not stored correctly, from cans to open packets of pasta through to pots and pans. The cleaner the kitchen, the greater your time management skills will be in the other areas of your life.


General untidiness in the bedroom is largely linked towards personal relationships with partners. If clothes are jumbled and there appears to be no obvious division of space, you may want to look at each others personal needs and if they are being met. Are you giving each other enough space to pursue personal goals? By giving each other space in the bedroom, and by separating clothes, shoes and personal items, you are acknowledging that you respect and support their choices in their chosen career and interests. Untidy clothes indicate a need to look towards your own personal drive and commitment to projects. The underlying issue tends to be career oriented. You need to recycle or give away any clothes that you no longer wear, by holding on to them you are holding onto old thought patterns connected to your career choices. By reorganising this area you can then turn your attention towards other achievements. Order in this area shows that you have great personal strength in achieving your own set goals.


Storage areas can easily become the dumping ground for any unused or broken items around the house and can too easily equate to an unnecessary burden. It is equivalent to holding on to all the things that may have upset you in the past, things that you can’t let go of. Alleviate the unwanted stress that you probably never knew was there by making the most out of hard rubbish days. Re-organise the area by adding extra shelves and hanging things on hooks. Order here shows that you are not sweeping issues under the carpet that you are willing as an individual to deal with problems as they arise. It shows that you do not hold onto to old issues or problems, but let them go. The sense of satisfaction and mental clarity derived from spring cleaning will be reward enough. It provides you with the impetus for a new and improved way of living, because deep down you know that things can no longer go on the way that they have and you yourself are ready for a change. Spring is just the right season.

As seen in Australian Natural Health Magazine.

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