How Clutter Zaps Your Energy

I’ve been thinking about clutter and energy lately, and how the two are so closely linked. When my house is cluttered and dirty, I feel drained. If you’re finding yourself constantly low on energy, take a look at your surroundings. Is your home or workspace cluttered or dirty? Is your to-do list a mile long? Is your brain on constant overload? Answers to those questions could be hints pointing to potential energy zappers.

Physical Clutter

A house full of excess stuff can be depressing and energy draining. Few things zap my energy as much as clutter. I can literally feel the energy seep out of me when I’m standing in a packed room. Psychologically, a room full of stuff has less room for people, so you may feel crowded and out of place. Your eyes are constantly scanning the room, trying to put the pieces in place, and with little space for your eyes to rest, the scene can exhaust you. Seeing all that stuff reminds you of all the tasks you “should” be doing – sorting, organizing, dealing with all that stuff. Not only does the clutter deplete your energy, it consumes precious time. People who live with clutter spend time each day looking for lost items such as keys, shoes, wallets, important papers. Even when the item is right where it’s supposed to be, it can be visually lost in a sea of other things.

Clearing away the clutter brings immediate visual peace to a space, and that by itself can give you an energy boost. Keep a donation or get-rid-of box in a spare room or by the door, and get in the habit of dropping in items you run across that you’re not using or you don’t like. Fill up those trash cans and recycle bins. Find places for items you use and love to “live” so you always know where to look for them. No one expects your home to be clutter-free all the time, but you do need to be able to find what you need when you need it.

Dirty Surroundings

Much like physical clutter, being in a dirty room can drain your energy and put you on edge. A sink full of dirty dishes reminds you that you should wash them. A pile of dirty laundry reminds you that there’s washing, drying, folding and putting away that needs to be done. Every room carries those visual reminders of all the cleaning chores that need to be done, and it’s grueling just thinking about it. Having guests over becomes exhausting – you don’t want anyone to see your home dirty or cluttered, so you spend hours cleaning and stashing stuff before you allow friends or family to come visit. If it’s too dirty, you may be so tired just thinking about the cleaning that you decide it’s not worth the energy to have people over.

Nothing energizes me quite like a clean house. If the grunge in your home is getting to you, take a day or a weekend to really deep clean your home, then develop a clean-as-you-go mentality. Get in the habit of washing dishes right away, putting dirty clothes in the hamper and running laundry regularly, vacuuming and sweeping frequently, cleaning up food spills or dirt as they happen. Once your home is clean, maintaining it takes minimal effort.

Mental Clutter

Tasks that are undone can drain your energy just as much as physical clutter can. When you have to-do’s and tasks that are unfinished, they continually distract you, often sapping more energy than it would take to finish the tasks in the first place. Procrastinating consumes so much energy because not only is your brain worrying about finishing the task, new to-do’s are piling up on top on the unfinished ones. Just thinking about how much you have to do can drain you.

While having a packed schedule may seem the norm these days, the energy drain is just too much to pay. Go over your to-do list and calendar and see which tasks and commitments can be delegated or dropped altogether. Try these tips for keeping a simplified to-do list. Learn to say no to tasks that aren’t vitally important and that don’t bring you joy, and protect your time like the precious resource it is.

DIY Luxurious Spa Products for Valentine’s Day

photo by The Exo Guy/Flickr

Looking for a luxurious gift for Valentine’s Day? Homemade oils, creams and other products can be just as decadent and fragrant as anything you can buy at the store. They’re simple to make, can save you a ton of money, and are much more natural and often healthier for you than conventional products. Most beauty and personal care products contain phthalates, formaldehyde, parabens or other chemicals that have been linked to reproductive, neurological and endocrine problems. Not exactly beautiful, huh? Here are a few of my favorite DIY spa recipes using dōTERRA essential oils. Packaged in lovely reusable bottles, these make decadent gifts for anyone you want to indulge.

Brown Sugar Scrub

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fractionated coconut oil, sweet almond oil OR olive oil
  • 3-5 drops of your favorite dōTERRA essential oil — I like lavender or wild orange for this recipe

Mix well and store in a waterproof container. To use, mix with a little water and massage gently on skin, then rinse well. Follow with your favorite moisturizer.

Relaxing Linen Spray

  • 8 oz bottle with sprayer (I prefer a dark glass bottle)
  • 1 tbsp vodka (cheap is good)
  • Distilled water to fill
  • 20 drops dōTERRA rosemary essential oil
  • 30 drops dōTERRA lavender essential oil

Mix together and store in a cool dark place. To use, shake gently and spritz on pillows, bedding or towels. I keep one on my nightstand, and I take some whenever I travel to freshen hotel rooms.

Solid Perfume

  • 2 tablespoons beeswax
  • 2 tablespoons fractionated coconut oil
  • 20 drops of your favorite dōTERRA essential oil or blend

Add beeswax and coconut oil to glass jar and place in saucepan with 1-1.5 inches of boiling water. Stir ingredients until combined (around 5-10 minutes). Once melted, remove from heat and let rest for 3 minutes. Add essential oil and stir. Pour into container and let cool completely. I like to reuse small metal containers like mini Altoid tins. To use, apply small amount to skin.

Bubble Bath

  • 1 cup unscented castile soap
  • 1/2 cup vegetable glycerin
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 15 drops of your favorite dōTERRA essential oil or blend

Combine in a glass container and stir gently. To use, add 1/4-1/2 cup of bubble bath mixture to warm, running bath water. Note: These bubbles are not going to provide big fluffy bubbles that last a long time since the mixture doesn’t contain the synthetic ingredients that make them. However, this chemical-free bath will provide enough bubbles for a relaxing and therapeutic bath you will enjoy.

Do you have a favorite homemade spa concoction you’d like to share? A favorite beauty secret or personal care product you like to make? What DIY products are you experimenting with?

For more recipes, check out the dōTERRA blog. *These statements have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. dōTERRA products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. Pregnant or lactating women and persons with known medical conditions should consult a physician prior to the use of any dōTERRA product.