Hi there. This is Katie from Edmond Christian Counseling and as you can see, summer one of our awesome therapist is with us and today we have a special Edmond Christian Counseling guest. This is Audra and Audra is going to be talking all about clutter and how it affects us today. So first we wanted to just start out by asking what is clutter on it? Sure, sure. And yeah, like Katie said, I’m Audra. Um, my company is pretty neat and organizational solution and I’m a professional organizer and I’m a little bit about my background first if you will. Um, I’m actually have a background in the medical field where I have worked in patients’ home environments for over 10 years. So this has shown me not only that there’s such a need, um, but also how clutter really affects us. And so getting back to your question, what is clutter?

And I love the definition that says clutter is the creep of things that go over what we can mentally or physically manage. This is usually a gradual progression and over time, and then we look up and say, where did all this stuff come from? I’m so overwhelmed and so I’d argue that, um, organizing your space and getting rid of your clutter could effectively help you mentally, spiritually, and physically. And that’s kind of what I want to talk to you about today. Yeah, that’s great. Yeah. Yeah. We’ll start us off. Tell us how it affects us physically. The sure. Absolutely. Um, let’s see here. Um, physically speaking, um, are when our space is cluttered and chaotic, it affects us from everything from just difficulty navigating our space and cleaning our space. It increases frustration levels because we cannot find what we need and we run behind financially speaking.

It really affects us. It’s difficult to keep track of important bills and papers. And then so many times I see a client’s spend money on items that they know they have, but they cannot find them. So we’re, we’re buying multiples of things and wasting money that way. Um, medically speaking, which is near and dear to my heart. I’m a cluttered environment really shows or really, uh, it’s shown statistically to increase our cortisol levels, which is our stress hormone and raise cortisol levels over time, can contribute to everything from high blood pressure, um, poor eating choices, lack of ability to rest and relax in your home and just overall poor health. So it really can affect us medically. And if clutter is extreme enough, it can be isolating, isolating a from our loved ones, our family and friends. And so that is also a big, uh, a big deal.

Yeah. So I moved recently and what I’m learning is the reason that I ate junk food for the past few weeks more is because I was living in a cluttered environment. Absolutely. I should’ve hired Audra to come help me out. Yeah. So what are the types of clutter that you would say people tend to struggle with most often? Like what have you seen when you were in home environments, for example? What, sure. What seemed to be some of the typical problem areas. A lot of people have trouble with paper clutter. It’s something that comes into our homes all the time and we get so much junk mail. And, um, if you don’t have proper processes to get rid of the bad and, and, uh, systems to deal with the good and where you can find the things that you need, it can really build up and be very overwhelming.

So that is a huge barrier that real people really like to work. Work on with some, you’ll do it. Yeah, I know. I was like, okay, don’t look too close to my desk over there. So we’re, we’re, we’re friends here. We’re not, we’re not judging. Yeah. That’s really interesting. It’s neat that you have the medical background to support that physical. Yes. I feel like it goes so well because the more research I do, the more I find how our environment affects us and I have the knowledge of, of kind of how to deal with that, both from the medical side and, um, with organization and systems. That sound. That’s really cool. That’s really cool. Thank you. Yeah. Yeah. So it’s been fun. Yeah. So I guess now the emotional mental side, which is, you know, a new vision. We spent so much time on this, so I’m so interested, it’s a little more about this part.

Um, so our environment really affect how we feel about ourselves, like our confidence and also how we feel about our homes and I find is especially true in women. Um, not that it doesn’t clutter affects, not that clutter does not affect men, but it really takes a toll on, on women, especially in our emotional side. Um, many people have guilt of wasted time, money and resources because things have built up and they just feel like they haven’t maintained now that how they should have, statistically speaking, there is a very big correlation between a cluttered environment and feelings of anxiety, depression, negative cycles of thinking. So it really feeds back to us were, were feeling negative. Yeah. Yeah. And so I think as women, we can’t help but feel, whether it’s society or stereotype or history or whatever it may be, we can’t help but feel like our home environment is primarily our responsibility.

Absolutely matter how great our husbands are. And they say, you know, no, this is not just you. It’s all of us. I think we still take on a lot of that. We shoulder a lot of that. I think it’s our responsibility and so if it’s cluttered than we think that it’s a reflection of us absolutely set up. Definitely for me, I know that causes creates shame and anxiety and absolutely, and they even showed this through a lot of the medical studies that I’ve researched over the past year of how it, how it really affects us and affects our confidence and we feel like we’re supposed to be doing one thing and our home was showing another. Yeah. So that’s really good. Yeah, it really is success really interesting. And then also I’m a cluttered and chaotic environment really affects us mentally by decreasing our mental processing. So just like a computer is slowed with multiple programs running all at once.

So is our mental processing a steady, I looked at showed many rooms have an average of over 2000 items in the age, which was kind of eyeopening to me. Even with the clients that I work with. It really is overwhelming, um, in our senses and also mentally and really causes our brain to kind of shut down where we aren’t as productive, decreases our focus and really decreases our creativity. Cause we’re always distracted by these incoming messages from our environment. So it really, really makes a difference. One tip that I like to tell people is if possible, try to start your day with a clear template. So maybe preparing just 10, 15 minutes the night before preparing, I’m getting things ready that you can do the night before, maybe straightening up here environment. And this will really, um, create momentum for your day and less stress and getting started on the right foot.

So I really like to encourage people to make that a habit in their life. Really good. Yeah, that’s really good. Yeah. So let’s move on to, um, last but not least, how clutter can affect us spiritually. Um, in First Corinthians 1433, the Bible actually talks about how God is not a god of confusion, but I got a piece and in my opinion, all of the things we’ve talked about really point to a cluttered and chaotic environment really just brings us down, really caused us to lack joy and peace in her life. And when this is happening, I feel like it’s time to make a change. Ultimately, as we’ve talked about how distracting a cluttered environment can be, I believe that a cluttered environment really distracts us from what’s most important. And that’s our relationship with God and our relationship with others. These are the most important things.

And if we’re constantly getting distracted and overwhelmed by our environment, we’re not really able to focus on the most important things in life. Yeah, that’s really good. That’s really good. That’s a really good tie in with scripture. And I really hadn’t thought much about that really neat perspective. Thank you. Yeah. So you’re a professional organizer. Yes. How did you come to take that on? It sounds like all of these things in this research you did kind of sparked and yes, that’s all I need. I did, I saw a need and, um, I, I love serving people in their homes. I’m very comfortable and people tones and um, that is my background and ultimately, um, I’m kind of a weird one that likes to organize it. So that’s just natural for me. And um, I just was trying to fill a need and serve people in a different way and so, and it has worked really well together and um, I feel like I can give a very well rounded approach to, um, because I know what people are also experiencing medically and how we can change their environment to help them with that.

Yeah. Yeah, that’s definitely, that’s really good. I didn’t know very many people that would not benefit from a professor. No, no. I know I would be scared to let you in my house. I have a lot of kids. We’re all friends. There’s no judgment. So it’s always easier. Like I’m not perfect either. It’s always easier in someone else’s environment when you don’t have the attachment to the things and the, you know, the memories to the things and you can kind of see it for what it is. So sometimes even for myself, it’s nice to have a third party come in and really helped me work through some things that I wouldn’t maybe do on my own so we could all use it, including myself perspective. So let’s move on. Since we’ve talked about the effects of physical kind of mental and spiritual effects of clutter, I’d like to just give you guys a few tips on how, how, how we can get started. What does this mean for you? Yay.

What can we do? So let me see here. Let me get my thoughts. So, um, first of all, I just like, um, everybody to kind of brainstorm about your day. Where do things start to get stressful? Where do things start to go down hill? Is there a room you walk into and you’re like, oh, I can’t find anything. I’m so overwhelmed. Or is your calendar clutter? That’s something people don’t think about where you’re starting behind before the day even starts. So maybe brainstorm about your day. Where are the stress points, where the things that you can change, and then think about how little changes, small little doable goals of how you can improve on those kind of overdosing. That’s good. Yeah. And so once you’ve got your goals, um, I’d say a lot of you just need to set an appointment with yourself. I like to say each day, each week, each month, and, and really work on improving, working toward these goals and improving things.

I like to say baby steps really add up to big results. Even 15 minutes a day adds up to over seven and a half hours in a 30 day period. So it’s, um, that’s a lot of hours in momentum. So I encourage you, even with an overwhelming space, one drawer, one shelf, one little corner, 15 minutes a day consistently can really add up. Sorry, we had a pause her and was on the phone. Okay. Yeah. So baby steps add up to really big things. And then a second group, I’d like to say we’re not all raised or warm and we’re taught organizational skills and tactics and so there is much help out there. So, um, videos or how to books, maybe read up and learn some, some skills and some tactics to apply to meeting your goals. Could be a step for you before diving in and still, yes.

Okay. There’s a third group who either needs to make really big changes or is overwhelmed short on time. Does it know where to begin? And it’s a really elect to add a misconception. Most organizers don’t just work with hoarders that people like to call them or those kind of trapped by their clutter. The extreme, um, needs of organised organization. Um, most of my clients are regular, everyday hardworking people with families. They just need help getting things reset, kind of likes the reset button. So once we get them systems in place, it’s easier for them going forward. And of course, less stressful. Yeah, like really good systems. Yeah. Systems because then that gives them an opportunity to create something that is lasting for them. And that’s just like a new, a new strategy. Absolutely. So as I’m working with clients and we’re working through the different things and setting up the systems, I tried to give them tips and tricks of how to maintain them.

And so my goal is lasting effects and not just something that we do for a short time and then it goes back to how it was back to the stressful. Yeah. That’s all good. Yeah. So, um, I think I’ve said this, but a third group, um, with the big changes, um, I like the analogy of just like you would need a personal trainer for physical fitness goals or you counselors or mental hurdles to work through a professional organizer can do that for your environment. We’re, we’re there, we’re there to help you and um, can really make sense of your environment and what works for you and fits in your life. That’s really good. That’s really good. You know, and I think at New Vision we so often have clients who are coming in either with marriages that are really struggling or family stresses or you know, just have like crippling anxiety or depression.

And I think one of the things that I’m often telling especially couples is, you know, you’ve got to probably find something to cut out because you’ve got so much stress in your life, you don’t even have time to spend together. So no wonder your marriage is really struggling. And so I often joke that I need to go to um, like house cleaner to recommend for people cause I’m constantly saying like, you may need to hire someone to clean your house and cut a budget elsewhere. And I think the same thing applies with a professional organizer. I think sometimes just, okay we just need to be able to get ahead because we’re drowning right now. And how, like, how much that affects how much those things go together. Just like you mentioned, you know, like physical training or whatever. Sure. Absolutely. So, um, I love what you said and truly, um, that’s another thing I wanted to add between the physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing.

They all kind of Mesh and go together and affect one another. And so, so many times I noticed that once we start to get a client’s environment in order, their moods lift and their mental clarity improves and they’re able to kind of deal with things that they weren’t, they were postponing or not dealing with in the past. So it really kind of opens up in one area affects another. Yeah, that’s really good. That’s yourself and I love it. You mentioned that um, in your profession it’s not necessarily that you’re on the hoarder show everyday people, everyday people and cause I think that’s when like summer said, we can all benefit from that. It’s, you know, I don’t think I’m a hoarder, but I definitely could help use help with my paper. So the paper thing, but also, I mean just how powerful it is, like you said, to incorporate your environment in whatever else you’re trying to improve in your life.

If you don’t incorporate your environment, you’re missing a huge piece. You can even think of times when you’re feeling really good, you’re having a good day, you’re anxiety is under control. And then you walk into a cluttered space or cluttered, you know, area of your house and that can just zap you immediately. It’s like, ah, yeah, I have to deal with this. Or it’s this reminder that something still needs your attention. Absolutely. It’s just piling up on you. And that affects absolutely. It kind of reminds you like it or the clutter and the chaos kind of remind you my to do list is never done. And that’s why one of the things, it’s hard to relax because you see all this and you know, this is this dreaded thing that needs to be done that isn’t, you don’t have time to take, so you don’t know how to fix.

So it’s, it can be very overwhelming and really affect you. And um, you know, I hope that because I feel like environment though, it’s not easy. I’m not saying it’s easy all the time, but it’s something that is a very doable task to improve on where it really affects every other aspect of your life. For sure. That this thing that I just keep repeating in my head is that you mentioned that 15 minutes a day adds up in 30 days to over seven hours. I’m like, I could actually do 15 minutes. That is much more doable. Absolutely. Setting the timer on your phone and making a date just for 15 minutes, whatever time of the day is good for you. You know, if you don’t have to go to work till later, set a timer for 15 minutes once the kids are at school or, and really that’s a doable task. Do that little 15 minutes, walk away. You’ve made some progress and if you do that consistently and it will add up. Yeah. Yeah. That’s really good. It’s a great way to tackle anything that’s uh, overwhelming. Yeah. Yeah. That was a little small steps. That’s really good. So that’s so good. Yeah. Yeah. I’m so glad you gave us all those ready to tackle.

Hopefully it’s been motivating. And you know, ultimately I pray as a Edmond Christian Counseling professional for really big changes for you in this coming year and for it to me really the best year yet. If you do find yourself needing help, I would love to talk with you more. Um, you can find out more about me on my website at pretty neat, okay. Dot Com and we’ll also try to link to it in the notes. And then, um, what, what other questions do you guys have? Is Not, Gosh Man, now I’ve just got all these things spinning in my head. Do you work in all areas of say the Metro or, I do, um, I live in northwest Oklahoma City and I, um, try to cover as much areas as possible. Um, and I’ve even gone more outskirts of Norman stuff occasionally as well, so I’m, I’m broadening, um, who I can serve and um, you know, it’s, it’s going well.

So it sounds like you meet with somebody, assess their situation and they create a plan of work that just fits individually for them. Absolutely. Um, I do a free in home consultations actually, so I love to come in and senior space. Let you meet me. It’s a very personal thing, having someone in your home and going through your stuff with you. So I want them to feel as comfortable as possible. So I meet them, we set up a plan and goals and then we schedule out. Um, I have like all inclusive packages where I try to help them from start to finish and make it as easy as possible. I want to be that easy button for people then that reset button and um, yeah, we set up times and goals and you know, work through that and whatever sessions we deem necessary. Yeah. I love that.

You know, I often say as a therapist that when I’m a good therapist, I am continuously working myself out of a Edmond Christian Counseling job because I’m helping people reach goals, get better and leave. And I love that you’re doing the same thing. It’s not that you’re trying to hang on to people, your can genuinely help them meet their goals and then they move on and are empowered to continue living that way. That’s a lot of that. Yeah. I love the word empowered and, um, like I said, my heart is to help people and when I can teach them how to live a less stressful life and how to be less overwhelmed and enjoy more time with their family, that’s really rewarding. Yeah, that’s really great. Yeah, that’s great. Well, I, we have all of Audrey’s information in the comments section underneath so that her websites there and there’s also information about her Facebook and our Instagram.

And I really hope that you guys all follow her. I know that I’m gonna get on my personal page pages and make sure that I’m paying five left as well. Um, and if you guys feel like you need help with some of the mental and emotional aspects of that, you know where to find us at our website, New Vision counseling.org and we’re about to start a new website, so that’ll change. But that one works for now. So, um, any other things? And I think so. I think we’ve covered it. I hope this shed some light on him. How our environment can really affect us. Yeah. Yeah. And I have a feeling you’ll be hearing more from Audra and the next little while I thought that. Yeah. All right. Bye.