Mindfulness in the Home


I was thinking about mindfulness and how it can apply to home organization. So I decided to look up the meaning to see if was a good word choice. The definition depends on whether it’s used in reference to Buddhism or psychology.

The more general meaning of mindfulness is paying attention to what is going on at the current moment of our life. In other words, paying attention on purpose in the present moment without being judgmental. Hard to say, even harder to apply.

Mindfulness is usually referring to our thoughts and learning to control them. When chaos is all around us in the form of clutter then our thoughts are not usually nonjudgmental. They are more about:

  • Who made the mess?
  • How did it get this bad?
  • Why am I the one who always has to clean it up?
  • How did so many things accumulate so fast?
  • Why can’t anyone let go of these things including me?

On and on the negative thoughts swirl around in your head.

Learning to pay attention on purpose to these thoughts can help us learn how to control them. When we are aware that our surroundings are causing these negative thoughts then we have greater freedom to respond instead of react.

Many times we are on auto-pilot as we go through the day. If we do this while cleaning a bathroom or washing the dishes then it is okay because we have created good habits to take care of these necessary jobs. But if we put the mail on the counter to “deal with later”, or leave the snack dishes and games, etc. out in the family room to “deal with in the morning” then we are on auto-pilot in a bad way.

These are the times we need to practice mindfulness. We need to learn to pay attention on purpose in the present moment so we can take care of our environment.

So next time you start building or adding to a hot spot, stop and take a deep breath. Get off auto-pilot for a moment and become aware of your current thoughts.

  • Do you dread dealing with the mail?
  • Are you too tired to clean up the family room before bed?
  • When you become aware of the thoughts that are causing the bad habit then you can take the steps needed to change it.



Organize By The Month Newsletter Change

I want to let you know that I am changing the “Organize By The Month Newsletter”. Instead of sending it on the first and fifteenth of each month I will be sending it only once a month starting with the July issue.

The newsletter will be sent to your inbox towards the last week of each month. This way you can plan ahead for any holidays that come at the beginning of the month. I will make sure a copy of it is posted on the blog so you can look up the different information as the month goes on.

If you have any suggestions or ideas that can help other readers on how to plan and celebrate the different holidays and events that take place, please let me know. I try to research web sites that can give you ideas but everyone loves to learn about how others celebrate. Don’t be shy. Please share your ideas.

If you haven’t signed up to receive the “Organize by the Month Newsletter” then please do so on the right sidebar. You will also receive my weekly “Decluttering Tips Newsletter”. This newsletter gives tips on how to control the clutter that enters our lives. I talk about paper clutter, gift clutter and decluttering different areas of the home plus many other things.

This week I am talking about all those summer outdoor accessories that the advertisements tell us we must have to turn our backyards into tropical paradises. They can add to our pleasure but they can also add to our clutter. Find out how to decide what to buy and what not to buy.

Be sure to sign up now so you can receive this tip and all future ones. If you have a suggestion for a tip or a question about how to declutter something please email me at


Janice Scissors