DrThe apartment reflects the state of the soul, says life and organization coach Annika Schwertweger. The author of the non-fiction book “Clear Yourself Happy” believes that he who removes the outside will also tidy his stomach and can not only free himself from stressful things, but even improve his own partnership. In an interview, a thoughtful trading psychologist explains the psychology behind tidying, how to best implement the Schwertfeger tidying strategy for greater happiness, and which rooms are best left out.
icon: How could he order a change of life?
Annika Schwertweger: It usually starts with tidying on the outside – sorting out things that have no value or even burden you. This creates a great inner clarity around him, which is transmitted to different areas of life. Then you start sorting out the other things in your life — or sorting them.
icon: I have divided these areas of life into rooms.
sweeper sword: As I worked, I noticed that I still encountered certain interior themes in the different rooms. The entrance symbolizes the general order, but also indicates the feeling of home, because it is the gateway to the world and the first thing you see when you enter the house. People with a tidy hallway often appear from the inside, while those with a very untidy corridor often lack calm and clarity.
icon: Happy clearing consists of various stages – setting goals, planning, cleaning, thinking, purification of the soul.
sweeper sword: My path begins with outer space. Because we think about sorting – which rooms or objects were especially hard to let go of or where it was especially easy, and what changed after that. All these questions make it easier to deal with the internal issues that the room represents. If you start right inside, you’ll take away a lot of the ideas that come from cleaning the outside.
icon: Which room is the most important?
sweeper sword: This is down to personal preference. For some, the kitchen is very important because they take care of their bodies and their health. It’s always about everyone finding their own system. Both the arrangement of the rooms one allocates and the importance are individual. For me, the soul vault is actually the most important, because that’s where very irritable things usually sleep. The things you don’t want to give up. Sometimes stressful, sometimes you don’t even dare to deal with it.
icon: Should you start with the room that is least important to you?
sweeper sword: There are two types of people there. Some are of the “eat the frog first” type, wanting to get to where it hurts first – to get rid of what’s bothering them as quickly as possible. But most people start where it is easy. This is recommended to get you started
icon: Are there rooms that can simply be left in an organized mess?
sweeper sword: Whatever the case. The need for order and clarity is also individual. Understanding this is especially important for partnerships. There are people who don’t mind if things are out there or if something is a mess. Maybe they find creativity in it.
icon: So chaos boosts creativity?
sweeper sword: Yes, chaos itself encourages creativity. Because different visual stimuli, such as colors and shapes, meet the eye and then travel to different brain regions. The more different areas are activated, the more new connections occur. This creates new ideas and new ideas and that is creativity. However, studies also show that for many people who need order, clutter leads to stress and procrastination.
icon: Isn’t chaos the result of procrastination?
sweeper sword: It is an interaction. Chaos, stress and procrastination in a three-way relationship, it all depends on each other. But the extent to which this affects everyone varies. It also depends a lot on how sensitive you are to external stimuli. I’ve seen people go crazy with a sock lying on the floor. Then there are people who live in entire apartments and love it.
icon: Especially with young people, the switch suddenly seems to flip and then there is pure chaos…
sweeper sword: Exactly, but this is also a form of self-expression or separation from parents. So I won’t disappoint her too much. Of course there are also those who are out of order or a bit lazy. But this grows at some point.
icon: Should the children’s room be left out of the picture when cleaning?
sweeper sword: At the very least, other family members should never be forced to do anything, because coercion creates stress and creates counterpressure. It usually happens the opposite of what you want to achieve. But of course you can try to convince them to live with it. If you see that this makes everything easier and you don’t have to clean up as much, maybe give it a try. But it should always be done in a gentle way – and don’t throw away anything that belongs to someone else.
icon: But with all toys, isn’t it sometimes necessary to get rid of them?
sweeper sword: In fact, the best solution for children is to temporarily store things they no longer play with in a closet or in the basement. So it’s out of reach, but kids know it’s still there – which gives them incredible peace of mind. When you ask them a year later if they can really leave now, they realize that they really didn’t miss things, so it’s easy for them to let go.
icon: They say that this arrangement also affects relationships.
sweeper sword: Final. If each item has a place to return after use or in the evening at the latest, the order is kept very well and means you have more time. However, it is often a point of contention in relationships when one has a greater need for order than the other. This can be resolved through extensive communication. Many people get nervous when they come home and there is something all over the place. And that’s what you should tell the other person, too. Talking about your feelings has more impact than simply saying, “Put your things away.”
icon: But the psychology of organizing also consists in the fact that you only realize what is important to you when you are organizing, and that is why it is so hard to get rid of it?
sweeper sword: That’s why I ask questions. why did you do that? Would you buy this again? Does this item make you feel good about being here? These reasoning questions help you understand what’s really important.
icon: Do you have to think deeply about each element?
sweeper sword: No, because of course there are also things that lie around you because you forgot about them, they say nothing of the inside. There are probably two out of 500 items in a room where you can tell that you are interested in the relevant topic. And that’s all there is to it. One can also be perfectly fine with everything, and there is no inner spiritual problem anywhere that you still need to work on. However, my experience is that everyone finds something in their apartment that leads to a realization you never had before.
icon: So order also has to do with self-efficacy and self-esteem?
sweeper sword: Yes, on the one hand, you get to know yourself, and on the other hand it increases your self-esteem because it feels better when you match the outside with how you really feel on the inside.
icon: If you view the elegant apartment as a reflection of yourself, it should be able to catch your attention in moments when you lack your self-esteem.
sweeper sword: Certainly, there is interaction – because the outside always affects the inside. Humans do not like disharmony. If there is harmony in the apartment, then it is transferred to the interior. That is why it often happens that people who are very nervous on the inside start cleaning from the outside. The psyche and space are incredibly closely linked.
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