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The Silent To Do List

Why my house is stressing me out!


Those who know me well will know that my environment matters to me a lot. When I'm in a calm, peaceful, place I feel calm and peaceful. It's like I can breathe a big sigh of relief and think clearly.  

When I live in chaos and my brain is constantly stressed and as wonderful as essential oils are, there's only so much bathing myself in Adaptiv and Copaiba I can do, whilst trying not to look at the mess.

This doesn't, by the way, translate to me keeping a clean and tidy home.
You'd think it would, but it does not.

In fact, a huge part of my getting late Autism (and subsequent ADD) diagnosis was the fact that for almost a full decade, I had the most amazing 'cleaner' who wasn't really a cleaner at all, but an organiser. You see, she didn't just vacuum and mop, but helped with re-organising my fridge, and my tool cupboard, sorting my mail and a whole lot more. I had the built-in support, 3 days a week, to keep my environment and therefore my mind, clear. As well as losing a friend, when she left, I lost the support I needed to be able to look like I was on top of all this stuff. 

Here's the thing. 

However big and overwhelming your to-do list feels you could probably at least double it with the silent to-do list.

What is this silent to-do list? 

It's the list of maintenance and background projects you have in your visual eye line that are constantly sending messages to your unconscious brain.

As I type this, around the edge of the screen I can see the dog hair on the carpet and my brain is saying "you need to vacuum". 

There's a child's sock on the floor and my unconscious is aware that I need to ask the child to a) pick it up, but b) get her laundry through the machine today because I'm going to change bed linen tomorrow and I want the machines free.

There's a wheelchair in the hallway, just in view, which I need to return because my son no longer has a broken leg.

Visual clutter is always sending us messages about things that need to be done, and when I have an important project that needs to get done, and I get distracted by everything else in my environment.

This video explains the concept beautifully and you can buy the book it's based on very cheaply here.


I'm by no means a minimalist, but I often wish I was one. 

In another life, if I lived alone, I think I would be, but it's definitely something the whole family needs to be on board for, and mine are definitely NOT. 

My husband and children attach sentimental meaning to everything they touch, and my daughter in particular has a hard time letting anything go. We are, however, going to have a significant declutter over the Easter holidays as we prepare for our lodger to move back in.

If, like me, you struggle with managing your space, maybe decluttering is something that would be helpful to you too.

I'm using this 'decluttering' blend in my diffuser, you should give it a try too:

6 drops Peppermint 

The ultimate energizing oil to help you power through

2 drops Eucalyptus

Help fight fatigue, promote concentration, and encourage clear and easy breathing in case you encounter some dusty areas(!)

4 drops Bergamot

Helps with feelings of insecurity, fatigue, and anxiety that can lead us to hold onto things

2 drops Lemongrass

Help you enter 'cleaning' mode

You may want to adjust so you use a little less oil (or multiply the recipe and make up a big bottle to bring out every time you need to declutter) but I have very high ceilings and large rooms, so this works well for me.

Let me know if you give it a try!

Are you someone who is impacted by a silent to-do list? 


Comments (1)

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KJ Gracie

Mar 26, 2021 02:15 PM BST

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