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Circuit cleaning: A strategy for decluttering

Circuit cleaning: A strategy for decluttering

By: Kelly M., senior clinician at South Bay

According to, a circuit is defined as a roughly circular line, route or movement that starts and finishes at the same place or an established itinerary of events or venues used for a particular activity. Beautiful! What does that have to do with decluttering, you might ask? Well, before I get to that, we need a bit more information.

The first thing you want to consider when setting a decluttering goal – what needs decluttering? Perhaps you struggle with Hoarding Disorder and want to declutter your home or perhaps you want to declutter your lifestyle by placing restrictions or limits on people or behaviors. Regardless of your specific answer, this technique can be useful, but it’s important to have a clear idea in mind.

The second thing to ask yourself – are you willing to dedicate the time and energy to accomplish this decluttering project? If it seems like the universe is out to get you, it might not be the right time. This doesn’t mean you cannot work on this, but you may need to be creative with your timing and attention.

Let’s segue into attention now. Maybe you have a goal. Maybe you have the energy and time to accomplish this goal. As I have run South Bay’s hoarding group over the years, I have often heard, “I just can’t focus on one task. I jump from room to room, and I never get anything done so I get frustrated and give up.” Okay. That makes sense, but this is where circuit cleaning comes in handy.

Circuit cleaning works with the same design as circuit training. You do a set of reps on one machine, then another, then another and eventually work your way back to the first one and start the circuit all over again. So, instead of forcing yourself to try to focus on one task at a time, pick a very small project in each station of the circuit and work on it a little bit at a time. For example, if we use a hoarding situation: Create a small decluttering goal in the kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, living room, etc. until you have done at least something necessary in each room. Then circle back around and start the circuit again. The hope is that eventually you will start accomplishing the small goal you set out to finish in each room.

Other additions would make this technique more effective, as in a timer for each station or a post-it or dry-erase board in each room with the goal on it. But, this technique works with the struggle of focusing and also avoids the potential for boredom.

So, if you’re trying to clean your house, your inbox, sort through old photos or whatever decluttering goal you set upon and other techniques haven’t worked, maybe you’re fighting inattention or boredom. Instead, change it up and give circuit cleaning a try.

Debunking myths about mental strength

Debunking myths about mental strength

Mental strength is the way you think, feel and behave during certain situations. Building mental strength will help you gain self-acceptance while working toward self-improvement. However, there are several misconceptions about what mental strength is and why it’s important. Below, we discuss common myths about developing mental strength.

Myth #1: Mental strength and mental health are the same thing.

Mental strength and mental health, although they may coincide, are not the same thing. Mental health isn’t something we can control – mental strength is. Factors such as genetics and past life experiences can lead to someone developing a mental health challenge, but this doesn’t mean that person isn’t mentally strong. Everyone has the ability to build mental strength, regardless of whether they have depression, anxiety, etc.

Myth #2: You’re either mentally strong or mentally weak.

There is no physical line that separates those who are mentally strong from those who are mentally weak. Everyone has room for improvement when it comes to building their mental strength, and working toward developing that strength does not mean that you’re weak. Just as increased physical strength requires daily work, so does mental strength. Coming to terms with the areas where we can grow stronger will help improve our overall mental fitness.

Myth #3: Mental strength means always thinking positively.

Constant positive thinking isn’t going to make you mentally strong – it’s learning how to think rationally and realistically that makes the difference. You might not be in charge of a situation, but you can certainly dictate your own attitude, reaction and plan of action moving forward. To do so, establish coping skills that will help you manage certain situations. Developing mental strength through coping mechanisms can increase your ability to assess both positive and negative thoughts, which can lead you to make more conscious actions.

If you’re ready to take the next step in improving your mental strength, we encourage you to contact us today. South Bay Community Services strives to provide the proper programs, certified staff members and clinicians for the perfect combination of professional therapy and guidance. At South Bay, you will find the support and guidance you need.

For more information, contact us at 508-521-2200 or click here.