Pillar 4 {Physical Space} Summer of Self-Care

If you are finding the heat of summer unbearable and want to find something to do inside, this week’s summer of self-care pillar is for you!  This week we are talking about taking some time to care for our physical space.

Now, you of course can just binge watch (and hopefully get inspired by) Marie Kondo’s “Tidying Up” show on Netflix or you can just start looking around at your physical space and decide what is working and what is not.  Marie Kondo would ask you to consider “What brings you joy” with each and every piece. You can do some version of that as you go to each of your spaces.

How is taking care of your physical space a form of self-care?

I don’t know that I ever considered how much my physical space impacted my feelings until I really cleaned up and cleaned out my house.  I just felt lighter. The first time we didn’t just organize things, but REALLY got rid of all the things that were just not needed. We really took a good look at the things in our house.  What purpose were they serving? Were the things causing us more stress than needed? We actually considered the time and expense and space it took to keep some things or get rid of them. It was a great exercise in prioritizing.

So how is this self-care? Well by going through the exercise, I was able to evaluate my priorities.  The things that are in our home are things that I love and truly do give me joy (to use Marie’s terminology).  For me there seems to be a connection…my life is less hectic when my physical space is in order and when my space is in order, my life is less hectic.  Having and cultivating a less hectic life is a perpetual form of self-care and one that has consistent returns far beyond I could ever imagine.

What do you mean by physical space?

Well, it could mean as wide ranging as your entire home or as specialized as your car, your desk or even just a drawer or closet.  You may also want to include physical space to be email, electronic documents and phone apps/organization. These are always my dark and disorganized places where no one else can see but once they are “cleaned up” and minimized it makes such a difference in how I simplified my day-to-day life can be.

By taking some time to care for these physical spaces, you are actually performing an act of self-care.  You are helping your future self enjoy less stress, be surrounded by beauty, and allow life to be lived with more ease.  Doesn’t everyone just breathe a little easier when the morning routines go smoothly because everything is predictable and in its place?

This Week’s Resources to Check Out…

The Minimalists, Better Life with Less

The Minimalists take decluttering and caring for our physical spaces to the next level.  They suggest that much of the clutter we carry diverts us from living deliberate lives. After I watched this TED Talk from the Minimalists, it really made me take some action to create physical spaces in my home that matched what I valued.  This was one of those talks that I love to pass on to others. I hope it helps to make you think about the importance of caring for your own physical spaces.

Organization Quiz

We’re going to take some steps this week to create more clutter-less (not necessarily clutter-free) spaces in our lives.  I found enormous relief when I really started to create space in the places I was living in. It felt like an enormous weight lifted and I was able to breathe again.  

Because we are all different in regard to the things we keep and the way we organize our homes and our classrooms, this week you’re going to take a fun quiz about where you may want to focus your energy on in regard to organizing/decluttering.

Quick Start Guide to a Decluttered Home

Here is a quick guide to get you started with the basics of decluttering your home.

Applying Minimalism to the Classroom

If you want to apply some of those minimalism tips to the classroom, here are three steps to give your classroom space a little makeover!

This Week’s Self-Care Action

Choose an area/environment of  your life you want to declutter…home, school, electronic/technology and take a small step in decluttering each day.  Try for three consecutive days of action (or do something big one day…your choice!)


Take a different environment each day and do something toward “decluttering this space” each day.  Try for three consecutive days of action (or do a few different activities all in one day…your choice!)


Share… your reflection and/or your one thing you did for your financial self-care (bonus points for multiple ways!)…

  • Email me with some of your reflections.
  • Post it to our We are Teaching Well Facebook Group
  • Post your reflection in the comment section here
  • Share it with a friend, family member or someone else who will help you stay accountable.

Has any of this process of reflection about your self-care of your physical space supported your summer SMART Goal?  Is there anything you’ve discovered about yourself that you want to explore more during these next few weeks?

If one of your goals is to create a more balanced daily self-care routine, please check out Teaching Well’s FREE COURSE 4 Self-Care Solutions in Five Minutes a Day.

Check out our collection of resources supporting teacher health and well-being!
Danielle Nuhfer

Here are a few titles I go by...teacher, student, gardener, runner, nature-lover, writer and meditator. I care deeply about my own journey to wellness and want to inspire others to walk this path. Inspiring others to discover the value of mindfulness, positive psychology and other holistic health practices is my life's work.

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