Scenes of God’s handiwork surrounded Adam and Eve in Eden: awesome oaks, fragrant flowers, lush shrubs, babbling brooks, majestic mountains, and peaceful ponds.  And in all of God’s work, order and simplicity prevailed.

Take a look around at where you live and work.  Are these two environments clean and orderly?  Or do you see piles of old magazines, over-stuffed closets, and cluttered counter space?

Visual clutter and disorganization leech our energy, sap our strength, and reduce our sense of peace. Removing clutter and organizing our environments can clear the mind, soothe the spirit and create inner calm.

Ours is the privilege of making our home the kind of place that nurtures our spirit and awakens good memories.  Surround yourself with whatever it is that fills you with peace, comfort, and joy, and that uplifts your soul.

Before his death Henri Matisse, the great modern French painter, spent many months bedridden with colon cancer.  His family moved his bed so he could take in the view of the countryside from his bedroom window.  More important, they kept changing what was on his windowsill—so he could be continually inspired to paint.  He did some of his most famous pieces from his bed.

Why not take a cue from the Matisse family? Add a little visual spice to your space. Try rotating or alternating your family photos, artwork, and displays. Many picture frames now hold several pictures at once, so you can change the subjects often. You can also treat them as a traveling art show by shifting them from room to room. A change of location also works well with plants. Besides being aesthetically pleasing, the visual variety may inspire you to new levels of personal creativity—as it did for Henri Matisse.

Another way to add visual zest to your personal space is to let the sunshine in.  Open the blinds, draw back the curtain, thrown open the shutters, and let the natural light pour in.  Sunlight has many benefits—among them the ability to cheer you by brightening your personal space.  A lighter home is often a brighter home.

In their book, Health Power: Health by Choice, Not Chance, Aileen Ludington and Hans Diehl suggest that sunlight has a lot to offer.  In proper amounts it enhances the immune system, alleviates pain from swollen arthritic joints, relieves certain premenstrual symptoms, and lowers blood cholesterol levels. Sunlight can lift your spirits, improve your sleep, and increase your energy.

As you strive to make your personal environment a little piece of paradise, pay attention to the visuals that surround you.  Clear away the clutter and move toward simplicity.  You’ll find that the loss is really a gain.