If you notice more things piling up around the house — especially as many of us ease back to normal life and emerge from the home bubble, it may be a good time to do some decluttering.
Removing the clutter from your home may be doing more for you than just keeping the shelves organized. Decluttering may also have positive impacts on your mental and physical health, such as:
- Reducing stress: Extra stuff around the house may cause extra stress. People living in cluttered homes may experience higher levels of cortisol – the stress-causing hormone – in their bodies. Decluttering your space may help give you a more relaxed state of mind, while relieving anxiety.
- Improving sleep: This goes hand and hand with reduced stress — less stress can mean better sleep. Research shows there may even be a link between sleep issues and clutter, especially for those who are diagnosed with a hoarding disorder.
- Boosting productivity: Clutter may become overstimulating and distracting – making it hard for your brain to effectively process information. An unorganized living space may lead to frustration and difficulty focusing on tasks at hand. On the flip side, a clear space may help you become more efficient.
- Increases confidence: Organizing and using decision-making skills to determine what to keep and what to get rid of can help give you control over your environment, which can be very liberating and satisfying. Once you’re done tackling an area of your home, you may even feel a sense of pride in what you accomplished.
- Reduces risk of falls: Keeping hallways and paths clear may help reduce the risk of tripping hazards or prevent falls and injuries. As many falls happen in the home, decluttering these high-traffic areas can help ensure everyone’s safety.
Understanding the benefits can help motivate you to begin a weekend of tidying, but where do you start? With so much clothing, home goods and keepsakes, it can be overwhelming. Here are some tips to consider:
- Pick an area to focus on: Try starting with your kitchen, which is often one of the most cluttered spaces in the home. Start with one drawer at a time. Sort items into piles: Keep what’s essential, toss what’s no longer needed and donate the rest.
- Everything needs its own place: Once all items have a designated place that makes sense, you won’t have to think about it again. Cleaning up will be easier and the clutter will stay away.
- Keep up with decluttering: After your home is organized, keep it that way. Put items back in their places each day, to minimize a potential buildup later.
- Be patient: Clearing out your home is going to take time. Do a thorough job so the organization will last. Don’t try to do everything at once — piecing it out will help you budget the time you need.
While it may seem overwhelming to tackle the clutter in your home, don’t forget to pace yourself – take it one day a time. It may be difficult to part ways with your some of your belongings but decluttering may make a big difference in your day-to-day life – both mentally and physically.
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