Who doesn’t love a clean, organized space? It turns out decluttering your home may declutter your mind as well.
Dawn Potter, PsyD, of Cleveland Clinic said some people find cleaning is a good way to manage stress.
“A lot of people, when they are faced with other problems that maybe they can’t address at the time, or they’re just kind of overwhelmed, they find that cleaning helps them restore a sense of control,” she said.
Research shows messy, disorganized spaces can negatively impact mental health and wellbeing.
One study suggests people with cluttered homes were more likely to report depressed moods.
Dr. Potter said when everything around you is neat and tidy, there are fewer distractions and you can better focus on the task at hand.
She adds that tidying up can take your mind off of something that’s out of your control and making you anxious.
“Cleaning produces a tangible result that we can see and feel,” said Dr. Potter. “And we can look at it afterwards and be like, ‘Oh, that looks so great.’ So we get that satisfaction of doing something meaningful.”
If you’re inspired to organize but aren’t sure where to begin, Dr. Potter recommends creating a plan of attack and just getting started. She also advises setting reasonable expectations and not pressuring yourself to get everything done at once. — Cleveland Clinic News Service
Remember, the clutter didn’t arrive in a day, so don’t expect it to be gone in a day. Schedule time to work on your home, set a timer, and applaud yourself at the end of each session. You may not be finished, but you have started. Keep going!
If all else fails, hire a professional organizer. Once you’ve reached a point where you no longer can meet your goals, it’s time to call in the big guns to get you back on track. A fresh set of eyes on your space can do wonders.
Simple Ways to Declutter Your Spaces
- Start by removing trash.
- Begin by choosing one small area to organize—like a drawer.
- Sort items into three piles: Keep, donate and toss.
- Find a specific home for everything you intend to keep—for example, a hook for your keys.
- Group similar items together, instead of storing them in multiple places, so you always know where to find them.
- If you buy something new, pledge to get rid of something else to limit items in your home.
- If you’re holding on to items to pass to the next generation, ask your heirs if they want the items. Be prepared for them to say no and be gracious.
- Don’t try to do everything all at once. Schedule limited amounts of time to work on decluttering and organizing on a regular basis.
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