You know what they say: cluttered house, cluttered mind.
That may not always be the case, but science shows that there are good reasons to de-clutter your space. In addition to drawing our attention away from things that truly matter, clutter overloads our senses and causes them to work overtime. By constantly signaling to the brain that we have things left to do, it can cause anxiety and prevent us from relaxing.
Well worth the time spent
If you ask the average American why they’ve yet to de-cutter their home or office, you’ll likely get an excuse.
- “I don’t have time”
- “I might need these things”
- “I don’t know where to start”
Tackling a project like this can be challenging, but the rewards are well worth it. While de-cluttering is not a new concept, its benefits are being increasingly recognized, particularly with respect to mental health.
Want to increase your efficiency? In a clutter-free space you know where everything is—and it’s all easily accessible. De-cluttering also helps support your personal well being by providing you with a sense of accomplishment and a feeling of self-care. It allows you to focus on the things that matter and ensures your space is one of relaxation, not stress. Physically, of course, de-cluttering can help remove dust particles and tripping hazards from the home.
Tips to de-clutter your space
Not sure where to start? Here are some tips to help you out.
Focus on one area at a time. Setting out to de-clutter your entire house in one day is an enormous task and a recipe for frustration. Choose one area at a time and focus your attention there. Not only will it give you a place to start, but you’ll also be able to see the results of your hard work that much sooner.
Set goals. Maybe it’s the junk drawer, or perhaps the hall closet. Whatever area you choose, set your intention and work towards achieving it. Small milestones make a big project seem more manageable.
Use it or lose it. If you haven’t used it in the last year, you probably don’t need it. Be practical and be honest. Studies have found that we tend to wear 20% of our clothes 80% of the time. Keepers can be put into storage, while you can check with a local second-hand shop or charity for items in need of a new home. They often accept gently used items, and some will even pick them up from your doorstop.
Create a system. De-cluttering is senseless if it doesn’t last. Come up with a system to organize things—and use it! File papers in their rightful place, clean your closet at the beginning of each season. No matter what you choose, do it regularly to ensure clutter doesn’t sneak its way back into your life.
Make it fun! De-cluttering doesn’t have to be a bore. Put on your favorite tunes and dance your way to a tidier space.
Where should the clutter go?
This is always the million-dollar question. De-cluttering can mean getting rid of things, but it can also mean organizing them. So what options do you have for that leftover “stuff”?
Second-hand shops are a wonderful way to give new life to used items. If some of your items are in working condition, approach your local second-hand shop to see if they’re interested. Similarly, charities often conduct used goods drives and many will pick up the items right from your front step. Search for local charities and contact them to arrange a time.
For items that you want to keep but don’t have a place in your house, self-storage units can be a great option. Storage calculators can help determine what size unit you need, and rates can be quite affordable.
My space is free of clutter, what next?
Of course, clutter doesn’t only apply to our physical space—mental clutter can take its toll, too. But starting with the physical can lay the foundation for more to come.
Do you need to de-clutter your space? Have a great tip? Leave us a comment and let us know!