Whether we realize it or not, the state and cleanliness of the space that we live and even work in has a big impact on our overall health.
This effect is one reason why spring cleaning is so important. But, one aspect of cleaning that we all tend to neglect when we’re cleaning up our homes – decluttering.
This single act alone is one of the most significant ways you can organize your home, reduce your stress, and, yes, even improve your health.
If you struggle with getting rid of things, consider a few ways that clutter impacts your health and try a couple of easy tips for getting started.
The negative effects of clutter
Clutter not only impacts the look and feel of your living and working space.
It also has a negative impact on your health and your relationships.
For me, clutter that builds up in our home causes my stress level to rise faster than almost anything, which can then turn into negative interactions with my dear husband.
Even without you realizing it, clutter can:
- Contribute to fatigue
- Negatively impact your weight
- Complicate mood disorders
- Skew your perspective on life
- Cause confusion in your life and home
- Negatively affect your relationships
- Induce depression
When I think of clutter, I picture all that added, unnecessary “stuff” in our lives.
It should come as no surprise that this extra stuff that piles up and clouds our perspective can lead to health concerns and even relationship issues, so why not work on getting rid of it before it negatively impacts you and your family?
I understand figuring out where to start when it comes to decluttering can be difficult.
I’m one of those who start cleaning one area only to move to another and end up cleaning the whole house.
So, it’s always important for me to have a plan when I’m working on getting rid of the clutter in our home.
Here are a few of my best tips.
1. Start small
Especially if you’re not one who is into cleaning or organizing, focus on one small area at a time.
With this strategy, you won’t get as overwhelmed, and you’ll be able to keep up your momentum.
Try focusing on one closet at a time or go for a single room, but be sure to focus on this area and know that you don’t have to get your whole house down in a single day.
2. Sort and set aside
The sorting of all the clutter can get a bit overwhelming when you first begin.
So, create your game plan upfront. First, consider what piles you’ll need. I generally make one for “Trash,” one for “Donate,” and one for “Later.”
You could obviously have a “Keep” pile, too, but since I just generally leave things that I’m keeping where they are, I don’t make a pile for this.
The other piles are somewhat self-explanatory. The trash pile will be thrown away while the donate pile will be donated to a local charity or another venue.
As far as the later pile, I like to make this one for those items that are memorabilia that need to be sorted elsewhere but I don’t want to take the time to do it upfront.
Once, I’ve set something in a pile, I move on. This system really seems to streamline the process.
3. Declutter as you go
Another great way to declutter is to create a system of decluttering as you go.
For example, if you purchase a new pair of pants or jeans, get rid of at least one item in your closet before you add the new one.
Make the process even more effective by making it a 1-in and 2-, 3-, or 4-out rule.
Decluttering isn’t difficult, especially once you get started, and the benefits of your efforts are always well worth it.
Remember as you get rid of the clutter, you’re also improving your quality of life and even health.
Don’t forget to declutter as your work on spring cleaning this year, and enjoy your fresh, clean, and organized living space!