If you are feeling anxious and stressed by the amount of clutter that is currently within your home, you are not alone. According to The Unbearable Heaviness of Clutter, there is “…a growing body of evidence that clutter can negatively impact mental well-being, particularly among women. Clutter can also induce a physiological response, including increased levels of cortisol, a stress hormone.”
In fact, a Gallup annual survey found that, “More than half of United States respondents—around 55 percent—reported feelings of high stress the day prior to being polled…while 45 percent said they felt worried a lot of the day.” With a recent survey finding that “…54 percent of Americans are overwhelmed by the amount of clutter they have…” within their homes, it’s no wonder that stress levels are on the rise.
Americans are inundated by clutter, which is causing stress levels to increase; however, studies have shown that de-cluttering can turn the tables around by positively impacting mental health. How decluttering your space could make you healthier and happier found that when people had given tours of their homes, those “…who used more words describing clutter and disorganization also tended to show levels of the stress hormone cortisol, suggesting chronic stress. On the flip side, those who described their homes as being restful or talked about their beautiful outdoor spaces were less stressed and reported less sad feelings as the day went on.”
If you’re ready to get your home organized and clutter free in order to alleviate unnecessary stress, consider these 3 simple steps.
A Little At A Time
Do not try to tackle your entire home within one day. You didn’t accumulate all of that stuff in a 24 hour period (at least we hope you didn’t), so trying to get rid of it all instantly will leave you feeling defeated. Instead, pick a small area to target, spending 15-30 minutes intervals clearing out items.
To start, sort belongings into keep, donate and discard piles. If you have a genuine plan or purpose for an item within the next 3 months, keep it. If you do not have a realistic purpose for the item, but believe someone else could benefit from it, donate it. And, if you won’t be using it and don’t believe anyone else can, get rid of it and don’t look back!
Off-Site Storage Solutions
Even though you have gone through your belongings to determine what you no longer need, there sometimes isn’t enough room for everything you have chosen to keep (within reason). This does not relate to everyday items, but larger ones, such as sports equipment or seasonal decor.
Instead of taking up much needed space for items you need on a daily basis within your home, renting a storage unit nearby can provide you with some extra room at an affordable price. Most units are climate controlled, with some even offering drive-up access. Best of all, storage locations are under 24/7 surveillance, keeping your belongings safe and secure.
Make Organizing A Priority
Remaining clutter free is a continuous process, so once your home is clear, spend just a few minutes each day tackling sections of your home that tend to get hit with the “junk” of the week. Doing so will ensure items do not pile up, relieving the stress that comes from seeing a mess get out of control.
By getting rid of items that you no longer have a use for, utilizing a storage facility for items that are genuinely too large to keep at home, and continuously seeking opportunities to maintain what you have already organized, your home will be clutter-free in no time. Best of all, as you remove the clutter within your home, you will remove some of the stress that has been weighing you down as well.
To a clutter-free AND stress-free, you!
“Getting things straight in your head is a major achievement because there’s so much clutter out there. You’ve got to push aside the static to really hear the music.” -Steve Wynn-