by Laurie Larson
Decluttering goes far beyond improving the aesthetics of your home or work space. It’s essential to both your physical and mental wellbeing.
Whether it’s dirty dishes piling up in the sink or stacks of papers covering your desk, everyone is bound to experience the negative effects of clutter in their lives. It’s no surprise that the clutter in our physical spaces can have adverse effects on our mental health. As more things occupy our space, they find a way to seep into our minds and lead to increased stress and anxiety.
When you clear the excess clutter out of your life, you will notice the positive effects it has on your mental state and overall wellness. Many studies have proven the psychological power of clearing out your space in various different areas of your life. For the sake of your overall health and happiness, take the time to declutter your life and start seeing the positive changes that occur.
The benefits of decluttering
You’ll decrease your stress and anxiety levels
It’s clear that clutter stresses us out. The more “stuff” we have piling up in front of us, the more reminders we have of all the things we need to do.
Seeing large piles of dishes, unfolded clothes or unreviewed documents in front of you will add to your anxiety and stress. Even worse, the clutter-anxiety cycle continuously contributes to one another and feels inescapable. Clear up your space and you’ll clear up your mind.
You’ll feel physically healthier
Excessive amounts of clutter building up is an invitation for a whole lot of dust. This can aggravate or worsen symptoms of respiratory diseases like asthma. Even if you don’t suffer from asthma, you can still feel the harmful respiratory effects of dust piling up and dirtying your air quality. Once you clean out your environment, you’ll start breathing easier and feeling better physically.
Your productivity will improve
Clutter increases the opportunities for distraction. Whether it’s an electronic device or just a piling mound of work adding stress on your plate, these things should be properly put in their place. Organize your working space and reduce to the bare minimum. You’ll notice it’s much easier to work productively when your setting is clean and organized.
Learning to cut down to the essentials
When you start clearing the clutter out of your life, you’ll need to learn some serious organizing skills. Start by re-evaluating the necessities of your home and ditch the items you should’ve gotten rid of a long time ago. Clearing out your home is the first place to start when you want to start seeing real changes in your attitude. If you find things sitting around that serve no purpose, don’t bring you particular joy, or you’ve forgotten then even exist, it is time to let it go.
To live a cleaner and more organized life, try to adopt a minimalistic attitude. In a world so over-saturated with stuff, some people really cling to the idea of having, spending, and needing less. Start by getting rid of all of the things you obviously don’t need. This includes items like old magazines, clothes you no longer wear, or excessive items that you don’t use.
Eventually, you’ll have to start making bigger changes and eliminating more from your life, which may seem scary. Don’t be intimidated by thinking of this cutting down in negative terms. You don’t have to live with less in your life, you’re choosing to liberate yourself from all your stuff.
You’ll want to be intentional in what you deem as your essentials. Once you decide on the staple pieces of your home, don’t skimp on them. In living with less, you can live with better quality items that will last. Think about the truly important items in your home — your kitchen necessities for eating, your bathroom necessities for staying clean, and your bedroom essentials for getting the rest you need.
Once you successfully determine what you truly need, you can strip down to the bare minimum and start with a clean slate. A clear space will allow more room for sunlight to enter your home, less room for dust to compile, and a better chance at your productivity increasing and mood lifting.
Without going overboard, decorate your home with items that bring you joy or serve a true purpose. You’ll find yourself much happier in a clean and organized space.
Next work on fixing up the place where you work, whether that’s a desk at home or in an office. The top of your desk space should not be occupied with unnecessary “things.” Keep your desk space cleared for the essentials — computer, notebook, and a pen. Any other work items can be neatly filed away in drawers underneath your desk or in a small desk organizer.
Think about what you really need and what’s been sitting on your desk for ages. If you have thousands of paperclips occupying space on your desk, it may be time to cut back to the essentials. Clearing up more room will give you the space you need to actually get work done and be more productive.
Once your home life and your work life are physically cleaned out and minimized, your mind will be at ease. Work on reducing to what you really need and see the positive changes that follow.
Photo: Sarah Dorweiler (Unsplash)