De-clutter Your Clutter: Your Health And Sanity Depends On It
Have you ever felt so overwhelmed by the amount of stuff inside your house? No matter how large your home is things…. toys… stuff somehow always tends to accumulate. How does this happen? It is up to you to de-clutter your life. There are many reasons that de-cluttering your home is so important.
- Clutter can negatively affect your health. It can cause the spread of respiratory viruses or other illnesses. Dust and germs will collect in and around your things. It will be very difficult to disinfect and sanitize the way you should.
- It can cause depression. Having too many possessions inside your home without any organization can make you feel anxious like you are lacking control.
- Your mental health can be negatively affected. Clutter is not only overwhelming for you physically, but it also overwhelms your brain. This can lead to increased cortisol levels increasing your stress level. Kids that have too many toys tend to not really know what to play with because their brain is just too overwhelmed. It decreases the ability to concentrate.
- It decreases your productivity. In order to stay organized it is best to keep your possessions to a minimum. Especially with multiple people living together it is even more important to stay organized.
- Too much clutter can cost you money. If you have too many items it is likely that you will forget what you have. Which may lead you to buy something that you don’t really need. Also if you hire a cleaning service they will likely be spending most of their time picking up your possessions rather then actually cleaning your home.
You may want a clean organized home, but lots of stuff will make that difficult to do. It is much harder to dust, disinfect, or vacuum when lots of items are lying around.
So how exactly do you get a clean, organized, clutter free home? Where do you start?
- Prevention is key here. Do not buy something unless you need it. Do not go to Target and walk up and down each aisle looking for things with the yellow clearance tag. And don’t be guilty of buying multiples of things just because it is a good deal. Walk into the store with a list and walk out with only what was on the list.
- To organize and de-clutter first, start small. Pick a room or spot in your house that has the least amount of clutter and is the most organized. Or dedicate 20 minutes each day to going through different key areas in your home. Once you complete a small area it will help you to feel motivated to move on to the more difficult spots.
- Next, sort through your possessions by making three different piles… 1. Throw away 2. Donate Keep. Use the rule of thumb “If it doesn’t bring you happiness, get rid of if”. Or if you haven’t used it in a year… you most likely don’t need it.
- The keep pile should only be items that you use regularly. And each of these items should be able to find a home. This can be really tough. To get rid of perfectly good items in your home.
- Start by sorting through and putting away things on the floor. Then move to the surfaces. Last sort through the insides of drawers, closets, and dressers.
- Another key thing to remember is purge first prior to buying organizational bins. You need to know exactly what types of items you will need to buy storage for. As you go through your stuff you will better be able to think of ways to organize it.
- Assigning a home for everything is key when organizing. If it doesn’t have a place to rest it is unlikely it will be put away in the same spot every time it is used. This leads to the disorganization and decreased productivity that causes undue stress and emotional distress.
- Organizational bins are a life saver. This ties into giving every item a home. Sometimes this means the home equals some type of plastic bin. For example places that are likely to collect clothing… place a hamper in those locations. Instead of the clothes landing on the floor creating clutter they are more likely to land directly into the hamper.
- Don’t forget to label your storage spaces. This will help everyone in the household to stop and think before putting something away in the wrong spot.
- Toys should be limited to 1-2 areas inside your home. The easiest way to reduce the amount of toys without getting rid of your child’s “beloved” stuffed animal that they never play with… rotate toys. Take all of their stuffed animals and put them in a bin hidden away in the basement or closet. Then on a rainy day when your kids are bored ask them to choose another set of toys to put away and bring out the stuff animals. This will make them feel like they just got something brand new.
- Reduce the number of knick-knacks. If it isn’t serving a purpose… you should probably get rid of it. This includes wires to electronics. Limit the amount of freely hanging wires around the house. In areas where there are a lot of electronics tie the cords together or hide them all together.
- Continuous up-keep is key. Do not let clutter build up over and over again. Simply spend a little bit of time each day putting things back where they belong. Or finding new methods of organizing. If you continue to practice these guidelines they will become habit.
Don’t wait until tomorrow to start the de-cluttering and organization process. For each hour spent putting your stuff back where it belongs it will save you 3-4 hours in the future having to look for lost items.
Remember this process will never be completely done. Set attainable goals for yourself. Aim for a clutter-free, stress free home.