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A Clutter-Free Spring Can Boost Mental Health

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Last Updated on May 18, 2021

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A clean, uncluttered home can boost your mental health. With less physical clutter, you can experience less emotional and mental clutter. 

If you or a loved one is experiencing a mental health concern, please reach out for help. Support and effective treatment are available; MyTherapist is a helpful resource for advice and connecting with licensed mental health professionals.

Five Ways that Decluttering Can Boost Mental Health:

  1. A peaceful, calm environment can make your home a haven for mental health. A soothing, clean space can ease stress and anxiety, promote better sleep and relaxation, and help you feel more positive.
  2. Less mess can reduce stress. Knowing where everything is can decrease stress and anxiety and save valuable time.
  3. The focus factor can boost feelings. An organized space can make it easier to focus, which can decrease negative emotions such as frustration, as well as increase feelings of accomplishment and control.
  4. Guilt goes in the trash. A clean, organized home can lessen feelings of guilt, shame, or embarrassment.
  5. A happy home can promote healthy connections. An inviting, welcoming home where you can connect with others can help prevent feelings of isolation. 

Spring Decluttering: Three Tips for Getting Started: 

  1. Set Goals: Stay motivated by setting realistic, specific, achievable goals. Goal setting can help you feel in control and prevent feelings of being overwhelmed by the task at hand.
  2. Be Flexible: If you don’t reach a goal at first, you can re-adjust and re-set. Try not to give up. Starting again is a positive option and a sign of adaptability and strength.
  3. Pick Decluttering Methods that Work for You: A wealth of decluttering strategies is available online. Try to pick strategies that are a good fit for you. You can try different methods to find your best fit.

Ten Popular Decluttering Techniques:

  1. Divide and Conquer: Separate clutter into five categories: keep, donate, trash, recycle, and “not sure.” Go back through the “not sure” category when you feel ready to decide what to do with the items.
  2. Consider Necessity and Joy: Consider each item carefully and keep only what makes you feel good or what’s necessary.
  3. Follow the Days of the Month: On each day of the month, purge or organize the number of items that corresponds with the date. For example, on the tenth day of the month, throw away, donate, or carefully and neatly put away ten items. 
  4. Pick an Area or Space: Choose one spot at a time to focus on, such as one closet, a drawer, or a room. 
  5. Choose Categories: Declutter and organize by categories in the house, such as all coats or all pots and plan, instead of one drawer or room at a time.
  6. Stage a Move: Pretend you’re moving. Package and physically organize your belongings in boxes. Pack only what you would take with you if you were moving. Throw away, donate, sell, or recycle everything else.
  7. Implement a “One In, One Out” Routine: Each time you bring something new into the house, pick something you no longer use or like to donate, recycle, or throw away.
  8. Work in Short Bursts and Set Mini-Goals. If the thought of decluttering seems overwhelming, try setting a timer and clearing as much as you can in a short amount of time. Set mini goals for what to tackle. 
  9. Make a Commitment to Have Fewer Things: Making a conscious effort to take on a less-is-more approach can help you feel more grateful for what you have and can be an effective way to curtail clutter.
  10. Make a Home for Everything and Put Everything in its Place: Once you’ve established where your things should go, take a short amount of time each day to put your belongings away. Setting a timer and working as fast as possible can be motivating.

Three Quick Ways to Manage the Clutter-Stress Connection

  1. Try talking about it. Discuss your tolerance for clutter with everyone you live with and respectfully ask for their help to keep your home clutter-free and calm for all.
  2. Create a simple, small, clutter-free space. One clutter free room or corner can be a respite. As time allows, you can keep working on the rest of the home.
  3. Work on practicing acceptance. Your home does not have to be perfect. Perfection can cause feelings of stress and pressure. Instead, you might try to just declutter areas that affect your emotions the most and let go of the rest until you have more time.

Cutting the clutter can be a great self-care tool for a happy home and a happy outlook.