Try as we might, clutter seems to find its way into our space, our homes, and our minds. Sometimes it is hard to realize when it reaches uncomfortable levels, because we tend to not notice the frustration it causes. It is only when we become distracted and unable to relax that we realize that it is caused by the clutter.
“Clutter bombards our minds with excessive stimuli (visual, olfactory, tactile), causing our senses to work overtime on stimuli that aren’t necessary or important,” said Psychologist Sherrie Bourg Carter in her article Why Mess Causes Stress.
The Ways In Which Clutter Causes Stress
Clutter often stems from living a disorganized life and according to psychologists, an attachment to clutter is an emotional condition that can lead to stress, depression, and embarrassment. Hoarding is an extreme case of clutter, which usually reflects a serious form of obsessive-compulsive disorder that requires a long-term solution.
“When you’re surrounded by more things than you can manage, it sends a visual message that your life is out of control,” the Mayo Clinic reported.
Clutter causes stress, since all this visual stimuli that reminds you of all the things you still have to do, causing you to feel overwhelmed. It also uses up a lot of precious time when you have to repeatedly reorganize it.
“Things that are left undone can be your own undoing,” says Australian author, Peter Walsh, “They just add stress and waste precious time. Organising is the act of giving yourself more time and peace of mind.”
Why Do Some People Collect Clutter?
You can tidy up all you like, but without actually getting rid of junk, you will simply have to do it again in no time.
In some cases, an underlying issue is causing the clutter or hoarding, such as chronic pain, emotional trauma, depression, or grief.
Additionally, there’s the social tendency whereby we believe that owning many possessions will bring us more happiness. Dealing with this misguided assumption can help us achieve better long term mental health and genuine happiness.
Best Tips to Declutter Your Home
I’m a believer that decluttering your home can help to declutter your mind, helping you to be more productive, focused, energized, and happy.
Follow these expert tips to help you declutter your home today:
1. Start Small
Feng Shui expert and personal organizer, Kerri Rodley says that “Decluttering is the number one step in the feng shui process because, if energy can’t flow freely, nothing else can begin to improve.”
She also suggests that you start in your bedroom, which is the most important room when it comes to rejuvenation and healing.
2. Make Decluttering Part of Your Routine
Experts suggest that you make decluttering a part of your weekly or daily routine. Sticking to these routines will help you maintain your focus and will create healthy habits to eliminate clutter altogether.
3. Do It Now!
Develop a habit of putting things away immediately, instead of waiting to do it later. Teach the same to your children and ensure that they know that they are responsible for their own mess.
4. No Strings Attached
Ask friends to help you declutter, because they are not as attached to your things.
5. Implement the Three Pile Rule
When decluttering, use the three pile rule:
- Pile one – Things you want to keep
- Pile two – Things you want to throw away
- Pile three – Things you want to donate / sell
This weekend will see me decluttering… Out goes the unused items, outgrown toys and books, and clothes that have become too small. I look forward to all increased space in my home.
Do you have any great decluttering tips? I’d love to hear all about it in comments, below.