Do you find yourself feeling anxious, stressed and overwhelmed? Yes you’re busy at work, yep life’s hectic, but did you know those might not be the main causes of your stress?
One of the biggest contributing factors to agitation is a messy, cluttered workspace or home. Want to know how decluttering can help release stress? Here’s why…
How decluttering affects your stress levels
Clutter has a nasty habit of taking over your life. It makes it hard to find what you need, to move around in a space and it is also overwhelming for your senses. Clutter bombards your mind, causing it to deal with unnecessary visual, tactile and sometimes odorous messages.
Not only do these stimuli distract you away from your focus, but they also make it difficult for you to relax. You’re always on edge as you’re not sure what it will take to get rid of the mess, or what you might find. Your brain thinks that its work is never done as there is always a big job staring you in the face. It ends up making you feel guilty and frustrated, especially when you can’t find what you need!
You might also find it harder to think as clutter can be known to interrupt creativity and productivity. Basically, clutter can be bad news for your mental and physical state. But what can you do about it?
Decluttering: Your path to calm
While many stress factors are hard to minimise, clutter is one that you can deal with reasonably easily. Here’s how:
1: Team work
It can feel imposing to have the weight of everyone’s mess on your shoulders. So, call in the troops and get it done together. They say many hands make light work. Assign each person an area to work on. Even if you are tackling it by yourself, focus on one area at a time so that you can see the progress you are making. If it’s just you – start by picking up just 10 things. Then focus on tidying up another 10 things. Rinse & repeat.
2: Designated closed spaces
Assign a place for the items that you use most regularly – your phone charger, your hairbrush, the TV remote. But make sure this space is not on top of a shelf or unit. Shut the items away in a drawer, cupboard or basket so you don’t see them every time you walk past.
3: Replace it
It is called a designated space for a reason. If you take something out of the space, put it back when you are finished so that you know where to find it next time.
4: Be ruthless
If you don’t want, don’t need, or don’t use an item – then get rid of it. Don’t be wasteful though. If it can still be used then recycle it or donate it to someone who does need it. If it’s something that you rarely use, then store it in an appropriate place like the garage shelves, or the storage cupboard.
5: Get organised
Whether you’re at work or home, a pending folder can be helpful. These are all the things that you need to action but can’t do it right now for some reason. Also, organise your other papers and responsibilities so that you don’t have piles of stuff sitting around. Be conscious of what you bring into your space, sort through things as quickly as possible when new items arrive.
6: Leave things tidy
Leaving things tidy will mean that you can return to a clean slate next time. That means tidy your desk before you leave work, do the dishes after you have cooked dinner, and make your bed in the morning. It’ll mean you can start each task fresh and not have to clean up before you can begin.
7: Make it fun
Cleaning and sorting can get boring quite quickly. So, do what you can to make it fun. Put on some music to sing along to, challenge your other family members to a speed clean, challenge yourself to do something within a certain timeframe, or whatever helps to keep you motivated and interested in getting the job done!
Decluttering is a great way to clear out your junk and also the unnecessary stress in your life. Don’t be overwhelmed if a big task lies ahead. Instead, chip away at it over time. Soon you will look back and be amazed by your progress!