Why A Clutter Free Home Makes For Self Care
Sometimes when I get home from work I’ll take my clothes off, throw them on the floor and get right in bed. The next morning I’ll get dressed and the cycle continues. Between my shoe boxes, different outfits and whatever else, by the end of the week my room is a war zone. I’m sure you can relate when I say that putting everything back is never as easy as throwing it everywhere. In my head, relaxing after a long day’s work takes precedence over any chores mainly because they’re not fun to do. A 9-5 and a side hustle will have you hankering for a moment of peace and relaxation real quick.
However, I’ve started to notice that whenever I’m on the edge of a bad mood, and my room is also a mess, I just avoid going in it all together, in favor of the living room which is always less cluttered. I am proud to say that currently my room is clean, but after a bout of clutter bringing down my mood this past weekend I started to wonder if there was more to the two than I originally suspected. So, I did a little research and it turns out that the clutter we surround ourselves with definitely has an affect on our mental states.
A recent Psychology Today article says that clutter can make us feel depressed, overwhelmed and stressed. It’s because the mess constantly sends signals to your brain to take action; it creates a psychological pressure that disrupts our peace. Instead of calm, we feel a nagging sense of anxiety and urgency. Clutter makes our brain signals bombard us with the need to get something done. With the pressures of life already causing enough stress, a messy house shouldn’t be a new trigger.
Clutter constantly sends signals to your brain to take action so, aim to keep the space around you clutter-free.
The clutter around us disrupts the flow mentally and it’s not just something we can brush off. What about the clutter that we carry around us? There is unnecessary baggage (and sometimes drama) that we allow into our lives consistently that do nothing but create more clutter. From what I’m learning it seems to me that just as our homes need decluttering so do our minds.
READ: The Power of Saying No
So what do we do?
The first step is purging. In our personal lives that looks like anything from removing toxic relationships, to seeking healing, to doing some soul-searching for renewed focus. In the home there are a few easy tips to get and keep your home clutter free. Here’s how to make sure your sanctuary stays a place of calm.
In order to get clutter free, you first have the get rid of some stuff. It’s definitely a move that’s easier for some than others; have you ever watched an episode of Hoarders? Usually, we develop an emotional connection to our stuff which makes it harder to get rid of. That shirt you haven’t worn in years is the first gift your boyfriend ever bought you. That research paper you’re keeping was published in a journal.
There are things we keep for no reason other than the fact that we feel connected to them and so, they proceed to take up space and create clutter. To get over that huddle you have to decide what you want for your space, your closet,and even your life from a bigger picture point of view.
We hold on to things because we feel connected to them, and so, they proceed to take up space and create clutter.
Take your wardrobe for example. Sit down and define your style. Once you have a firm idea of what that looks like, then go to your closet. Now that it’s time to actually purge there’s no back and forth about whether to keep this or that because you already have a clear set of ground rules. It’s a black and white way to navigate the rocky, gray terrain of emotions.
Now that you’ve gotten rid of all of your excess stuff, it’s time to organize it. An organized home is one that is easy to navigate. What’s the use of having boxes for your arts and crafts if you have to dig through your closet to get to them? Look for organization solutions that are functional. During the organization process you may have to get rid of even more stuff. A place for everything and everything in its place. If you can’t find or make a place for it, then you don’t need it. Plain and simple.
If you can't find a place for it, then you don't need it.
TAKE THE EXTRA TWO MINUTES TO DO IT RIGHT
One of the secrets of a clutter free home is taking the extra two minutes to do it right the first time. You know this story. You’re cooking and you leave the salt on the counter instead of back on the spice rack.. You’re reading on the couch and when you’re done you leave the book on the coffee table instead of putting it back on the shelf. You put your dirty bowl in the sink instead of loading it right into the dishwasher. The list goes on and on.
A lot of time could be saved cleaning, and otherwise, if you just took the extra two minutes to do it right the first time. Put things back where they go. This is why it’s so crucial to have a seamless organization system. You don’t want a system that deters you from putting things in there place. If you have to move 15 other spices before you can put the salt back then you’re definitely going to leave it on the counter; it’s easier.
Take the time to do it right the first time; you’ll waste less time in the long run and keep your home nice and neat.
Take the extra time to do it right the first time around.
Habits live off of consistency. We know this to be true just by the research that says it takes about 90 days to form a habit. That means you have to be doing something consistently long enough for it to stick. Sometimes that means sticking to things that keep your home running smoothly long enough for it to stick, like making up your bed (the whole room seriously looks cleaner).
In order for this clutter free lifestyle to work you’ll have to be consistent about it.
Habits live off of consistency.
Your surroundings reflect your life. Living in a space that is clutter-free will force you to demand that in all areas. It will be the new normal.