What is clutter to you? It's a stack of old mail that needs to be sorted or filed, an ever growing pile of clean towels that need to be folded, or maybe it’s a constantly growing collection of books you’ve read once. Whatever clutter is to you, it is affecting your daily productivity and overall stress levels, according to science.
In an age where minimalism and the KonMari method are taking the internet by storm, it is still hard for most people to declutter their homes and workplaces. The truth is, research shows that clutter in these areas of your life can increase stress, which we are all aware can take a toll on one’s mental health.
Even though we all know that cleaning our spaces of clutter would be best, why is it so hard to do it? A new study from Yale shows that the brain actually creates pain signals when we get rid of something we are sentimental towards, therefore, it is literally painful to us to get rid of things we like. Why is it so hard to get rid of mundane, non-sentimental items though? That has yet to be determined. My guess is that either a person actually doesn’t see these things as useless, or that facing the clutter head on is too much and just ignoring is easier for them. But even if you are the type of person to ignore your ever growing pile of clutter, seeing these things and being around them can have negative effects on your brain.
There are many types of personalities, some of which despise clutter, and some of which don’t mind it as much. No matter which type you are, it can still cause stress. Decluttering your life can led to more productivity, less stress, and peace of mind.
Take these 5 Simple Steps to Declutter your home or work space:
- Everything needs a home, space, or place. Clutter will decrease when stuff has a specific place it goes, and it is always put there. Regarding your work space, put files and other things back when you are done to cut back on piles building up.
- Whether its clothes, books, movies, old beauty products, or random kitchen spices, if it’s out of date or you haven’t used it in over two years, it’s time for it to go. Donate useable stuff and toss the rest.
- Utilize containers within storage spaces. For example, put bins and baskets in drawers, closets, and cabinets. Try to store your stuff so that you can see everything you have.
- When it comes to shelves full of knick-knacks and decor, don’t fill up the shelf. Instead try keeping it to three to five items and no more. For shelves with books, movies, or other things of the sort, make sure there is always room to grow. When you run out of room, don’t buy more furniture, make room on the furniture you already have.
- At the end of every evening or work day, before you go to bed or leave the office, do a walk-through of your space and look for things that are not in their place, and put them back. In your office, you need to be able to see the top of your desk before you leave.
Whether clutter is something that affects your life or not, the truth is that it can stress you out, and no one wants to be stressed out. To have more peace of mind and create a happier environment for yourself, practice these five simple steps to declutter your life.
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