A guest post by Kacey Bradley. Visit her bio at the end of this article.
A cluttered home creates a chaotic environment. Not only will you feel smothered by never-ending piles of laundry, junk drawers and closets stacked with clothes you don’t even wear, you’ll become stressed and anxious, which can affect your overall well-being.
It’s hard to concentrate on the important things when you feel overwhelmed. So start at the root of the problem, and declutter your brain by decluttering your home. It sounds like a grueling task, but it can actually be quite therapeutic. Take it room by room, space by space, and slowly make your way through all of the clutter. Once you do, revel in the benefits — and there are many. Read on to find out just what those benefits are.
Help Those in Need
When you begin the process, take it room by room. Clean out your small closets first so you can create extra storage space for other items in the home. As you clean out your closets, determine what can go and what can stay. Do you need it? Do you use it? If your answer is no to both of those questions, then give unused items to those in need.
This doesn’t mean you have to just drop everything off at Goodwill. Choose a charity, homeless shelter or domestic violence organization you feel passionate about, and donate your items to a cause. This will not only make you feel good about helping others, but it will clear out some of the clutter in your life. It’s a win-win.
It’s a challenge to stay organized, especially if you work full-time, have children and other things going on that interfere. The most important thing is to first declutter the spaces in your home that feed your stress and anxiety. Once you declutter these spaces, it will take constant effort to keep them decluttered. Establish a home for everything — blankets go in a basket in the living room, remote controls stay on the coffee table, dirty dishes go in the dishwasher, etc.
Your garage will be a major effort in itself, so plan an elongated amount of time to focus on it. Since garages easily accumulate everything, you’ll likely need to build shelving or create bin space for things without a home to keep it organized. Categorize and group items together — like car related items, sports equipment, winter gear, etc. If you can hang things on the walls, use extra space for that — like brooms, yard tools, ski gear, etc.
Once you’ve chosen homes, keep items where they go. If you have children, teach them where things belong so they can help you keep up with your new system. Make sure you stay on top of it, and find time at night to tidy up the most-used areas of your home like the kitchen and living room. It doesn’t have to take an hour. Just take ten minutes or so out of your evening to keep up with the basics, like emptying the dishwasher, folding laundry and wiping kitchen countertops.
If you stay on top of clutter, it won’t accumulate and become out of control.
Enjoy More Living Space
Enjoy reclaimed space when you eliminate clutter. If your living room is full of Legos, Hot Wheels and other children’s toys, buy decorative bins to store everything. Keep these bins behind the couch or against a wall so you can enjoy your living room in its entirety. You can also purchase an entertainment system with built in storage to maximize space.
If you kitchen table always somehow accumulates piles of laundry, backpacks and winter coats, solve the problem if you put up shelving in your laundry room to store these kinds of items.
Most of us experience too much unnecessary clutter in our homes because we simply neglect to go through our closets, junk drawers and other busy areas. However, if you do this every now and then, you’ll eliminate things you don’t need and create more living space. You never know, you may actually have room now for that reading chair you’ve had your eyes on.
Discover Things You Didn’t Know You Had
Decluttering can be fun because you’ll discover things you forgot about or thought you lost. Especially when you declutter closets, you’ll come across that dress you wore to a wedding two years ago that you loved but completely forgot about. Maybe you’ll find your long lost favorite pair of sweatpants that were shoved deep into the abyss.
Junk drawers are also usually full of treasure. That new wine opener you got for Christmas from your best friend four months ago — oh, there it is.
Decrease Stress and Anxiety
Manage your stress and boost your health when you create a sense of order in your life. Piles of dirty clothes scattered about and bills spread out across the coffee table will create an overwhelming feeling of disarray, even if you’re not in tune to it. If you feel you’ve already lost control of any organization in your home and don’t know where to start to get it under control, don’t keep blowing it off — do something now.
You’ve maybe heard about the correlation between hoarding and symptoms of mental illness — professionals believe that organization is in fact linked to mental health in more ways than one. If you actively note areas of your home that cause feelings of dread or anxiety, you’ll know where you need to focus your energy on decluttering and organization. Create a system that works for you and your schedule, and stick to it. You will feel more relaxed, focused and productive before you know it.
You don’t have to feel like you’ve lost control of your life when clutter continues to accumulate and distract you from the things that matter most like your career, friends and family. Even if you don’t feel impacted from clutter, it’s likely taking a toll on your mental health whether you like to believe it or not. Understand that there are many benefits to decluttering your home, and that the positives outweigh the negatives in every way. So make this healthy change in your life today.
Kacey Bradley is the lifestyle and travel blogger for The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations and cultures, all while portraying her love for the world around her through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts. Along with writing for her blog, she frequently writes for sites like US Travel News, Thought Catalog, Style Me Pretty, Tripping.com and more!