Declutter Your Home to Improve Mental Health
No matter how you feel about cleaning, the fact remains that it’s beneficial to keep a clean home. Not only is a clean home healthier, but many studies over the years have shown a positive connection between mental health and cleanliness. While some of us might not be excited to do chores, learning how to declutter and clean your home can give you many positive results.
Benefits of Cleaning and Mental Health
The way we keep our homes can be a physical representation of how we’re feeling. If our mood is negative, it can have an impact on our motivation to clean up, which in turn can make us feel more lethargic towards fixing the situation. No matter how difficult it may be start cleaning, the benefits can outweigh any negative association with chores.
- Physical benefits. Cleaning up and moving around the house is an easy way to work up a sweat and can be an easy way to get 30 minutes of physical activity.
- Relieve stress. The physical aspect of cleaning can release endorphins in your brain to help you feel more positive and relaxed. Taking charge over the disorder of a messy room can give you a sense of accomplishment and motivation.
- Better mood. The actual activities of cleaning can help you “zen out” and practice a bit of mindfulness and meditation. Instead of trying to get through a chore as fast as possible, immerse yourself in the moment and find a new sense of peacefulness.
- Sense of control. While we might not feel like we have total control in every aspect of our lives, being able to keep your home clean can give you the starting point you need to clear your mind and look for other ways to find order in other aspects of life.
- Increased focus. While the idea of cleaning your whole home may seem intimidating, breaking it up in smaller areas (or even shelves) can give you a better sense of focus to tackle bigger projects around the house.
Strategies to Help Declutter Your Home
Before you can clean, you need to declutter. Decluttering helps rid your home of excess stuff that can waste time, money and effort. While decluttering can seem difficult, it’s an achievable task with the right game plan.
- Set a time limit. It can be hard to find the time to do chores, so instead of trying to get everything done all at once, break down your tasks over a longer period. Start by giving yourself 15 minutes of cleaning time every day. If all goes well and you’re enjoying the results, see if that time can be increased.
- One room/shelf at a time. Declutter your space in smaller portions to help make things manageable and give you a sense of accomplishment of finishing what you started.
- Get some help. Don’t feel like you need to clean everything by yourself. Include family and friends to avoid feeling overwhelmed. Find age-appropriate tasks for smaller kids and be sure to show your appreciation for a job well done.
- Pay attention to surfaces. No matter what, be sure to tackle large surfaces like tables or counters. These places do a great job of attracting lots of stuff, so be sure to keep your belongings in their proper place.
Evaluate Your Belongings
Decluttering is all about knowing what to keep and what to get rid of, so take a good look at your stuff and evaluate each item based upon these criteria.
- Looks. It’s great to have things that make our home feel beautiful and relaxing, so if it helps make your space look and feel great, consider keeping it.
- Usefulness. If something only has minimal use, or hasn’t been used in a long time, it’s a good candidate for removal.
- Sentiment. Special items near and dear to your heart deserve a special place in your home. Be sure to keep prized possessions in a place that can show them off.
Sort Your Stuff
Another way to declutter your space is to sort your belongings into the following categories.
- Return (to original spot/room)