Why You Should Declutter Your Home Today
Did you know the presence of clutter raises your stress levels and contributes to overwhelm? Before I completed a radical tidy up in my own home, I had moments where I felt like clutter was taking over.
Clutter in my home was like a storm cloud that would roll in, mess things up, and leave me feeling like my work never ended. I’m not sure why it took me so long to realize that I could permanently rid my home of clutter, but I guess I chalk it up to life’s a journey.
Since embracing a life of simplicity and tidiness, I have enjoyed less house work, less frustration, and more time for my five kids and husband. More time for what matters most to me.
Interestingly enough, a while back the UCLA’s centre on Everyday Lives of Families took a closer look at how clutter affects the family. The UCLA study found that clutter had a profound impact on women compared with their male counterparts. Women who looked around their home and noted the clutter felt burdened by it. In fact these women tested for high levels of cortisol (the stress hormone). Clutter directly raised stress levels! The study validated what I already knew to be true from my own life.
The study also noted that US contemporary households own more possessions than any society in global history. I’m sure the same could be said about Canadian families. We are consuming at historically high levels.
The question begs then, how is this level of consumption affecting our everyday lives?
I would argue that more possessions often leads to more clutter, which leads to more stress and overwhelm. Many families are at a point where they simply don’t have the time and energy to keep up with all of their belongings. Life is already chalk full of busyness. Most modern day family schedules are filled with activities, school projects, home improvement projects, appointments, and the list goes on.
So how do we begin to move out some of the clutter and overwhelm? I offer four suggestions to get you moving in the right direction.
Step #1 Acknowledge that not all your possessions are adding joy to your life.
In fact many of them are probably adding to the clutter and causing stress. Change your thinking about stuff! Stop consuming like the majority. Consider swapping out stuff for experiences. Memories last a lifetime but your stuff will probably end up in a landfill or thrift store at some point.
Step #2 Begin a radical tidy and purge.
Begin with the room or closet that drives you the most crazy and ruthlessly purge. Ask yourself: Do I use this? Do I love this item? Does this add to our quality of life at home? If you haven’t used something in a while or forgot it was even there send it to donation. Take control of your things. Don’t let them control you.
Step#3 Consume intentionally.
From here forward take time to think about every item you bring into your home. Remember that everything you own demands something from you. Whether it be your time, energy or just your space. Be mindful about stuff.
Step #4 Reach out for help if the declutter project is totally overwhelming you.
Ask a trusted friend to help you get the ball rolling. If you still need assistance look into getting a professional organizer to help conquer the clutter.