Always tidy, but feel like nothing ever stays tidy?
And while clutter is sure to be annoying, did you know that a cluttered and messy home could be detrimental to your well-being as well?
Feeling stressed and anxious are feelings that many of us experience, interfering with our sleep and energy, but also our overall well-being and health.
Often times our busy lives are blamed, along with worries about money and even social media. And while they all undoubtedly contribute to our stress, have you stopped and looked at the condition of your home lately?
Is it tidy and organized? Or, like many of us, do you have so much thing is it hard to master all this? Clutter, whether it’s strewn around your home or hidden in drawers and behind doors, comes at a mental cost, says psychologist Sherrie Bourg Carter.
“Messy homes and workspaces leave us anxious, helpless and overwhelmed. Yet, disorder is rarely recognized as a major source of stress in our lives.
In fact, research shows that in addition to stress, the disorder can stimulate anxiety and depression. Especially in women.
A 2009 study in SAGE followed 60 dual-income spouses and analyzed the language they used during self-guided home visits. Using their words, the researchers grouped them into two types describing either a stressful house or one restorative house. Compared to women who used “restorative language”, those who used “stressful language” had an increased depressed mood as the day progressed.
“Cortisol data shows link between unfortunate verbal characterizations of household property tables [chronically messy, cluttered rooms or unfinished remodelling projects] and higher stress levels as measured by the hormone cortisol in the study mothers, ”said UCLA anthropologist Jeanne Arnold.
Clothing, shoes, decoration, sports equipment – we all have more of everything these days, and this culture of clutter makes us feel stressed and anxious.
But guys, it doesn’t have to be like this. I recently came across this decluttering challenge that was all the rage on Pinterest, and this seems like the perfect place to start if you’re feeling a little overwhelmed by the idea of decluttering. Why? Because instead of trying to declutter your entire house in a day or even a weekend, this board lets you tackle one task per day for a month – something that’s much more doable and realistic.
Have you put off decluttering for days, weeks, months, or even years? If so, there is no better time than now to start.
1. Empty a garbage drawer
No matter how many you have… don’t even think about it! It will only overwhelm you. Pick one and tackle only that one. Whether it’s old flyers or bills, dried out rubber bands, golf balls, garbage wrappers (you’d be surprised)… get rid of them! Typically, if you haven’t used it in the past three months, you probably don’t need it.
2. Purge your wardrobe of things you no longer wear
It’s time to take a look at your local charity store! If you have to think twice about an item of clothing, throw it in this plastic bag.
3. Browse your movie collection
Keep your favorites – no they aren’t all your favorites – and ditch the rest. Plus, does anyone really need these things when you have Netflix?
4. Clean your TV cabinet
You might even have some of those old VHS tapes or DVDs in there, not to mention cables you don’t use anymore.
5. Browse your mail – all
Flyers and newspapers are starting to pile up quickly.
6. Clean the kitchen table
One day it’s clean and the next day it’s like turning into an open concept storage unit. Move laptops, dirty dishes, homework, and loose sheets of paper. Being able to eat at a clean table during meals will also help foster less stressful quality time together.
7. Purge two kitchen presses
You will soon see how much easier it will be to cook and keep the kitchen clean.
8. Throw away old books
Of course you would keep your favorites, but ask around to see if anyone would be interested in reading some. If not, give them away.
9. Clean your wallet
This might be the easiest to do because your wallet is probably close at hand right now. So empty it completely… Get rid of empty gift cards, discolored receipts, crumpled business cards and whatever else you managed to slip in.
10. Clean your purse
Empty everything from your bag and once you’ve got rid of all the rubbish or old objects, only put back the essentials: wallet, small make-up bag, a pen or pencil, a diary, a small pack of tissues… it really depends on the person. The point is, you don’t want to carry more than you need to.
11. Purge your makeup bag
Makeup doesn’t keep forever, so be sure to throw out old mascara wands and foundations that have gotten gloop-y. Keep what you wear daily, throw away the rest.
12. Clean empty / nearly empty containers in the shower.
The good thing about it is that you don’t have to open every bottle. Just take it and give it a quick shake… you’ll be able to tell if it’s empty or near.
13. Purge your bathroom cabinets
There is no doubt that there is a lot lurking in there that can go straight in the trash.
14. Search your shoes
If the shoes are old and worn, throw them out. If they’re relatively new but aren’t right for you, donate them to a charity shop or a friend.
15 Purge two more kitchen presses
See number 7.
16. Organize your heat press or wherever you keep linens and towels
Take an inventory of everything you put in there and get rid of old sheets and blankets that are ragged and tattered.
17. Purge your medicine cabinet
Old or expired medications are not something you want in your home.
18. Go through your freezer and throw away anything that’s been there for ages
If the food in your freezer is too old, throw it out.
19. Get rid of your kitchen counters
Set aside a block of time – as long as you think you need – and do it.
20. Empty another garbage drawer
See number 1.
21. Go through your fridge and throw out old items
See number 18.
22. Purge two more kitchen presses
See number 7.
23. Dispose of unused accessories
Don’t fall into the trap of telling yourself that you might wear it again someday because you probably told yourself last time.
24. Clean your car
There’s no better way to start the day than getting into a clean, tidy car.
25. If you have children, get rid of unused toys
If something hasn’t been used in forever, ask your kids if it can be donated or sold. It may take a while to be convincing, but know this: Numerous studies have shown that children play better when they have fewer toys.
26. Organize the remaining toys
Designate a play area or toy bin where all the toys will go from now on. If you already had something like this, reapply it.
27. Browse board games and electronic games (give away what is not used)
The same goes for board games and game consoles. Keep them tidy and in one place, especially when there are so many small moving parts and moving wires. If no one is using them, we’re sure someone somewhere will find immense joy in a board game or console that you no longer use.
28. Organize and dispose of cleaning products
If you want to take the plunge, get rid of all your toxic cleaners and replace them with natural alternatives. It will create a safer and cleaner home.
29. Purge two more kitchen cabinets
See number 7.
30. Clean! Get your newly organized house all sparkling and shiny
Now that everything is organized again, cleanup should be a snap.