Spring cleaning can help you declutter and clean things out in your home that you often overlook. But, did you know what spring cleaning and mental health are also connected?
Yes, decluttering your house and workspace may have many mental health benefits, such as improved mood, clearer thinking, and increased attention span.
In fact, a 2010 study found that women who described their homes in negative terms unfinished and cluttered also had higher levels of stress hormones.
Working in a clean, uncluttered space also creates a sense of calm and well-being.
You may not be aware, but holding onto things can create so much clutter in a home that impedes your ability to accomplish goals or get work done.
Meanwhile, working and living in a clean, organized space allows you to appreciate what you do have.
In this way, you can focus on enjoying your home, rather than constantly trying to put something somewhere, or hide the clutter. Decluttering helps you prioritize what you do have and enjoy.
So, for the sake of your mental health, here are 4 decluttering and organization tips.
1. Organize and purge your closet.
You most likely keep clothes that you think you’ll wear again. Or maybe clothes that you feel you should wear, but never do.
A good rule of thumb is to get rid of anything you haven’t worn for a year or anything that’s uncomfortable or not your style. If it doesn’t fit, get rid of it!!
Keeping all your clothes from 20 years ago, in the hopes that you’ll lose those 15 pounds, is not a great idea. You can buy new fashionable clothes when you lose 15 pounds!
If you really can’t part with the smaller size clothes, pick one pair of pants or a top you love that’s timeless and donate the rest.
If you donate to Goodwill, that discarded item can be someone else’s great find.
In addition to decluttering your closet, it allows you to take stock of what you do have and then organize things by style, color, or purpose — work, casual, or fancy.
Once you get rid of clothes you are no longer wearing, you can give yourself permission to get some items that do fit well and are flattering.
It also allows you to see what colors you tend to gravitate towards and challenge yourself to add more colors to your wardrobe.
2. Start one room at a time.
Take a look at what works in the room and decide if there’s anything there that no longer fits with the decor or flow of the room. Then, remove them.
Have you been holding on to items that are not really you, but they were gifted to you so you feel bad donating them?
Remember, one person’s trash is another person’s treasure. Letting go of sentimental items that no longer fit into your home is healthy.
You can remember the person in a different way, such as by framing a picture of them or a letter they wrote.
3. Save some of your children’s items, rather than all of them.
You might say to yourself, “I need to save all of my children’s artwork, writing, award, etc.” Do you have big piles of your children’s stuff, in the hopes you’ll go through it someday?
Well, today is the day to go start going through it and picking the best pieces from their work!
You can always scan additional pieces, if you like, and save them to an online folder. Organizing key items in a clear storage bin is also a nice way to remove some of the clutter.
Pick a couple of key items you love and frame them.
4. Organize your photos.
Again, the same principle, go through old photos and pick the ones you really like and either frame them or make a scrapbook or photo album of them.
You can create photo books that make wonderful additions to your coffee table and living room. By highlighting pictures of you and your loved ones, you can appreciate them more.
Getting started with decluttering and organizing our environment can feel like a daunting task and oftentimes can lead to paralysis and not getting started.
But, with these 4 simple tips, you’re on your way to a more organized and decluttered home.
Monica Ramunda, MA, LPC, RPT-S, is a licensed professional counselor and therapist working with individuals, families, children, and teens. For more information, visit her website.