No one really likes clutter… it's distracting and can feel like it's falling in on you. It causes a lot of people a lot of stress.
Women tend to feel this stress more than men. Most women have a desire to have things neat and orderly. Because women have a remarkable ability to pay attention to multiple things at once, they're more aware of the clutter that builds up.
Men can get just as stressed over clutter, but the unique physiology of a man's brain helps him compartmentalize and the clutter can fade into the background. He's less stressed about it until it becomes his focus.
So, whether you want to clean house, have less stress, or impress other people, keep reading because we have some great tips to help you declutter and reduce your stress.
Feng Shui Of Decluttering
According to the Chinese traditional Feng Shui, clutter is a sign of where there's problems in your life. It's far too complicated to get into here, but the tradition holds that if you clean up clutter where it lingers, it can help you sort out other problems in your life.
The clutter is thought to cover up the problem, letting it fester. By clearing out that clutter, you expose the problem and deal with it.
Neither decluttering or dealing with the problem is easy, but you'll feel less stress when you do.
Science Backs Up Decluttering Reduces Stress – Especially for Women
It's hard for science to determine exactly why clutter creates so much stress, but a few studies show the connection, mostly in a work environment. They find clutter at work leads to more stress and unhappiness.
More so, other studies have linked traits such as heart disease and depression to how people clean their homes. Some of these find people who exist in a lot of clutter and are obsessively clean and organized tend to have higher levels of stress and heart disease.
It seems the secret to keeping yourself happy and healthy is to keep your home organized and clean, but enjoy living in it.
10 Decluttering Tips To Do It Fast
Decluttering can take a long time, especially if there's a lot to do. But, you can make it more manageable.
You first have to decide to do it and see it through to the end. And understand that this will all seem worse before it gets better. You have to make a mess to get it cleaned up.
Now, let's take a look at the tips:
Make hard and fast rules about your decluttering decisions.
How far are you going to take the decluttering? What constitutes something you need?
It may be great to want to live in a minimalistic environment, where there are not many things for you to clean or deal with, but it can be a massive change if you're used to clutter.
And do you really want to get rid of some of those keepsake mementos? Do they bring you joy?
One of the tips others have is to evaluate each object before deciding to get rid of it and see if it brings you joy. The problem with this is most things do being you joy. A better question is will it be something you enjoy regularly, or will it still sit in a drawer unnoticed?
Get several bags, boxes, or bins you're okay getting rid of. Mark them papers, donations, recycle, save, and trash.
You need someplace to put the stuff. Creating piles can make the task seem overwhelming when you need to clean up the piles.
If it's paper, it goes in the paper box to be sorted – later.
It's tempting to go through every piece of paper right now and figure out what to do with it. But, that can take a lot of time. If it's obvious what the paper is, take care of it right away. But, if you have to review what it is, just put it in a box to go through later.
If it's broken, toss it.
No, you aren't going to fix it.
If you haven't used it in a full year, donate it.
There are certain exceptions to this, but if that juicer or book or knick-knack hasn't done anything for you in a year, the chances of you needing it again are very slim.
Start with an easy room that doesn't contain a lot of sentimental objects or pictures.
If you don't have to go through things that bring up memories, you can get the job done faster. And, it gives you momentum to continue the job. The bathroom, spare room, laundry room, or guest room are perfect places to start.
Use a timer for 10 minutes.
It's easier to sprint through 10 minutes than try to sludge through an hour. In between these 10 minutes intervals, take a 5-minute break. Go outside, get a drink of water, or sit down. You'll be able to reevaluate how you feel and how your progress is going.
Do one small area at a time.
If your living room or kitchen is cluttered, it could take days to go through. Set a goal to do a small area at a time. This could be just the cabinets under your sink or just the junk drawer. It could be just the kitchen table or just a corner. Then, when you're done, decide if you want to take on the next small area.
Have cleaning supplies ready to go.
Once you start decluttering everything, clean it. That gets the dirt, dust, and grime out of that particular area. And, you'll be less likely to clutter it up again because it's clean.
Set a goal to spot-check.
Once a week, go through and clean all the areas you just decluttered. Most clutter happens over weeks and months, and it takes a lot less time to put away one or two things than dozen.
We know clutter can be frustrating, especially if it's not yours. Children, spouses, and friends can make things more challenging. But, if you tackle it with a plan and take your time to do it methodically, the task is more manageable and easier. We hope you take these tips and create the beautiful home of your dreams.