Decluttering can help reduce stress

Mess equals stress

Without question, disorganization in our homes and workplaces create a number of burdens. In fact, numerous academic studies link a cluttered environment to high levels of anxiety, depression and guilt, which can inhibit creativity, productivity and overwhelms our minds with excessive stimuli.

Tell me something I don’t know

Generally, the burden of items out of place is a fairly obvious stressor, for some more than others. At a very basic level, our brains need order. Our biological and neurochemical systems are set up to operate in an orderly fashion. When we live and work in a mess-free environment, our brains do not have to work as hard, and our physical and mental health improves greatly. As a professional organizer who has worked with countless clients on home and business organization projects, I can say unequivocally that my favorite part of the job is witnessing the positive physical and mental effects of decluttering.

Where to start?

When improving your overall physical and mental health, remember that small steps like removing clutter can lead to big improvements in your daily life. To start, place four boxes labeled with “donate, sell, recycle and toss” in each room throughout your home. As you move through each room, slowly fill each box with items accordingly. Once they are filled, plan to take these bins to local donation sites, consignment stores or recycling centers. An alternative way to tackle clutter is to spend just 15 minutes each day organizing a problem area in your home, such as stacks of paperwork or an overflowing closet. 

Kira Vanderlan operates a decorating, decluttering, staging and home organization company.