There is an old adage that our home space reflects how we feel inside. If the house is messy and chaotic, one might be feeling the same way internally. Chaos is breeding ground for anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, overwhelm and difficulty focusing. Tidying up and addressing clutter is more beneficial to our mental health than we might think.
Cleaning counts as exercise!
One study out of Indiana University Tidier homes, fitter bodies?: IU News Room: Indiana University found that people who picked up their rooms were more physically fit. This may be because running laundry, washing dishes, vacuuming are all physical activities. It could also be that a tidier home improves mental health, leaving people more energized to go for a walk, hiking, playing soccer in the backyard.
Decluttering makes us happier!
Another study out of DePaul University Delaying Disposing: Examining the Relationship between Procrastination and Clutter across Generations | SpringerLink found a link between clutter and overall dissatisfaction with life.
But there’s too much stuff!
To tackle this issue, and potentially improve your mood, Becky Garrison has 4 steps to create more F.L.O.W. in your life.
People have clutter. You’re not the only one. When you can forgive yourself for not wanting to clean at the end of a long day, you’re more likely to feel energized to do something about it.
Let stuff go
If letting go is going to be hard for you, don’t touch a thing. Invite a friend to help you. Have that person hold up the item and ask. Do you still want this frayed sweatshirt from 1997? Do you still read these back issues of People Magazine from when Jen and Brad were still together?
Organize what’s left
Start small. Pick one quadrant of the room or one room at a time. Dining room table piled with things? Just work on the table. If you can, find a place for everything.
Like with a garden, when we keep the rhythm up of tidying a little every day, it is less likely to take over. Very much like a garden, when there is space left over from our tidying, it leaves room for our creativity to grow and for us to feel proud.
Want to learn more? Read Garrison’s whole article here: Too Much Stuff? De-Junk Your Life | Spirituality & Health