Declutter Decreases Stress

There are several benefits of declutter. When you declutter you are more likely to make healthier choices, improve relationships, and even boost your workout.

A study published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin found women with more organized homes who were able to declutter had less stress.

“this study found intriguing links between wives’ descriptions of their homes and their patterns of cortisol and depressed mood. Given that everyday levels of cortisol and depressed mood may influence long-term physical and psychological health outcomes, these results illustrate the importance of individuals’ perceptions of the home environment for both proximal and distal well-being. When coming home from work means noticing piles of clutter or a long list of to-do projects, it is perhaps no surprise that cortisol levels fail to show a normal diurnal decline and that ratings of depressed mood increase over the course of the day. Similarly, focusing on those features of the home that are restful or that incorporate nature may ease the transition from work to home, explaining a stronger diurnal pattern of cortisol and an across-the-day decrease in depressed mood levels.”

Oh to be able to declutter

  • My daughter is a great example of someone who is organized. I found her in her room spending a fair amount of time decluttering, labeling folders and placing important items needed for school work in easy to find places (she did not get this from me).

I thought the topic of declutter was a good one to write about as there are many health benefits and just about everyone can benefit from the ability to declutter.

Organize and Reduce Your Stress

Organize and Reduce Your Stress

Why is Organizing important?

  • I bring up organization because it is something that can be easily performed.
  • It does not cost money but is does take time.
  • Being disorganized has been shown to be one of the biggest causes of stress. Some triggers of stress are out of our control because it involves other people such a  stressful relationship or a problem with work.
  • Organizing is something you can do that does not involve someone else, if you want to ask for help that is great the more the merrier.
  • When clutter builds up it may cause feelings of anxiety as it always seems to be a thought on the back burner. There is always a little voice within saying “I need to get to that”.
  • It is difficult to forget about the mess if it is right there in front of you.
  • It helps you keep on top of things. If everything is organized you won’t waste time looking for things which will let you manage your time better. In my daughters case, she is so organized that she is able to tell when things are getting on top of her and when she needs to use collegepaperworld to help catch up.
  • Living in a mess whether it is at home or work usually leads to less productivity.
  • Usually people will find it difficult to relax in a messy environment.
  • It can also add time in doing basic routines as it may be difficult to find something.

Try to declutter, see if you notice a difference

Declutter science

Declutter and healthy lifestyle

One study showed that people who are more stressed chose foods that are not as healthy. Stressed people often chose comfort foods that are high in salt and fat.

Organizing does not stop at a messy room. If you are more organized you are more likely to plan meals throughout the week rather than winging it which can lead to fast foods or choosing foods that are not as healthy.

The more you are organized the more time you will have to do other things such as exercise and catch up with friends and family.

Declutter and sleep

A clean room is more productive than a messy room. Our brains are able to focus easier when there is less clutter. Making our bed in the morning or changing the sheets improves our sleep and decreases stress.

Declutter and cognition

One study suggested that students who were placed in organized environments did better than those students who were placed in disorganized spaces.

Declutter Made Easy

  • Ask for help. The whole family should take part if the house is a mess. If that is not possible start with one room or one section of a room. You will get more motivated when you feel a sense of accomplishment so try not to move to another room unless the first room is completed. Task number one, just start to declutter. Do a little at a time, even small jobs will add up.
  • Putting on music and opening the blinds to brighten the room can help lift your mood and make decluttering easier.
  • When decluttering try to throw discard as much as possible.
  • Storing your belongings  in closed cabinets and draws as it gives a more organized appearance. The file cabinet could have papers strewn everywhere but if you do not have to see you it is less likely to bother you. When you have more time then go through the file cabinet.
  • Try to keep wastebaskets handy, you are more out to throw something away rather than let it pile up.
  • Try to break things up into sections or piles then place them in a folder or box as needed and make sure they are labeled.
  • Look for unused space such as under the bed for storage or furniture if you are short of space.
  • There are boxes that come in any size that can be easily placed under the bed. Look for products that help with organization.

Try to do one thing at a time, multi-tasking has been shown to increase stress. You are less likely to accomplish one task as well. Some people can benefit from setting a timer for 15 minutes. Most of us can squeeze 15 minutes into our schedule to declutter.

An ounce of prevention goes a long way. Once you are organized try not to let the clutter build up again. When you are finished with the project clean up as much as you can. When the mail comes in, go through it and store it in its proper place or throw it away.

We all have some organizing to do. Spend a little time each day or at least a couple of days a week organizing. Before you know it each room or area in your home will be more organized which will be less stressful for you.

A study from Ohio State suggests that it is easier to give something away if you have a photo of that item. This study looked at items that had sentimental value. The researchers speculated that this would only work for items that had a sentimental value.

“What people really don’t want to give up is the memories associated with the item,” said Rebecca Reczek, co-author of the study and associate professor of marketing at The Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business.

“We found that people are more willing to give up these possessions if we offer them a way to keep the memory and the identity associated with that memory.”

How do you declutter?

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing

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