Declutter to Destress

We don’t need studies to realize that clutter can be stressful. Still, researchers are finding more and more that disorderly spaces can hurt stress hormones levels and even our likeliness to procrastinate. Why? Psychologists believe that the visual chaos from clutter restricts our ability to focus. Clutter is distracting, slowing our brain’s processing speed compared to when we’re in a tidy environment. In some cases, this can lead to poor decision making.

Parting with our belongings can be emotionally challenging since we become attached to what we own. That’s why experts suggest decluttering with the help of a friend or family member. Instead of touching the objects you’d like to get rid of, have somebody else hold it and ask if you need it. If you touch the item, odds are you’re more likely to keep it.

Maybe you have a cluttered house, car, and office. Where should you start? Since a messy car seat is rarely in your line of sight, prioritize a space where you relax or work.

Do this:

  • Choose an area of the room that bothers you the most, but don’t overthink where to start. Give yourself too much thinking time, and you might procrastinate!
  • Lay out all the items and determine one-by-one what’s staying or going.
  • Ask yourself, “Can I live without this?” Go with your gut feeling.
  • Don’t confuse sentimentality with the length of time you’ve owned something. If it were genuinely sentimental, would it have wound up in a junk drawer or pile of clutter?
  • Organize your remaining items in baskets, bins, and drawers.


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