We’d like to share some tangible information on the topic to illustrate the real value to de-cluttering a space.
To start with, Dr. Libby Sander of Bond University’s organizational behavioral department says that “Clutter can make us feel anxious, stressed, and [even] depressed.” (Source)
The studies Sander helped conduct showed that the depression-related feelings clutter creates lead some pretty familiar maladies, such as:
- Poor eating habits (junk food or simply not eating often enough)
- Having a harder time focusing on work or other tasks
- Having a harder time remembering details about things after the fact
The mental distraction created is real, and for many of us living with clutter the symptoms may have been present for so long we would never think to associate them with the lack of organization.
Dr. Sander says the reason for much of this is because our minds like order, and having an ongoing visual reminder of the lack of order ends up sapping our cognitive energy. Our minds become so preoccupied with concern about the disarray that it takes away from the other things we’re trying to think about.
Pacing Yourself Is Helpful To Avoid Overwhelm.
If your home or work place is disorganized, it can very quickly feel like an enormous undertaking to try to resolve. “How am I going to totally revamp my whole house?” you might be asking yourself.
Downsizing and de-cluttering expert Matt Paxton says the trick is to start with something small, such as a junk drawer.
Saying to yourself that today will be a win if you go through that drawer and make order of it will leave you with a feeling of accomplishment, and make it more likely that you’ll continue onto other areas.
While going through your first area, whether it’s a junk drawer or something else, ask yourself these things with each item you encounter:
- Is there a simpler or neater way I could organize this thing and things like it within this space?
- Do I ever need or use this item anymore? When was the last time I used it? If it’s been a long time, consider getting rid of it.
- Is there a better place for this item? If it’s a closet, a storage bin, or whatever, set it aside to put there as well as any other items like it, freeing up space where you’re currently working.
If it’s been a long time since you’ve used or looked at a belonging, consider letting it go. Even if it has sentimental value, it’s easy for us to allow reasons like that to accumulate more stuff than we know what to do with.
Take a moment to recount fond memories of the item, what it represents, or even take a picture of it to hold onto. And then commit to finding it a new home.
Our knee-jerk feeling may be that we’ll regret getting rid of it, but quite often that passes quickly and we either don’t think about it at all or end up glad to free up the space.
As you reorganize belongings, move furniture or storage items, you may also start noticing how dusty, grimy, or plain ol’ dirty some spots are. If you start to feel overwhelmed, hire a house cleaning company to help clean and disinfect the area so you can stay focused on the organization aspect.