How Organization Helps Your Mental Health
Do you ever feel overwhelmed when your house is cluttered or not as clean as you typically expect? Would you be surprised to hear that there is a direct correlation between mental health and the cleanliness of your space around you? Well, there is. It is believed that the environment in which you live can affect your mental well-being and with May being Mental Health Awareness month, we wanted to share some facts and tips on how to keep both your home and your mind clutter free.
It is very common for people who may have multiple projects in the works at one time to feel overwhelmed and have a lack of motivation. The same goes with your home. According to Very Well Mind and their article, “The Relationship Between Mental Health and Cleaning”, individuals who think they have too much clutter around them tend to feel more fatigued and depressed compared to individuals who describe their home as relaxed and clear. Why is this? Much like the open tabs on a computer screen, when you have multiple items around you that are not serving a purpose, your brain can feel busy, overwhelmed, and distracted. Your brain is trying to process and “be aware” of each individual item that it can go into overdrive when you are surrounded by more than what you need.
When trying to focus on many things at once, you may overlook certain items, you may feel confusion and you may create a tension that is not relevant. A study from Princeton University found that a “person’s visual cortex can be overwhelmed by objects not related to a particular task, making it difficult to focus and complete projects efficiently.” To the brain, clutter represents unfinished work and this lack of completeness can be stressful for some people.
Cleaning and decluttering can serve as a sense of control for people who feel overwhelmed in a messy environment. They can wake up in the morning and feel confident knowing that they are able to change their surroundings by either removing items they do not need or make a space clean by removing dirt and grime. People with clean homes have a tendency to lead healthier lifestyles and are more likely to be healthier overall.
If you are wanting to gain a more calm lifestyle and feel a sense of relaxation in your home, begin by removing items that no longer serve you. We like to call that de-cluttering. It is easy to keep every item ever gifted to you, or souvenirs or homemade gifts that were once sentimental, but that is where clutter can begin. Start by trying to purge ⅓ of those items. By starting slow or small, it may not feel as if you are throwing everything away at once. Begin to determine which items still mean something to you and set those aside. Donate the items that are no longer a part of your style and enjoy the free space that provides.
Also know that this process can take as long or as little time as you need. You do not want to create more stress by trying to purge all at once. If you are able to maintain a comfortable speed at which you de-clutter your home and are very precise with your decisions, the more likely you are to keep that clutter away!