Do you ever look around your home and feel overwhelmed by the clutter strewn all over? Are you feeling guilty about postponing your spring cleaning, leaving your house all messy?
Decluttering is an active and continual process. No matter how tidy and neat you are, it is relatively easy to find piles of mail, books, kids’ toys, and other items that you never really get to put away. You may need a purpose to clean out the junk.
74% of Americans completed a decluttering project last year. A further 39% are looking forward to a thorough cleaning within the next six months. Organizing your home is an excellent way to refresh your home. It may also bring some mental and physical health benefits.
Health Benefits of Decluttering and Organizing
Sadly, too much junk in your home will leave you feeling crummy. It is also a major safety hazard as it is easy to trip over dolls and toys. Before worrying about stepping on the Lego piece in the middle of the night, you may need to understand that clutter does more damage to you internally. Read on to find out why organizing your home is essential to your overall well being.
Research done by the Princeton University Neuroscience Institute showed that clutter could distract from essential tasks at hand. The researchers pointed out that you can lose focus on task-irrelevant objects, leading to loss of productivity. It can be difficult to concentrate with your visual cortex overwhelmed by the clutter in your environment. If you are experiencing a slump, you can get organized and declutter as a way to rejuvenate yourself.
A study placed under the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin showed that disorganization could heighten your stress and depression levels. Female participants who classified their homes as ‘cluttered’ or with ‘unfinished projects’ were more likely to be depressed or fatigued than women who thought of their households as ‘neat’ or ‘restorative.’ The participants in cluttered homes also had higher levels of cortisol.
Reorganizing your bedroom can help you to enjoy better sleep. A recent study by the National Sleep Foundation found out that participants who made their beds in the morning were 19% more likely to state that they had a good night’s sleep than those who don’t. Additionally, 75% of participants agreed that they get a better night’s sleep under clean sheets. Experts argue that spreading fresh linens over the bed makes it more comfortable, translating to a satisfactory rest.
Stress-induced by the clutter within your living spaces can make you prefer junk foods over healthier options. A recent study showed that people in an orderly room were more likely to choose more nutritious foods than those in messy rooms. With individuals having different approaches to dealing with stress, some may adopt unhealthy coping mechanisms such as comfort foods or overeating. Organizing the ingredients in your kitchen may also make it easier to prepare healthier meals.
A disorganized fridge or pantry can force you to pick food items with too many calories as a short term solution. A Psychological Science study found that orderly people were more likely to plan their exercise program, set goals, and document their progress. Having an organization can increase the odds of achieving your fitness goals. You can reduce the need for vascular surgery and other health care services by keeping fit when you get organized and declutter.
How to Declutter the House Room by Room
The idea of simplicity can be enticing to anyone. Far more often than not, you may feel overwhelmed with the work you may have to put in to get rid of all that clutter. 58.9% of Americans say that they fail to start on their clean-up project because they are unsure where to start.
Here are expert tips to guide you if you are confused about how to start decluttering.
1. Organizing Your Garage
The American Housing Survey says that while 80% of American households have a carport or garage, only a few are used for parking. Most units are filled with clutter, from kids’ toys to holiday decorations and gardening tools. Most people would rather throw the items into the garage rather than toss them out.
Depending on the level of disorganization and your garage’s size, you can determine whether to dedicate a day or a full weekend to get organized and declutter. If the scope of work is too much, you can recruit some of your friends and family. Have at least five bins that categorize the items for sale, put back, throw out, donate, and sell.
A tip to help you decide whether you should keep an item is to ask yourself whether you have used it within the last year. If your answer is no, you should probably get rid of it. You can also earn some cash while you’re at it. For example, you can have a garage sale, or use gun shows to complete firearm sales for rifles you no longer use.
Pack up the items you wish to donate and drop them at the nearest donation center. If you plan to have a yard sale, schedule it early enough. Once all the junk is out, it is time to organize what’s left. Figure out how much space you have before cataloging the items. You can then create zones to store the various boxes and equipment.
You can store the ‘frequently used’ nearer to the entryways, ‘bulky’ items on the corners, the ‘rarely used on shelves, and bikes and tools on wall mounts. You can choose to purchase a garage organization system to get organized and declutter effectively. If the hydraulic cylinder to the door is damaged, you can take the opportunity to replace it with a new garage door opener.
2. Organizing Your Home Office
The COVID-19 pandemic forced governments across the world to initiate lockdowns and issue stay-at-home orders. With 80% of the workforce now working remotely, home offices have become necessary for many people. Nevertheless, it would help if you kept your workspace tidy and neat to maintain your productivity and energy levels.
One way to get organized and declutter is by creating a robust filing system. You can use color codes to identify different categories for folders. You can also take control of the paper entering your office by creating a mail station. You can craft pouches for each family member to help you sort out the letters or parcels coming in.
Create an in and out tray to keep track of the tasks at hand. Mismatched glasses are excellent storage options for your pens and pencils. You may also designate a section in your home office to set up your printer and other printing supplies.
Organize your drawers into categories. Place related items around the same place. This organizational hack can make it easier to obtain your stamps and envelopes without causing disarray. Organize the books on your shelf, creating a custom library cataloging system.
Another useful hack is to create life binders for the whole family, including your furry friends. It makes it easier to grab the relevant documents when facing emergencies. You can use your walls to create filing systems that will reduce the amount of paper on your desk.
Finally, look at going cordless. A mess of wires can be an eyesore. You can slip them through a drawer or use the back of your office furniture to achieve it. You can also opt to slip them through tubing that camouflages with the walls.
3. Organizing Your Kitchen
Your kitchen is arguably the heart of the home. With so many activities, it can be challenging to keep the room orderly. However, getting to organize and declutter does not have to be as tricky as dental practice sales. You only need a little patience and cleaning supplies to achieve your organizational goals.
When tidying up your kitchen, start with the area around the stove. Clean thoroughly before placing the utensils strategically, per their frequency of use. You would not wish to be rushing from one side of the room to the other when preparing your meals. Move as many items as possible from the countertop surface to the storage spaces.
Ensure that you place the pots and pans in the deep drawer near the stove or sink. If you are right-handed, ensure that your utensils are on the drawer to the right or a utensil holder on the countertop. In addition to the cutlery, it is advisable to have the spice shelf nearby. It can help cut down on your trips within the kitchen when trying to create the right flavors.
You may also need to get organized and declutter your pantry. It would be best to place foods such as rice, flour, and nuts in clear containers such as glass jars. It makes it easy to know what to purchase the next time you take a trip to the grocery store.
4. Organizing Your Bathroom
The benefits of an organized bathroom go beyond the aesthetic appeal. When you get organized and declutter, you make it easier to use the space. You also reduce the risk of mixing up your medicines. And as such, your first task should be to declutter the medicine cabinet.
Take out everything. Discard all expired medicines, makeup, and skincare products that you no longer use. You can then sort out the remainder based on the frequency of use, placing the most-used at an eye level. You can box up any donations and recycle the rest.
After you get organized and declutter your storage spots, the next logical step would be to clean your walls and floors thoroughly. You may also need to wipe clean your drawer surfaces and find dividers to separate the different makeup sets. Let every drawer serve a specific purpose to help you reduce the clutter in the future.
If you have a linen cabinet, take time to organize the towels and toilet rolls inside. Arrange the cabinetry where the most-used items are easy to reach by placing them on the front row. Make sure everything is neatly folded and stacked to maximize your space.
For a tidy bathroom, only keep the bare essentials on the countertop. Selecting on few items to place on the counter reduces the risk of flooding the space with clutter. Keep the products closest to where you use them.
4. Organizing the Basement
The easiest way to get organized and declutter your basement is by defining your priorities. Your basement may serve different functions, from a kid’s play area to a wine cellar. However, for most households, it is the primary storage unit. You may need to analyze the floorplan and identify areas that need the most help.
To store your vintage liquor bottles, you can create a wine cellar under the stairs leading to the basement. You may need to take an inventory of your wine stock first before commencing on your decluttering project. Remember, enjoying alcoholic drinks at home reduces the chances of hiring a DUI lawyer and bail agent. You can also opt to donate some of the bottles to your friends and family.
You may need to create a staging area to help you sort out the different bags and boxes in the basement area. You can use a painter’s tape and marker pen to create labels for all items. For old appliances that have been sitting in your basement, you may need safely recycle them. You can sell the dusty furniture to chair rentals or neighbors during a yard sale.
There’s a beautiful world of freshness and freedom that awaits you when you get organized and declutter. Cleaning out your household clutter can provide health benefits in addition to the tidy rooms. Remember that you do not have to feel guilty about getting rid of some items or overexert yourself. You do not want to have to see a joint restoration specialist after the work is over.