Clear the Clutter
Clutter can be a chronic source of stress. The stress of being
surrounded by clutter often isn't realized until the clutter is
removed and we feel the relief of being clutter-free.
Clutter bombards the brain with excessive visual stimuli, creating
stress. Clutter makes it more difficult to relax or to focus on
anything because clutter is an irritating distraction. Even those
who seem oblivious to their surroundings are aware of everything
in their environment on a subconscious level. Your brain is constantly
filtering messages from all your senses.
The more clutter, the more overwhelming the thought of removing
it - but looking on the bright side, the greater the sense of relief
that will be felt when it is gone. The thought of removing clutter
may be so overwhelming that it may seem easier to ignore it. Trying
to ignore clutter is stressful because you can't really ignore
Not taking action to clear clutter fosters feelings of helplessness.
Taking action, even if it only involves committing ten minutes
of your time each day to organize, is empowering and relieves stress.
Clearing clutter can be a catharsis.
The clutter didn't appear overnight and it will take some time
to remove it. Find ways to break down the job into smaller, manageable
tasks. Start with one cupboard or one drawer. The satisfaction
of completing each small task is motivation to keep going.
Many times, counters and other surfaces are filled with clutter
that we can't throw out but don't have anywhere to put - usually
because our closets and drawers are already filled with useless
clutter. Getting rid of stuff we no longer need but have stored
in closets and drawers makes space for the stuff we do need that
is taking over our living space.
There is not any sense in storing items that you don't have easy
access to and are going to forget you own. If you have items you
really want to keep, store them in boxes and label the boxes so
you can easily locate items in the future.
Don't go crazy trying to store everything. It is better to get
rid of stuff you don't need completely. Don't stuff your drawers
full either. It makes it difficult to put things away and take
things out, a constant source of annoyance.
An under the bed box is good for storing a few blankets or some
of season clothing but don't overdo it. Filling every space you
can probably indicates you have too much stuff for your home. Your
home needs 'breathing space.'
Because seeing clutter creates stress, open shelves are not the
best places to store stuff. Open shelves are fine in a closet or
garage but not in living areas. Store items in
closed cabinets in the living room or bedroom for maximum stress
Even displaying too many knickknacks can be perceived as clutter.
It is better to have a group of items displayed in one spot than
scattered all over the place. It is also a relief to have some
bare wall space to give your eyes (actually your brain) a break.
A filing cabinet is a must for storing bank statements, utility
bills, receipts etc. Being able to find paper items quickly saves
a lot of time and prevents a lot of stress.
Clearing clutter may seem like a waste of time to many people,
but reducing stress is not a waste of time and reducing clutter
reduces stress. Also, if you put items in their place, you'll save
time (and your sanity) by not having to search for items buried
Of course, it's going to get messy in any household. It won't
always be clutter free. But having a system in place
to deal with it makes temporary clutter less
Your home should be a refuge from stress, not a source of stress.