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Serving The Upper Valley Since 1993

Declutter and Destress

A Story . . .

You’re sitting in a coffee shop because you want to be out of the office to focus on a specific item you need to resolve. It is for an important work project. Two people come and sit down at the table next to you. They engage in a not-so-quiet personal conversation about their friend’s romantic antics. Now, instead of focusing on your important work project, you find yourself hearing about someone’s love life — and, in fact, you have to consciously focus on ignoring that conversation to make progress on your project.

Most people think it’s easy to ignore these little distractions, but it’s not. The brain has a limited amount of functions it can perform at a given time. Distractions and clutter (the point of this blog post) that aren’t worth much attention take up some of that space in the brain and reduce the space remaining for things that matter — and thinking overall.

Ignoring things consumes energy. This is important to realize. Your brain becomes passive when it can’t control what to think about. Ignoring clutter around you (noise, distractions, physical clutter) can often take the same amount of energy as focusing.

Clutter adds stress to your life. It slows you down and makes you less efficient and effective. A Clean Vision help you to have lower stress by helping you to have a clean and tidy home.

Excessive clutter is often a symptom and a cause of stress and can affect every facet of your life: from the time it takes you to do things to your finances and your overall enjoyment of life. Clutter can distract you, weigh you down and in general, it invites chaos into your life.

Tackling the clutter can seem an insurmountable task if you don’t know where or how to start. By devoting a little of your time to getting rid of the clutter in your life and maintaining things relatively clutter-free, you’ll reap the rewards of pleasing living areas, reduced stress, and a more organized and productive existence.

The best way to declutter your home, your workspace, and your life is to take things one small step at a time. Combined, small steps will lead to big improvements that will be easier to maintain over the long-run.

Here is a blueprint of how to declutter your life and enjoy a less stressful life.

How to Declutter Your Home

Outside of work, home is where you spend the bulk of your time. So it’s no wonder that a messy cluttered house can add to daily stress. Here are some specific tips on how to declutter your home.

Simplify Your Rooms

If your rooms are too cluttered, you’ll want to simplify them.

Start by clearing off anything that is on the floors. Throw out or donate unused things.

After clearing the floor, move to flat surfaces such as countertops, shelves, and the tops of dressers, etc. Clear them as much as possible, and then move onto furniture.

Organize everything that you’ve decided to keep into drawers, cabinets, and closets, keeping them out of sight, neatly organized, available, and uncluttered. Do this one room at a time.

Tackle The Closets

Closets are a great place to store things that you don’t want out in the open. This is fine. However, they can also easily become places where you shove things just to keep them out of view in a disorganized manner. Avoid this.

Go through your closets – take everything out, clean it, and donate as much as you can to needy local organizations. Decide a specific place to store anything you decide to keep. Keep only the things that you love and use frequently. As for your clothes, get rid of anything that you haven’t worn in one full-year cycle.

Here is an article with 30 closet orgainzational ideas which was published at House Beautiful.

Clean Out Your Drawers and Cabinets

Drawers are a prime place where things get tossed in without much organizational thought.

Empty out your drawers, and sort the items by whether you’re keeping, tossing, or donating the item.

If you have difficulty deciding what to toss and what to keep, these three questions can help you to decide.

  1. Will you ever need this again?
  2. When will you need it again?
  3. Why would you need it again?

Maintain Order

Once you’ve successfully decluttered, whether it be one area or all the areas mentioned above, clutter will inevitably begin to creep back into your life. You must be vigilant in weeding it out on a regular basis, or it may become an issue again.

Use A System

Examine the way that you do things and how things make their way into your home, and consider whether you can put together a simple system for everything, from your laundry to kitchen counters, closets, and drawers.

Write down your systems step-by-step and try to follow them as best as you can. Follow your systems and you’ll keep the clutter minimized.

Don’t Slack Off

It’s easy to put things off for another day, but it’ll save you headaches in the long-run if you deal with things immediately.

Throw it out, donate it, or keep it and put it in a designated area.

Declutter Your Home – The Bottom Line

When you stay consistent and stick to these decluttering tips closely, you will find yourself less stressed and a lot happier in your home as you will be surrounded by a lot less clutter.

Start today and it is OK to start small. Begin with cleaning up stuff in the most significant areas or a small area (mudroom for example) of your home. Once you feel that your home is properly organized and decluttered then move on to different aspects of your life. One small decluttering step at a time will lead to a very organized, efficient, and effective life.

The benefits of a decluttered home are many. You, the homeowner, define the importance of any particular benefit. A Clean Vision can help you to achieve the benefits of a clutter-free and organized home. A Clean Vision has been serving homeowners of the Upper Valley since 1993.

Here is another post that you may find helpful. It is a post on home organization.