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Tidy Home, Tidy Mind – Why Cleaning Is So Good For Us

Having a clean home has obvious benefits, but few of us realize how much of an impact it has on our mental wellbeing.

clean house clean mind

Your mental health and happiness are important. Having good mental health will help you get through the rough days. It will help you to become a productive and successful individual.

Sometimes, we experience low periods or bouts of sadness. During these times, we need healthy coping mechanisms to help us get back on track. One way to achieve this is by maintaining a tidy home.

WHAT MAKES A HOME “TIDY”?

When we visualize a tidy home, the first thing that comes into our head is a minimalistic household. After all, how can a home be tidy if it has “stuff”?

In reality, a tidy home is one that is free of clutter. Clutter, according to the Cambridge dictionary, is described as “a condition of disorder, or a lot of objects that are in a state of disorder.”

There are six different types of clutter that can make your home untidy. These include:

  1. Clutter without a storage space (useful objects with no “home”)
  2. Trash
  3. Bargain clutter (items you bought on sale, just because they were on sale)
  4. Abundance clutter (stockpiling or buying items in bulk)
  5. Aspirational clutter (stuff you bought to give others a better impression of you)
  6. Sentimental clutter (old, useless items with sentimental value)

HOW DOES CLUTTER AFFECT ME MENTALLY?

Sure, having a home filled with clutter can be quite annoying, especially if you are bumping into or knocking over items. But how can clutter affect the mind?

Clutter is distracting

Those who work from home can attest to this fact. According to a study conducted by Princeton University Neuroscience Institute, clutter can cause you to lose focus. This is due to the fact that there are many visual stimuli competing for your attention. By removing clutter, you are able to become more productive and more focused.

Clutter can make you more stressed

Your house should be a place that makes you feel “safe, secure, and relaxed.” If your life is already stressful, your home does not need to reflect this. In fact, having a house that is full of clutter can worsen stress and make you feel depressed. Having a clean and tidy environment allows us to feel calm and in control.

Decluttering is therapeutic

Something as simple as tossing old bills or getting rid of old newspapers can do wonders for the mind. Decluttering engages the mind and gives you a purpose. Afterward, you will also benefit from feelings of fulfillment and usefulness.

Decluttering or cleaning is a form of exercise, and exercise can make us happy. Cleaning the bathroom, making the beds, or vacuuming the floors will release enough endorphins to positively affect our mood. Cleaning is also a form of self-respect and will boost happiness and self-esteem. 

HOW TO DECLUTTER

Before you begin to throw everything away, you will need to know how to declutter. You want to avoid getting rid of the wrong things or keeping the wrong things.

TOSSING USELESS ITEMS

In order to have a tidy home, you will have to differentiate between useful items and clutter. In Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying: A simple, effective way to banish clutter forever, she implores readers to ask themselves a very important question: “Does this item spark joy?”. What is the value of this item? It is useful? If not, toss it or give it away to charity.

By asking yourself such a simple question, you will be able to get rid of a lot of useless items. You will be closer to a clean, tidy space that will translate to a clean, tidy mind.

FURNITURE

Another way you can declutter your home is by purchasing multi-functional furniture. And no, this does not mean swapping your normal bed for a pull-out sofa!

 

Instead of having a regular coffee table, you can opt to buy a coffee table with storage space underneath. You now have somewhere to store those books and magazines you have lying around.

Another great idea is purchasing non-bulky, retractable furniture such as TV tray tables, “barely there side tables” and window frame mounted drying racks. This will reduce the amount of living space that furniture takes up and will make your home airier and appear more spacious and tidier.

ADDING STORAGE

Decluttering does not always mean throwing stuff away. Some clutter is clutter without storage space or useful items without a “home”. All you will need to do is find a place to store them. This can be anything from drawers to closets and even little baskets. As long as every item is properly arranged or out of sight.

ORGANIZING

Organizing items can also make a huge difference in your home. If some items are useful and cannot be thrown away, you can make them more presentable. Categorize, label and even straighten items on shelves and in closets. This makes for a tidier environment and will also make thing easier to find. Decluttering should be a pace you are comfortable with. If you are struggling to get rid of stuff and are a bit of a hoarder, get a friend or relative to help you.

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