Facing Clutter: How It Can Affect You and What to Do About It

Facing Clutter

From a little clutter to a lot, many people have areas in their home that have seen neater days. And letting clutter get out of hand can take a toll on both your physical and mental health.

Exhausting yourself by spending too much time looking for things, replacing things you forgot you already had, or having difficulty maneuvering around your home — even tripping over something on the floor that shouldn't be there — are just some of the ways clutter can affect your life and your health.

But how do you know if you have too much clutter? Ask yourself these questions:

  • If I have company coming over, would my home be ready in 15 minutes?
  • Can I usually find everything I'm looking for without having to search for it?
  • Am I able to feel relaxed when I'm at home?

If you answered "no" to the questions above, it may be time to make a change. Here are a few tips for clearing the clutter.

Tackle One Space at a Time

Decluttering can seem like a daunting task, especially if you have a lot of areas in your home that need attention. The key to keeping yourself from becoming overwhelmed is to focus on organizing one room before moving on to another. Even better, take just 15-30 minutes at a time to clean. While it may take a little longer to do it this way, taking it slow and steady can help keep you focused on your overall goal without feeling overwhelmed.

And don't worry about magazine-cover perfection. Just declutter and organize your rooms so they work for your needs.

Put Away, Give Away and Throw Away

When you're going through your things, create three piles: keep/put away, give away and throw away. If you're having trouble deciding what stays and what goes, ask yourself two questions: Have you used the item in the past year? Is it something you absolutely love? If the answer is "no" to one question — especially both questions — it's probably time to give it away.

Maintain Catch-All Spots

There always seems to be a few spots in our home that tend to collect clutter faster than others — usually by the front door or in the kitchen. And if you're not careful to clean them up each day, they can easily revert back to clutter. Avoid rebuilding those messy piles and make the daily effort to keep it organized.

Your home should be a place where you can relax and feel comfortable, not a place that makes you stressed. So if you're feeling bogged down by clutter, lift your spirits — and your health — by trying these simple tips.