Over the years, we keep avoiding cleaning the clutter we leave behind, but believe it or not, it can seriously affect the way we live.
First of all, clutter has its own mental cost, and according to the psychologist Sherrie Bourg Carter in an article for Psychology Today:
“Clutter can play a significant role in how we feel about our homes, our workplaces, and ourselves. Messy homes and workspaces leave us feeling, anxious, helpless, and overwhelmed. Yet, rarely is clutter recognized as a significant source of stress in our lives.”
Moreover, Alexandra Lees, co-founder of health center Wu Wei Wisdom, says:
“Clutter can impact your ability to focus on daily tasks and sap your creativity and productivity levels. Clutter in your home is also a hindrance to relaxation and can impact the quality of your sleep. This is particularly true for clutter and mess in the bedroom.”
Clutter triggers anxiety and depression as well, which has been confirmed by numerous studies.
Additionally, an article in Parenting Isn’t Easy says:
“According to UCLA’s Center on Everyday Lives and Families, women react more to clutter in their homes than men do. They found that women in cluttered homes have higher levels of cortisol, which is a stress hormone.
Men who live in cluttered homes, however, don’t have the same levels of cortisol as women do. But, the good news is that stress and anxiety caused by clutter can be eliminated. “Therefore, we decided to suggest a 30-day de-clutter challenge, that will help you say goodbye to stress and enjoy a calm and clean home.
1) Empty out One Junk Drawer
If you clean all the drawers you have, it will overwhelm you, and chances are that you are going to take a day off afterward. Instead, clean just one and get rid of all the junk you have hidden, forgot, or kept without a reason.
2) Purge Your Closet of the Things You No Longer Wear
If you think twice about a piece of clothing, throw it. Our closets are full of clothes that we do not wear and will no longer wear, so go and visit the local thrift shop.
3) Go Through Your Movie Collection
You need to take a look at your movie collection and ditch the old DVDs and old VHS tapes.
4) Clean out Your Television Stand
You surely have some cables that you do not use on the TV stand, so just throw them away, and enjoy the time in front of the TV and relax.
5) Go Through Your Mail Pile
The pile of flyers and newspapers grows very quickly, so if you do not have a fireplace to burn them, recycle them, and if possible, opt for electronic billing.
6) Clean off Your Kitchen Table
Clean the kitchen table, and move the homework, dirty dishes, laptops, and pieces of paper.
7) Purge Two Kitchen Cabinets
Our kitchen cabinets are full of cups, cutlery, and dishware, so if you do not prepare dinners or lunch for a dozen people every week, you can donate a set of plates of glasses.
8) Discard Old Books
You can use the old books for décor, but the ones that you no longer enjoy can be donated and you will have free space for your favorites.
9) Clean out Your Wallet
Throw away the faded receipts, gift cards, business cards, and keep only the money in the wallet.
10) Clean out Your Purse
Our purses are full of unnecessary things, pens, garbage, tissues, and gums. Stop carrying them around and you will be happy for doing so every time you open the purse.
11) Purge Your Makeup Drawer/Bag
Throw away the old lipsticks, mascaras, and eyeliners, and reorganize the makeup better.
12) Clean out Empty/Almost Empty Containers in the Shower
No one would finish the shampoo, as we constantly buy new ones, and bottles continue to pile up in the bathroom. Therefore, just collect all of the empty bottles and throw them away.
13) Purge Your Bathroom Cabinets
These cabinets are full of toothpaste tubes, old mouthwash bottles, empty hygiene packages, so it is time to make space just for the ones you need.
14) Go Through Your Family’s Shoes
Throw away all the old or small shoes, and you can donate the relatively new ones.
15) Purge 2 More Kitchen Cabinets
As you have done a week ago, as you already have fewer things in the kitchen, purge two more kitchen cabinets.
16) Organize Your Linen Closet
Get rid of the old, holey blankets and sheets, and free up more space in your linen closet.
17) Purge Your Medicine Cabinet
You need to check the expiry dates of the antibiotics and all pills and medications you keep in the medicine cabinets, as old medications are absolutely of no use.
18) Go Through Your Freezer and Dump Old Items
You may have just hit the jackpot… Check the expiry dates. If the food in your freezer is too old, throw it out. But if the food is good, cancel your shopping trip and eat whatever you’ve already got! Dinner is served…
19) Clear off Your Kitchen Counters
Clean the counters and wash all the dirty glasses, old food, or crusty plates.
20) Empty Another Junk Drawer
It is time to clean another drawer and rearrange the things you will decide to keep.
21) Go Through Your Fridge and Dump Old Items
We often keep older food packages in the fridge, and no one will ever eat them. To clean the fridge and get rid of the unpleasant smell, throw them all away.
22) Purge 2 More Kitchen Cabinets
You are getting more and more space now.
23) Get Rid of Unused Accessories (Jewelry, Hats, Etc.)
Sometimes, the accessories we used to love do not suit us anymore, so if you have any children or grandkids that would like them, just donate them.
24) Clean out Your Car
Get rid of the old tissues, bottles, receipts, and other garbage, and vacuum the car. Clean all the compartments, and use non-toxic car cleaner to scrub down the interior.
25) Discard Unused Toys
You need to donate all the older toys that your children no longer play with, as they just take up space, and lay around the house.
26) Organize Toys That Are Left
Organize all the toys you have decided to keep, or your children still use.
27) Go Through Board Games and Electronic Games
Keep all the board games and game consoles in one place, neat and tidy.
28) Organize and Discard Cleaning Supplies
Ditch all the toxic cleaners and turn to natural cleaning supplies that contain ingredients that you already have at home.
29) Purge 2 More Kitchen Cabinets
These two more and we are done!
30) Clean! Get Your Newly Organized Home All Sparkly
All you need to do is to clean the home completely, but it would be much easier than you were used to, as you have already eliminated all the unnecessary things that make the biggest mess.
As soon as you are done with the cleaning, it is time to decide not to cause such a mess again.
Learn how to free your space in order to free your life, as no mess means no stress!
Here are some wise tips by Apartment Therapy to help you lead a clutter-free life:
— “Live within your means” — Let the size of your home dictate how much stuff you have, and not the other way around.
— Instead of agonizing over finding a home for every little thing, keep a junk drawer.
— Learn to put everything in its place
— Even if you get to a point where you have only as many things as will comfortably fit into your space, stuff has a way of accumulating. So set aside a time, a few times a year, to go through your things and get rid of the ones you don’t use anymore.
— You have lots of things in limbo on tables or countertops or the floor and are struggling to find places for them, maybe you need more places. This is where clear plastic shoe boxes or a filing cabinet or maybe just a console with lots and lots of drawers can come in handy.
— Go paper-free, by scanning all the documents you need to keep
— The next time you’re tempted to buy more stuff, ask yourself if the money wouldn’t be better spent on a vacation or a nice night out.
— Be smart about where you store things.
— Stop clutter before it enters your home with a landing strip, as it’s easy for clutter to sneak its way into your home in the form of junk mail, freebies, what have you.
Now, it is the time to enjoy the clean and pleasant atmosphere!