While some of us have a place for everything and everything is in its place, others live a more laid-back lifestyle where disorder and clutter fill up every nook and cranny of our home. If you're overwhelmed by too much stuff and can't seem to find the motivation to eliminate the clutter in your home this might help: studies show that by eliminating physical clutter you also free up mental space.
Because your mental, spiritual, and emotional space is connected to your physical space it makes sense that chaos in your physical space will cause anxiety and stress. It can also take up precious time, because you'll spend more time looking for things and cleaning. When you clear out your physical space you also clear your mind.
Here are five mental benefits of eliminating clutter:
- More relaxed at home: removing clutter puts you more at ease in your environment so you're able to relax easier and faster.
- Healthier eating: if your home is messy you'll tend to eat more snacks and unhealthy foods. This means if your kitchen is clean you'll eat less sweets and junk foods, which can affect your overall health.
- An uncluttered home lowers your mental stress, so a neater personal space can be considered "mental hygiene."
- More in tune to others' feelings: when your surroundings are filled with visual random stimuli it is more difficult to read and interpret other people's feelings and facial expressions.
- More efficient thinking: recent studies are showing a direct correlation between cluttered environments and memory loss. The underlying theory is the physical clutter slows the way your brain processes information, making your short-term memory less efficient.
This doesn't mean you should ditch the family heirlooms and get rid of every extra item in your life. What you should consider is minimizing your possessions so your space is more organized and less cluttered. Besides the mental benefits you'll find when you've decluttered you'll also have the advantage of knowing where everything is and spending less time cleaning your personal space. That means you'll have more time to do the things you enjoy, and we can all appreciate that benefit!
If you're entire space is full of clutter, don't despair. You don't have to clean your entire home at once; focus on one room at a time and a specific area of that room if need be. For example, clean off the kitchen table one day, the counters the next, and then a few cupboards at a time. When the kitchen is finished move on to another room and chose an area to start in. After all, it doesn't matter whether it takes a few hours, a few days, or a few weeks because the results will be the same: your mental and physical spaces will have less clutter.