The Emotional Weight of Clutter!
By Meg McCluskey, owner of Chic & Tidy
Ridding your home of clutter and disorder is not only about making it look better, it will ultimately make you feel better, too.
If you feel overwhelmed by all of of the “things” in your home, or in an area of your home, then you are being psychologically affected by your clutter. If you often misplace things, can’t find things, or have to move things around to accomplish a task in your home, then you are being affected by your clutter.
A study recently conducted by DePaul University stated that women who described their home as cluttered or needing work began their day stressed and remained stressed, and had elevated levels of cortisol (a stress hormone) throughout their day.
If you have ever embarked on a “cleaning out” project - cleaning out a closet, junk drawer,
garage or under the sink, then you know how satisfying clearing out some of that clutter can be. The immediate response of feeling “lighter” is almost intoxicating.
Think about the benefits of living an organized life - you no longer will feel ashamed to have
guests see the piles of paper all over your dining room table, and therefore be eager to
entertain at your home more often, your grocery bills will drop because you will know exactly
what you have and what you need, you will be able to get dressed in the morning more quickly because you will know exactly what is in your wardrobe and where it is. With systems in place that are logical and easy to follow, you can reduce the chaos in your home and improve your state of mind.
Suggestions on how to get organized, clear the clutter and create an oasis that you will look forward to coming home to at the end of the day.
- Start with smaller projects: A junk drawer, a linen closet, a Tupperware cabinet…. you will
feel great once it is done - build on that momentum! It will likely give you inspiration to move on to bigger areas that need tackling.
- Schedule the time to get it done: Make an appointment with yourself. Many times, people
say that finding the time to get organized is one of their biggest obstacles. Schedule the time in on your calendar and treat it like a doctor appointment or lunch date with a friend - with a
reminder alarm and all! Give yourself that one hour, uninterrupted, and you will be surprised at what you can accomplish!
- Have someone help you: A friend, family member or professional. For some people,
accumulation of clutter can stem from an “over-attachment” to their things. If you are having trouble parting with something that you no longer use, have your helper hold the items. Avoid physically touching them yourself, and you will eliminate some of the emotional attachment.
- Pay it forward: In many instances, people place value on their things based on how much
they cost. Knowing that someone else can make use of your item(s) can help ease the anxiety
of letting it go. There are all sorts of organizations that take all sorts of things as donations.
Some will even come and pick it up. How easy is that?
- Resist the urge: Train yourself not to collect clutter in the first place. When you have an
impulse to buy something, ask yourself “Do I want this, or need this?” “Where will I store it in my house?” “Does this item fit in with my newly developed lifestyle?” And most importantly, BEWARE OF THE SALE!! If you wouldn’t pay full price for something, don’t buy it just because it is on sale!! Sales have a way of tricking us into thinking that we need something, and that something will likely just turn into clutter down the road. Being a mindful shopper is the best way to keep yourself clutter-free in the long term.
Owner of Chic & Tidy