The dream houses on Pinterest have one thing in common- They all radiate a bright and happy aura. A little bit of brightness can change the outlook of the entire room. A well-lit home tends to create an atmosphere that facilitates a happier and soothing state of mind.

It is no secret that clutter impacts your mental well-being. When your mind sees the physical chaos taking place in your life, it mimics the same behavior in your unconscious. There are many reasons that lead to this connection.

One of the most widely believed explanations is that a cluttered environment tends to overwhelm your mind. When you are present in a muddled atmosphere, the presence of multiple stimuli causes disarray in your thoughts. As a result, you are unable to focus your energy on a specific task. This, in turn, decreases your productivity, as well as your efficiency.

On the other hand, when you re-organize a messy space, you are rewarded with feelings of accomplishment. This releases dopamine- the achievement hormone, which further motivates you to continue the behavior of meeting your goals so that you can experience a similar high. Therefore, once you initiate your cleaning spree, you become naturally inclined to achieve other objectives as well.

However, the lack of focus is not the only downside of owning is a disorganized space. In fact, a cluttered environment has been linked to experiencing symptoms of depression, stress, and anxiety. The continuous display of mess tends to make you feel inadequate. Your subconscious mind compels you to believe that the lack of control over your surroundings mirrors your lack of control in your life. Consequently, you feel stressed and anxious.

The dream houses on Pinterest have one thing in common- They all radiate a bright and happy aura. A little bit of brightness can change the outlook of the entire room. A well-lit home tends to create an atmosphere that facilitates a happier and soothing state of mind.

How a little bit of mess can spiral out of control

A little bit of mess does not harm anyone. However, when this mess accelerates profoundly, you become accustomed to it. This acquaintance with clutter is the result of the cognitive-behavioral cycle. The cognitive-behavioral model explains the interconnection of your thoughts, feelings, and behavior. This means that your thoughts determine your feelings, which compel you to behave in a certain way.

For example, when you leave one dirty dish in the sink, thinking you will get back to it later, you start a pattern if you fail to fulfill your own promise. Following the event, you start making up excuses to avoid doing the dishes, such as, “I am too busy right now” (thoughts). Once your thoughts become repetitive and continuous, you begin to believe them. Consequently, you experience stress (feeling). This stress, combined with the replay of the line that you are too busy to wash the dishes, makes you further avoid performing the act (behavior). A cycle begins, where your behavior piles up the mess, which strengthens the validity of your thoughts, which in turn, influences your feelings. Before you know it, you become accustomed to the clutter.

The reason behind the clutter

Disorganization and clutter stem from your desire to hold on to things, which make no current contributions to improving the operations of your household. You might just hold onto things because you feel an emotional connection with them or you feel obligated to keep them. Sometimes, the fear that you might need the items in the future also pushes you to preserve them. However, this need never arises.

Most people further contribute to clutter in their homes, due to their habit of compulsive shopping and hoarding. Compulsive shoppers invest in items that they do not need, and subsequently, never use. Regardless, it is crucial to get rid of the clutter, so you can organize your home, as well as your mind. Having someone help you declutter, like a caregiver, can be the first step to getting organized. The following guide can help you start your journey of decluttering your house and mind.

Getting rid of the clutter

Create a map

Tackling the decluttering process head-on is never a good idea. If you start working in different rooms, simultaneously, you would immediately feel overwhelmed. Therefore, it is essential to create a map and list down the areas you need to work on. You may also organize the list in terms of the difficulty of the task. This way, you can start small, and move on to bigger projects. For instance, you can start with cleaning out a drawer, then moving onto the dresser, and eventually cleaning out the garage or the attic. With the increasing achievements, the dopamine level in your brain will gradually rise. 

Observe your clutter

The most eye-opening aspect of the process is when you realize the large number of things you own. To make this happen, you can pile all your things on your bed to see the height it reaches. For instance, if you are cleaning out your closet, you can pile your clothes on the bed. This initiative will reveal the unnecessary amount of clothes that you actually own.

Follow the 75/25 rule

The next phase involves getting rid of the clutter. At this stage, you must follow the 75/25 rule, which states that you can only keep 25% of all your belongings, whereas you can donate, recycle or sell the rest of your stuff. To make this happen, you can create three piles, the yes pile, no pile, and maybe pile. In the yes pile, you can add things that you frequently use, and cannot get rid of. These are the items that bring you joy. The no pile should include items that you do not use at all, while the maybe pile can include things that you want to ruminate on. However, at the end of the day, your maybe pile should be divided into either of the two piles.

Invest in the organization of items

Once you have gotten rid of the clutter, it is important to organize the things that you have decided to keep. The organization helps you remain committed to the process. Therefore, it is essential to invest in items that facilitate organization. Some of these products are listed below:

  • Use transparent plastic containers to store toys, seasonal decorations, and items that are not used on a daily basis.
  • Use hangers instead of the folding technique.
  • Create a partition in your dresser drawers.
  • Use dividers, shoe boxes, and shelves.

You do not have to spend extra money on products for organization. Instead, watching videos on creating Do It Yourself (DIY) organization products can achieve the same objective, in an affordable manner. Who knows, you might even have some storage bins laying around the house!

Decluttering your home can be exhausting and rewarding at the same time. As long as you remain honest with yourself and follow the preceding steps, your house could become the epitome of organization and order! It’s all about taking the first step to getting started.

For more senior insights, head back to the My Nurse Family blog.

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