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Recently one of our blogs discussed a report by Psychology Today – “Mess Causes Stress” and how it sought to identify a correlation between clutter in the household and mental unrest. Their studies did in fact prove that messy environments lead to stress in the home. Thankfully, they also offered 8 remedies to tackle this common challenge.

Mess Causes Stress – 8 Remedies

Tackle decluttering as a family

There’s little benefit in doing a great job decluttering over a day or two just for your other half or kids to arrive home with more junk. It’s important that when you attempt to clear a mess, the whole family tackles the task at hand.

Making everybody responsible for their own space and dividing up communal areas will make them appreciate the work required. It’s not just on you to reduce clutter, and tidying another persons’ space is tricky at the best of times.

An entire family tackling the house will reduce the workload and simplify the process. If you’re on your own, start with one area at a time and finish de-cluttering that area before moving on to another. This will give you a sense of accomplishment as you see your successes little by little.

Create designated spaces for frequently used items

It’s important to be able to easily access what you’re looking for when you need it. Plan out where everything in your home should be, and leave drawers and cabinets for anything you’ll use at least once a week.

Storing on open shelves or desks creates a sensation of clutter very quickly. The whole process of decluttering needs to minimise areas where we stack things upon each other in plain sight. Remove any visual stimuli that create stress and lessen the amount of open space that your see.

Discard everything you haven’t any use for and store away properly what’s too important to get rid of. For everything else, make sure there’s an assigned spot for.

If you don’t use/want/need it, get rid of it

You can bin it, recycle it, or donate it (one person’s rubbish is another’s treasure), but don’t keep it. You only need in your home what you use regularly.

There’s platforms to sell your stuff online, you can find a new use for an old possession or give it away. It’s imperative though that when decluttering, you move on anything in your home that’s taking up more space than it’s worth to you.

If it’s personally valuable or you use it rarely, secure it in a box in the garage or a local storage facility. You’ll still be able to easily access whatever you need without wasting space in the house. Date and detail everything you store, and you’ll always be able to find what you want.

Return what you use to storage

It’s literally pointless decluttering and then immediately falling back to bad habits. From the moment you clear your home of junk, you have to consciously ensure you don’t let what you’ve gotten rid of back in.

This is particularly true in the case of what you put in storage. When you take something out of its designated space to use it, put it back immediately after you’re finished with it. Sounds simple, but it actually takes practice and commitment.

Create a pending folder/system

Whether in the office or at home, we always have to balance some sort of workload. The best way to keep the head above water is to create a space or system to funnel pending tasks. Relative to whatever work you’re doing, create a framework to manage upcoming responsibilities.

A pending folder in the office helps you clear off your workspace while at the same time provides you with a readily accessible folder to centralise and easily locate pending projects. In the same way, a message board or rota for chores will ensure tasks in the house are fairly managed and get done when they’re supposed to.

Don’t let papers pile up

This one is quite specific to one issue but it’s important! In fact, a similar tip was rule number 1 in a previous blog.

Papers strewn everywhere can be the biggest factor to causing a cluttered home. So many homes are inundated with post, advertisements, menus, newspapers and so on. Be conscious of what you bring and what others bring into your spaces. Unless you have a particular reason not to, opt for paperless and do your part for the environment.

Declutter space you use before you leave

It’s normal to pull things out while you’re using a space, but make a habit of cleaning off your workspace before you go. A few minutes of work at a time saves a much bigger job down the line! Not only will this give you a sense of closure when you leave, it will also make you feel good when you return to a nice, clean space.

Leaving areas in a mess heightens any chance of losing or damaging your stuff and even when clutter-free, disorganised space causes the same type of stress. Get into a habit of tidying as you go and your home will be looking fantastic.

Make it fun! 

It sounds mad, but any task can be fun once your attitude is right. Don’t approach decluttering as a miserable thing you need to do. Instead, look forward to the end goal and enjoy the process.

As you’re going about and cleaning things out, put on some of your favourite tunes. The more up-beat, the better! Take breaks if/when you need and don’t overdo it. The time will pass quicker and you’ll probably work faster rather than feeling like you’re obliged to get through it.

What do you think?

What’s your experience of decluttering? “Mess Causes Stress” is a real challenge but these remedies will keep you on a track to a clutter-free life!

If you’re short of space it’s always a good idea to check out some of our fantastic storage services. So get started and should you need anything, let us know.