We have all heard the phrase ‘tidy house, tidy mind’ but there are real mental health benefits that come from decluttering. In this blog, we will discuss the various health benefits of decluttering and the best methods for organising your life.
Health Benefits of Decluttering
Some of the benefits of decluttering include improving focus and self-esteem. When surrounded by clutter, it is easy for the mind to wonder away from the task at hand. If everything around you is organised, there is no longer an excuse for distraction and procrastination. Your improved ability to focus will make you feel more competent, which in turn leads to higher self-esteem.
Decluttering can also improve your lifestyle more generally. It is easier to be healthy when your living space is organised. Dust and mould can gather around clutter, triggering allergies and asthma.
Equally, if your kitchen is messy, you are more likely to avoid spending time in it by cooking quick, unhealthy meals. A lot of people even experience a reduced quality of sleep when they are surrounded by clutter. By organising your space, you can improve the quality of your lifestyle. Here are some of the most popular methods for decluttering.
The KonMari Method
Let’s start with potentially the most famous decluttering method there is: The KonMari Method. Whereas most people tidy their house by going through one room at a time, the KonMari method dictates that you organise by category. First go through your clothes, then your books and papers. The next category to focus on is komono (miscellaneous items) and finally, sentimental items.
The KonMari Method is popular because it encourages mindfulness in the decluttering process. It is easy to fall into the trap of becoming nostalgic when decluttering, causing you to keep items you don’t need.
When following the KonMari method, you should hold each item in your hands and notice how it makes you feel. Does it spark joy? If it does, it is worthwhile keeping in your life; if it doesn’t, chuck it. When you are done, you will be surprised by how many things you have gotten rid of.
Swedish Death Cleaning
This method was coined by Margarete Magnusson in her book The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning. The method centers around the idea that, if you died tomorrow, you wouldn’t want to leave your family with lots of useless clutter to sort through. The concept is slightly morbid, but the process is surprisingly effective. By seeing your belongings through your family’s (perhaps more judgemental) eyes, you may be less likely to deem certain belongings as worthy of keeping.
The One Touch Rule
The One Touch Rule was developed by Ann Gomez, a productivity expert and founder of the organization Clear Concept Inc, based in Toronto. The concept is incredibly simple: put away your belongings immediately and don’t touch them again. In practice, this means that everything in your home needs its place- your coats goes on the coat rack, your shoes in the closet and your laptop in your desk drawer.
Imagine you’ve come home from work and, too tired to deal with it right now, you put your coat and laptop bag on a chair and your car keys and phone on the kitchen table. You tell yourself you’ll put everything away later but do you ever do this?
Most people end up leaving everything where they first put it and it either remains there or someone else moves it around the house. When you come to look for the belongings again, you struggle to find them and they add to the general clutter of the house.
This can all be avoided with The One Touch Rule. Simply put everything in the right place when you first come through the door. You won’t have to think about it again and your house will become less cluttered.
Try out these methods for decluttering and see which one works for you! Remember, belongings that are worth keeping but you don’t use often are much better kept in storage to keep your house tidy and organised.