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I have a confession to make: I am the Queen of Clutter.
Without a doubt, being a clutter-creator is one of my worst bad habits.
I still have some clothes stuffed in the back of my closet from 10 years ago, and even though I haven’t worn them since high school, I’ve still held on to them “just in case” I might ever need to wear them again. I have a whole forest’s worth of paper that has accumulated over the years from kindergarten through grad school, and I probably have enough books to fill half a library.
Time to De-Clutter
Enough is enough! I’m tired of having to wade through piles of paper any time I want to find something, and I’m tired of trying to squeeze my clothes into an over-stuffed closet every time I put away my laundry.
I’ve had brief moments of motivation in the past where I’ve tried to reduce clutter and get organized, but the clutter always seems to find its way back, partly because I haven’t been consistent enough with maintaining organization, and partly because I never fully got rid of my clutter in the first place. I had just sort of . . . re-arranged it a bit.
Recently, though, I’ve been thinking more about the benefits of eliminating clutter. I just finished reading The Clutter Trap by Robin Konie of Thank Your Body, and it made me realize that my clutter was actually affecting my health in a negative way, and that, by getting rid of my clutter, I could turn that around so that my organization could have a positive impact on my health instead.
3 Ways that Cleaning Up Clutter Can Improve Your Health:
1) Cleaning Up Clutter Saves Time
Let’s face it. Living with a cluttered house (or office, or car, etc.) wastes a lot of time. Anything you need to find, whether it’s keys, or shoes, or the receipt for the blouse you want to return to the store, would be a lot quicker to find if your life were more organized and less cluttered.
And if you didn’t have to spend all of your time searching for things buried in the midst of all of the clutter, just think of how much extra time you could spend investing in your health instead!
With a clutter-free, better-organized home, you could have more time to:
- Take a walk in the fresh air
- Play with your children (or pets)
- Plant a garden
- Cook a homemade supper rather than buying take-out
- Read a good book
- Take a nap
- Do anything else that you find relaxing and enjoyable
2) Cleaning Up Clutter Reduces Stress
Even though we might not realize it, having a lot of clutter in our homes and workplaces can cause us extra stress. And stress is bad for our health. Very bad! One of the most important things we can do to have a healthier lifestyle is to do everything we can to reduce unnecessary stress in our lives.
Clutter often causes stress when we can’t find the things we need to find, especially if we’re in a hurry too. This is the classic running late for an important meeting but can’t find your keys because they’re buried under the mountain of mail on the kitchen table scenario. Definitely a stress-causer.
Sometimes, though, just the presence of the clutter can cause a subtle sense of stress that we might not even be aware of. According to Robin Konie:
“When our space is crowded physically it’s easy to feel crowded mentally. ” The Clutter Trap – Pg. 15
This is definitely something that I’ve found to be true. When I actually clear up my clutter, I find myself feeling more peaceful and relaxed. I usually never even realize that my clutter is stressing me out until it’s gone, and then I have an extra sense of calm that wasn’t there when I was surrounded by so much cluttered stuff.
Since reducing stress is such an important factor in our journey toward better health, it’s worth making it a priority to clear up the clutter in our lives. We all end up having enough stress anyways without adding unnecessary clutter into the mix too!
3) Cleaning Up Clutter Saves Money
Unfortunately, having clutter often ends up costing us extra money, too. Maybe it’s the extra money we spend on boxes and file folders and other containers to help us organize the stuff we don’t really need in the first place. Or maybe it’s the money we spend buying stuff we already had (but didn’t realize we already had because we couldn’t find what we needed in the midst of all the clutter.) Or maybe it’s the late fees for bills that ended up being lost in the pile with all the sales flyers and magazines that we never bother to read anyway.
And then, of course, there’s the money we spent buying the stuff in the first place too. Even if it was on sale or a really cheap price at a yard sale, it was wasted money if the item we bought ends up gathering dust at the bottom of a closet rather than actually being used.
By cleaning up the clutter (and by not adding to the clutter by buying more unnecessary things!) we can save quite a bit of money that could be used for things that would improve our health, such as:
- Organic food
- Grass-fed or pasture-raised meats, butter, eggs, milk, etc.
- Books about health and wellness
- Natural beauty products
- Natural cleaning products
Don’t Let Your Clutter Get in the Way of Better Health
I’m tired of dealing with my extra clutter, and I’m ready to be rid of it! Just yesterday, I cleaned out all of the drawers in my dresser, keeping the things I still wear, and getting rid of the things I haven’t worn in years. Now I have a big bag of clothing to donate, and neat, organized dresser drawers. And today when I was putting away some laundry, it was so nice not to have to try to shove my clothes into a drawer that was already too full to close. Maybe having a clutter-free dresser and closet will actually motivate me to put away my laundry in a more timely manner from now on!
If you’re as tired of being surrounded by clutter as I am, reading The Clutter Trap can help you to understand some of the reasons why you’re holding on to clutter in the first place, and it can give you a plan of action for how to finally get rid of your clutter and live a more organized life.
And the best part about it is that cleaning up your clutter doesn’t have to be a huge, intimidating process. The plan outlined in The Clutter Trap is one that you can do in just 15 minutes a day. Even I can handle that! 🙂
Image Credit (C) Depositphotos.com/[elenathew]
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The information in this post is not to be taken as medical advice and is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease.
Erin Marie @ Health Happens At Home
Wednesday 27th of July 2016
I am working on reducing clutter in our life now. My youngest is 2 and we are purging baby stuff and other unneeded items. Love this post, I shared it on my blog yesterday: http://www.healthhappensathome.com/blog/2016/7/26/healthy-living-motivation
Wednesday 27th of July 2016
I have so much clutter without even having any kids, so I can only imagine how much extra clutter must come along with having children, too! Thanks so much for sharing! :)
tired of clutter
Thursday 27th of February 2014
[…] How cleaning clutter can improve your health […]
Friday 8th of November 2013
I am the clutter cleaner at my house. My husband is resourceful and can turn old stuff into new stuff. This means 5 lawnmowers in the yard that he can probably get around to fixing one day. I keep the bare minimum. I throw it in the trash, he pulls it out again. It is pretty humorous.
Friday 8th of November 2013
Ha ha! Oh dear, 5 lawnmowers is a lot! Sometimes being resourceful isn't always such a good thing, I guess, ha ha :)