Why Declutter and Organize Your House?

I’ve heard folks talk quite a bit about their New Year’s resolutions in the past week or so – you probably have, too! And something I keep hearing over and over from people is, “I’m gonna declutter my house!”

I’m right there, too. I have a whole list of spaces in my home that need some major decluttering, and I’ve already started on a few of them. But the other day, someone asked me why I was even bothering with it at all! They felt as if clutter was what happened when life happened, and there was nothing that could be done about it. 

First of all, I don’t believe that for a second. Second of all, I know it’s not true in MY home, so I knew it couldn’t be true for everyone. And third, when Mackenzie  Fox contacted me with a guest post on this very topic, I then had the facts to back up my assumptions! She puts it quite well, and gives us some simple steps to follow to get the decluttering process going! Read on…

Opening image for article in AARP Magazine on the social and psychological effects of clutter in the home.

Do you live in a highly-organized living space, or can you just not be bothered about the “creative” chaos that surrounds you? If you belong to the second category, you might want to re-consider your fondness of clutter for the following, very important reasons (quite a few of them are related to your health):

  • Although you might think you are living in the perfect symbiosis with your clutter, the fact remains that it does cause stress and anxiety. Huffington Post conducted a survey which showed that a whopping 84% of people were worried that their homes were not clean or organized enough, while 42% feel anxious when their houses are unorganized and cluttered.

  • Clutter does impede your ability to focus. How so? Simply put, when you look at clutter, your visual cortex is overloaded with images which, in turn, severely limits your brain’s ability to properly process information. The result? Confusion, agitation, and a mind that is too busy.
  • Clutter affects your physical and mental health. People who use the words like “disorganized”, “messy” and “chaotic” to describe their home, proved to be more depressed, tired, and apathetic. Believe it or not, it all has to do with a stress hormone called cortisol which rises when we are faced, for instance, with a mountain of housework, to-do-lists and piles of laundry. High levels of cortisol negatively affect virtually everything that is important for your health – mood, sleep, appetite….not to mention all the dust and dirt that usually comes with clutter including decomposed insects, pollen, dead skin cells and even feces from dust mites.
  • Clutter makes you less productive. When your home is in order and everything is in its proper place, your mind tends to be less distracted. Less distraction leads to better focus and better focus leads to higher productivity. A clearer and calmer mind can achieve much more than a preoccupied and stressed one.
  • The last but an equally important reason for decluttering your home may come to you as a surprise. Did you know that a simple act of getting rid of your clutter and organizing your living environment can add up to 7% to the value of your home? A survey conducted by Homegain.com in 2012 showed that cleaning and organizing was considered the number one low-cost value improvement project for home owners.

carol-kane-in-clutter

From a decluttered to organized home

Decluttering is just the first but necessary step towards organizing your home. In order to start, you would need to nip the problem in the bud, i.e. identify what are the reasons for accumulating so much stuff that you really don’t need. The reasons are oftentimes of emotional nature – we suffered from lack in our childhood, or we feel safe when we are surrounded by a plethora of things, or we are holding onto the past or, everyone’s favorite, the “I might need this one day” excuse. Whatever your personal reason is, you need to identify it and face it head on before you start with the decluttering process. Once you do that, your next task is a proper organization of your living environment. Here are a few tips that will help you:

  1. Small steps – you might be tempted to clean and organize everything in one fell swoop. Don’t! You are going to get very tired very quickly and the whole process will start to look insurmountable. Set aside 2 or 3 hours a day the most and focus on one space / room at a time.
  1. Arm yourself with storage helpers – Boxes, big plastic containers, extra shelves, bins, and baskets will definitely come in handy. Again, don’t overdo it, otherwise you are going to have a stack of empty containers lying around, generating more clutter.
  1. Keep, donate, recycle, throw away – Sort your possessions into these four categories and be merciless. Forget about emotional attachment to things and let practicality take over. Keep things that you enjoy using and that you use every day. Recycle what can be recycled. Donate the things you don’t need or want to friends, family or local charities. Throw away things that are broken beyond repair or too old to be used.

When your home is finally decluttered, perfectly organized and clean, you will breathe a sigh of relief, as if a huge weight has been lifted off your shoulders. You’ll feel lighter, happier, productive and filled with energy. According to some studies, even your romantic life will benefit from decluttering (yes, you read that right) because arguments about missing items, forgotten errands, and clothes lying on the floor will be the things of the past. Lighting candles in a clean, serene bedroom as opposed to a messy, overcrowded one becomes a romantic experience rather than a fire hazard!

Author bio:

Mackenzie is a mom of two beautiful children whom she’s trying to teach the importance of good organization. Besides being an organization warden, she likes to take the role of a junk food detective: no junk food allowed in her home. 

I love how Mackenzie has made the process of decluttering simple! I’m going to incorporate her tips into what I’m already working on around my home – what about you? Do you have any tips to add?

Due to the amount of comments from all of my wonderful readers, it is not always possible for me to respond to each one. However, I absolutely do read them all, and if you’d like to address something specific, or have a question for me, please don’t hesitate to email me at Kristen@theroadtodomestication.com. I will respond to your email as soon as possible! Thank you for visiting the blog!

 

20 thoughts on “Why Declutter and Organize Your House?

  1. I detest clutter! The one place I have a problem with it is in my master closet. I’m working on it now. I’m usually real good about donating clothing regularly, but the last few months I’ve been slack. After I clean out my closet, I’m going to redo the organizer racks/shelves to make it more workable. I totally agree with the small steps.

  2. Hubby and I went on a huge declutter spree yesterday!!!! Got rid of the last few things Christmas and New Years and threw away a ton of junk that has collected over the winter. Felt good!

  3. I’m the master of decluttering my home. I have a lot of material things, but I believe that everything has a place and everything in its place is the key. As a creative person, I can agree that clutter does impede creativity. I cannot even get dressed in the morning if my bed isn’t made – for some reason, I can’t put together a decent outfit because I’m so distracted by an untidy bed. :)

  4. We are implementing an 11 week plan of action to get our home well organized and decluttered. Our timeline may be a little ambitious but I have secretly planned for those unexpected interruptions. We are doing the three piles; keep, throw away and donate. So far, so good.

  5. The less clutter in the house, the clearer my mind is, that’s why I make it a point to declutter as often as I can. I think these are great reasons as well.

  6. I really hate messed house! I recently clean and organize my kitchen grocery cabinet and my closet, mostly my closet were really messed.

  7. It’s a good idea to declutter our space to bring new energy in and help us focus on staying creative. As busy people, most of us find that it can grow quickly so we need to stay on top of it.

  8. I definitely believe that a cluttered home can affect your physical and mental state. When I am feeling stressed the first thing I do is try and de-clutter my environment and it always helps.

  9. When I was younger I used to hate cleaning my room. While I don’t enjoy dusting or vacuuming I do love picking stuff up and putting it in its place. I also love going back through my stuff and getting rid of things and/or repurposing things. I cannot stand clutter and it totally messes with my mind.

  10. Not sure if I need reasons but I completely agree with these! It’s nice to have a clean home for your own peace of mind. I think it’s a lovely thing to do to get rid of clutter, it’s like getting rid of what’s weighing you down.

  11. Being a mom of 2 small kids I really have a lot to with de-cluttering my home in full sometime sooner. I always love to stay organized as I really can’t handle any mess-up around me and it is going to be huge challenge to get it done this time though!

  12. My mother needs to read this post over and over again. She likes to hoard things. After we moved out, she started to hold onto things… kind of like holding on to a time in her life.

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