Chances are there are one or two things that stress you out during the day. Perhaps it’s your job, maybe its shuffling the kids from swim practice to a soccer game, or possibly you’ve taken on a tad too many hours of consulting or volunteer work. No matter what the situation, stress comes in and out of our lives more frequently than we’d like it to.
Coming home to a messy, stressful home, therefore, probably isn’t on your wish list for the end of a long day. Your home should ideally be far from a stressful spot; it should be your sanctuary, a wonderful place to breathe and reflect.
Not all of us have a perfectly zen home to come back to, but there’s one way you can get closer to that place of refuge: de-clutter. Taking unnecessary stuff out of your home – off counters, out of drawers, away from sight – can clear both your space and mind from clutter. And it turns out it’s pretty easy to start!
- Start small. It can feel overwhelming to try and tackle your whole home, removing all that stuff that seems to endlessly accumulate. So be sure to start in one room, on one table, or in one set of drawers. Starting small will help you accomplish one area – giving you all the confidence you need to move throughout your home!
- Be critical. As you’re getting rid of all that excess stuff, it can be tempting to keep an item for many reasons: nostalgia, uncertainty about the future, or comfort. It happens to all of us! As you clean out your home, look at items with a critical eye. Do you really need it? If not, recycle, dispose, or donate.
- Stop a lifestyle of procrastination. One reason you may accumulate clutter is due to small acts of procrastination; you know you should go through and open your mail, but you haven’t had the few minutes you need. You recognize that your space would be so much clearer if you put your laundry way, but lounging feels so right. Take care of de-cluttering your space as you go through your week; that way it will never have a chance to accumulate! Plus, it will feel less daunting if you tackle small tasks one at a time rather than putting them together into one large cleanup.
- Follow the “one in, one out” rule. The next time you go shopping – whether for food, clothing, or other items – follow this rule to a tee. If you buy a new sweater, promise to get rid of one you haven’t worn in a few years. If you’re out shopping for produce, be sure not to buy five apples if you already have four at home (unless you’ll eat them all quickly – then more power to you!). Shopping mindfully and clearing out your stuff in the process will eventually lead to a clutter-free space.
- Forget perfection. As you scroll through lifestyle magazines, Pinterest, and Instagram, it can be easy to start comparing your home to the gorgeous idealistic ones shown on these pages. But perfection isn’t realistic – life isn’t perfect! Don’t get down because your house isn’t insistently clutter-free; use that feeling as a way to constantly improve your life, de-cluttering both your space and your mind. Chances are your less-than-perfect living room is a comfortable, relaxing, perfect space for you and your family to laugh and enjoy each other’s company.
How do you clear out clutter in your home? Does a clutter-free home help you de-stress? We’d love to hear your ideas in the comments!