If you’ve been around a while, if you’re subscribed to my bi-weekly email list or if you follow me on Instagram, you’ve likely heard me talk about decluttering and organizing your home (and life) A LOT.
But I promise I’m not just some crazy organizing lady. Despite professional organizing being my career for the last 14 years and having a true obsession with this stuff, the reason for all of this goes way beyond that.
You see, the act of organizing and decluttering your home and life is backed by science, which means there’s a whole lot of truth behind my own personal claims of how all of these things can create true harmony in various areas.
Until now, you might hear the term “clutter” and the first thing that might pop into your head is the home of a hoarder, but it’s important to note that clutter doesn’t always mean that extreme.
Clutter by definition means:
When the areas of your home start to become cluttered, you’re unable to find what you need, you tend to buy duplicates of things you already have because you don’t know where they are and you subconsciously become stressed on a day to day basis.
The tricky part about this is that clutter creates these feelings subconsciously, so you might not even be aware that this is happening to you, which brings me to that science thing I mentioned early.
I want you to think back to that Physics class you took in high school. If you remember nothing else from that subject, there’s a good chance that you at least remember the concept that “like attracts like.”
You see, everything in life is energy – both positive and negative. Clutter is what we would call a negative form of energy, which means that it produces MORE negative energy.
For your mental health specifically, this negative energy shows up in the form of stress, anxiety, frustration, lack of focus, procrastination and even difficulty in your relationships.
All of which ultimately leads to a lower quality of life. Clutter quite literally creates a block in your life that keeps the good things from coming in, which is the exact opposite of what I want for you.
Because helping you find harmony in your home and life is my mission as a professional organizer, let’s take a look at what’s waiting for you on the other side of decluttering!
It’s scientifically known that the human brain craves order. When you are constantly feeding your brain visuals of disorder, you’re draining your cognitive resources and reducing your ability to focus.
On the flipside of that, when you take the time to organize your cabinets, clean your counter, declutter your desk and get your closet in order, you are actively allowing your brain to focus on your tasks at hand much more clearly because you aren’t distracted by the crowded feeling that clutter brings.
To help you stay on top of decluttering and cleaning on an ongoing basis, I put together an Ultimate Cleaning Checklist that you can grab for FREE by clicking here!
Studies have shown that women who view their homes as cluttered experience higher levels of stress throughout the day, while those who view their homes as well-organized do not.
You see, your home is meant to be a place that signifies rest and relaxation. It’s supposed to be a place that you can retreat to after a long day of work. It’s supposed to create a welcoming and calming feeling that instantly soothes your mind.
None of those things can happen when you walk in the door and the first thing you see is a counter full of mail, appliances and dishes.
Same is true if you wake up in the morning and that’s the first thing you experience when you walk into your kitchen to make your cup of coffee.
Or if you walk into your closet and you can’t seem to find that one shirt that you really want to wear because things are thrown everywhere.
When these things happen, your brain is immediately fed feelings of chaos that will carry on throughout your entire day.
When you make the decision to create order in your home, you’re doing it for far more reasons than just the aesthetic. You’re doing it so you can decrease the stress levels that subconsciously comes from a cluttered space so that you’re set up for success on a daily basis.
You know when your house is messy and you want absolutely no one to see it? We all experience this every now and then. Life gets busy, our chores fall to the wayside and we’re embarrassed by the way our house looks.
Well, when you fall victim to chronic clutter, you start to replay this scenario over and over and over again.
You quit hosting holiday gatherings, you stop inviting friends over for dinner, you don’t allow your kids to have friends over for playdates and overall you stop connecting with people as closely.
And on the off chance that you do have guests over, it’s likely that you’re more focused on helping them avoid the mess than actually connecting with them in the present moment.
This scenario is a sad reality because connection with people is vital to our health as humans. However, when you do declutter and keep your home tidy on a consistent basis, you become more proud to have people gather in your home and your relationships with your family and friends becomes better than ever.
Have you ever laid your head on the pillow at night and your mind can’t quit racing? It’s like you’re replaying your entire day while also thinking about what the next day brings. We’ve all experienced this, but when you’re disorganized and living among clutter, this can be extremely heightened.
When your brain is forced to work harder throughout the day, due to distraction caused by your environment, you’ll feel exhausted and depleted as you run on E, but will still have trouble falling or staying asleep.
Additionally, when you’re living in chaos, the quality of sleep that you receive is going to be on the lower end compared to the quality of sleep that you can expect when you intentionally declutter your space and keep things tidy on an ongoing basis.
Our physical environments have a direct influence on our cognition, emotions and behavior, so when you take care of your environments in an organized way, you boost your cognition and level out your emotions which will naturally improve your decision making as you are able to think more clearly.
While this probably sounds appealing to you, the problem that I see most people experience is that they don’t know where to start. If you’re living in clutter, it’s likely that it’s built up over months or even years and now you feel in over your head.
You might see no way out and have accepted that this is just how things are for you. If that’s the case as you’re reading this, I have some really good news, friend: you don’t have to tackle it all at once AND you don’t have to tackle it alone.
The best advice I can give is to start small and to start SOMEWHERE. I know that it probably feels overwhelming, but inaction is not the answer.
It might take you a few days or even a few weeks depending on the amount of stuff you’re working with, but don’t become discouraged. The reward will be worth it!
If you aren’t sure how to even begin, in this blog post I list 4 key steps to organizing and simplifying.
(Note: the post specifically talks about kitchens, but know that those steps can be applied to anywhere throughout your home.)
If you feel like you need more support and guidance during this process, that’s exactly what the Organize2Harmonize team is for! Connect here to see how we can best serve you, virtually or in person.
Overall, clutter is truly the enemy to your productivity, your mental health and ultimately your well-being. Always remember that clutter clogs and you have the ability to control it! Start today to pave the way for a new mindset and watch how your life transforms.