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Declutter Your Way to a Healthier Lifestyle

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Clean Up Your Act

Have you ever looked around your living area and workspace and wondered how things piled up so quickly? It’s easy to do. It starts with a few papers, some books, files, mementos and clothes. Before you know it, you’re drowning in clutter. And once clutter becomes unmanageable, you find yourself more anxious, overwhelmed, fatigued and irritable. Although collecting cherished items may be done in a healthy manner, there are easy ways to combat dreaded clutter. In fact, incorporating a few new habits into your lifestyle can make a huge difference.

Eliminating clutter may improve your personal relationships.

Fewer Choices Equal Less Stress

Research suggests that clutter is associated with stress and sleep issues. Shedding unwanted items can reduce stress by simply eliminating choices. Think about your closet, for example. If you’re not regularly clearing out unworn items, you will end up with too many choices. Take regular inventory of your clothes, shoes and accessories; if you’ve not worn them recently, pack up a box and donate them to your favorite charity. Choosing a number (say three or five) of items to donate or throw away is a great way to start.

Clear Your Desk and Your Mind

Your desk is where you do heavy brain work, and there’s nothing more inhibiting to productivity than excess clutter. There is research that supports a clean and organized workspace is conducive to a higher level of thinking, clarity and creativity. One way to eliminate the tendency to accumulate desk clutter is to clear it once a day. Try taking all papers and files off your desk every morning and putting them in a pile on the floor. Then go through each item one at a time. Is it something you need to act on? Is it something that should be filed? Or is it something that can be thrown away? Once you have those items cleared, your mind will be fresh and ready for a day’s work.

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Create a Happier Home

Psychology Today also suggests that eliminating clutter and organizing your living area may improve your personal relationships. Believe it or not, cluttered living spaces can create tension and irritability in families. The more things pile up, the more resentment you may have toward your spouse or children. A great way to keep harmony at home is to instill tidiness in everyone’s daily routine. For example, give each household member a chore that involves clearing a space. That way, everyone feels included in the effort to make life happier at home.

Cluttered Spaces May Cause Physical Ailments

Ever walked into a closet or room and had an allergic reaction, such as sneezing, coughing or a stuffy nose? That’s because cluttered spaces breed allergens, like dust, dander and pet hair. An easy way to quell allergies may be to cleanse your home of excess things that are sitting, unused or forgotten, so there are fewer places for dust and other allergens to settle.

Excess items may also be accidents waiting to happen. Did you know falling is the leading cause of injury in the United States for adults 65 and older? Decluttering hallways and walking paths may help reduce the risk of falling while keeping your home feeling and looking fresh.

Free Up Your Schedule and Relieve Financial Pressure

The less time spent having to dig through clutter and messes, the more time you’ll have for the things that make you happy. Also, having a better handle on your inventory may help with the tendency to buy more things, thus relieving financial pressure.

In considering your personal decluttering plan, think of the overall picture and how bringing order into your life may help you live happier and healthier. Start small, choosing whatever methods of organizing fit your lifestyle, and soon you’ll see results.