Spring cleaning is an important tradition to keep your family safe and healthy. Beyond cleaning out the medicine cabinet and replacing expired safety items like car seats and bike helmets, tidying up your home or workspace can have positive effects on your mental health.
Recently, a popular Netflix show, “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo,” shares the KonMari Method, a minimalism-inspired approach to tackle organizing your stuff by category, not location. Ultimately, the items you have are meant to “spark joy” in your life.
The pandemic’s disruptions with social distancing, working from home and virtual school mean we are at home much more that many of us were before. As a result, we are more exposed to our clutter than ever before. This only piles onto the distress caused by COVID. As we had to set up offices at home for ourselves and school work areas for our kids it is critical that we declutter to create spaces that help us focus in on work or school. Having decluttered calm spaces in our homes also becomes essential when we don’t have access to those calm spaces elsewhere. So now more than ever, decluttering is essential to our wellbeing.
Benefits of tidying up
Dr. Michael Schulein, a psychologist at Marshfield Clinic Health System, referenced information in the book, “The Happiness Hypothesis,” which explains, “Clutter keeps us focused on all the things in our lives. But, getting things only brings us momentary pleasure.”
The research is pretty clear that it is our activities and our interacting with family and friends that bring us real, enduring happiness,” Schulein said. “By reducing the clutter of things, we refocus to what matters.”
Whether you use Kondo’s method or your own tactics, tidying up has several benefits including decreasing frustration, producing clearer thinking, generating a sense of accomplishment and showing you care about yourself and your family. Cleaning your home or work environment also eliminates allergens and other bacteria, thereby providing a healthful atmosphere.
Clutter causes chaos
Schulein shares a quick video that explains why clutter causes anxiety and tips on how to tidy up. Clutter can lead to stress and inability to focus, process information and relax. Lack of clean and clear space also prevents creativity and productivity for some people.
Kondo encourages visualizing the life you want to live and what you need in life to get there. Anything that won’t help you on that journey isn’t deserving of your space, she says.
Use spring cleaning to clean up your home and life for a better chance at happiness.