We’ve all been there. You come home after a hard day’s work and you’re greeted by mess. Everywhere you look, something needs to be cleaned up, or tidied, or moved.
All you wanted to do was relax, maybe jump in the bath or load up Netflix and get lost in your favorite series with a bowl of ice cream.
Instead, you open the front door and want to cry.
You look around, feeling dirty just standing there. If only you could wave a magic wand and clear the whole place up with a spell. Instead, you know that you’ll have to spend a good few hours doing it all manually.
Besides being unhygienic and visually unappealing, the main problem with clutter and mess is that they stress us out. Psychologists have found that an untidy living or working environment leaves us feeling anxious, stressed, and overwhelmed.
When things are untidy, they take a toll on your mental health.
This is why it’s so easy to slip into depression when you’re in a messy environment. You feel helpless, low on energy, and powerless to do anything about the horrible state your surroundings are in.
The clutter and depression make each other worse, leading to a steadily worsening vicious cycle that you can’t get any relief from.
Clutter takes our attention away from the things that really deserve it. It tells our brains that our work will never be finished and that there’s always going to be more to do.
It makes it hard for us to relax, both mentally and physically. It makes us feel guilty, it hampers our productivity, and it frustrates us because we can never find the things we need.
Yeah. Clutter sucks.
The good news is that the solution is actually pretty simple, although it’s not always necessarily easy. You need to clear up the mess to allow your mind to have the space it needs to rest and recharge.
Don’t rush in to tackle it all by yourself at once, though. There are a few things that you can do in advance to make the whole process way easier and far less stressful.
First, put some upbeat music on. This will help to energize and motivate you.
Also, unless you live alone, the likelihood is that there are other people in the house who are just as responsible for the clutter as you. Get the whole family or your housemates to help you tidy up.
When you start clearing up, grab a couple of trash bags and put anything you don’t need or want straight in there. You can sort through it all later to make sure it all goes to the right place. Whether you recycle it, throw it away, or donate it, it doesn’t matter. For now, you just need to focus on getting it out of the way.
Once you’ve started clearing up, don’t stop until you’ve finished. It’s far easier to concentrate on doing something and getting it completed if you don’t continuously stop and start. Stopping halfway through a task makes it way harder to resume and keep going.
Make sure everything in your house has its own set place, and put things back there after you’re done using them. This will minimize the amount of clutter that can build up in the first place.
Once you’re finished, reward yourself with some time to relax and chill. You’ve earned it!