07 Jun

Can Clutter Affect Your Mental Health

Whether you’re drowning in dusty collectibles, or your workspace is covered in piles of sticky notes and papers, your clutter may be affecting your ability to stay on task. Because we associates objects, whether they be an unpaid bill or a souvenir from the Eiffel Tower, with experiences, seeing clutter everywhere can actually affect your ability to stay on task and focus on what really matters in a moment, a day, a lifetime.

Simply defined, clutter is an accumulation to the point of overflowing of anything in a space. So what’s the solution? Organize that clutter! Grandma’s old adage, “A place for everything and everything in its place,” is more relevant to our hectic lifestyles than ever before. The reason this philosophy of organization is so powerful is that it can allow your mind to compartmentalize tasks and events, helping you focus on what’s relevant NOW, not what happened before or what is coming in the future. Our contemporary culture moves very fast, and multitasking is the norm, but sometimes the inability to focus on one experience or one task at a time can wreak havoc on our mental and physical health. Stress builds up as we are visually reminded of unfinished projects, accumulated e-mails or bills that need attention, thank you notes that need sending, events that need planning, upcoming appointments and meetings, etc. It’s impossible to think of all of that at the same time and still retain some sense of peace and sanity.

By organizing the clutter, it helps us mentally take one thing at a time. Put bills all in one tray on your desk or kitchen drawer, and don’t look at them until it’s actually time for you to sit and pay them in an organized and relaxed mental state. Collections of Hummel or miniatures of famous monuments are fun to look at because they bring back memories of our family, heritage or experiences, but don’t put these in a place where you work. Looking at these items can distract your mind from work as they will stimulate thoughts of your personal life irrelevant to the tasks that you need to accomplish. If “mess” is the problem, use baskets and bins to hide dirty laundry, toys, dog leashes, keys, shoes, etc. Place a basket near the front door, or hang a pretty container from a coat rack in the foyer to serve as a catch-all for items that tend to get dumped anywhere in the house as everyone comes home. Hooks for purses, coats, scarves, umbrellas and keyrings can serve to store these items without taking up too much space and preventing them from being scattered throughout your home or office.

Living in an organized space doesn’t mean you don’t have possessions, it simply means that the possessions you do have are put in an appropriate place for you to attend to or enjoy at an appropriate time. You don’t need to think about everything at the same time, so why should you look at everything at the same time? If you think decluttering and organizing is too challenging for you, start small with little bins and baskets placed around to catch ANY clutter, and then move on to putting like with like. Once you begin to get the knack of organizing, you may find that your mind and your emotions fall into an organized state as well.

For professional decluttering and organizing services, call the professionals at Nook & Cranny Concierge Services. (612) 200-2525

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