In today’s fast-paced world, there is a lot of talk in the media and healthy living circles about the negative impacts of stress on physical and mental health. Whether it be from a job that asks too much and pays too little, or from managing the lives and financial wellbeing of a family, stressors abound in our day-to-day lives. While some of these stressors are unchangeable, others can certainly be changed. Among those in the changeable category is clutter.
That’s right: clutter is a stressor. Thankfully, clutter is also manageable. In this blog, our storage experts here at Stor-It will tackle clutter and stress, touching on the positive changes that will come to your life by decluttering a space, and listing steps on how to start getting rid of clutter and stop it from forming in the first place.
As Idaho’s oldest and largest storage company, our team here Stor-It knows a thing or two about decluttering space. After you’ve read our guide, explore our website to learn more about the many storage services we offer, and head over to our Locations page to check out our 14 different Idaho self-storage facilities.
Decluttering Your Space Improves Other Aspects of Your Life
Have you ever gone off on a lengthy vacation and elected to not clean up your house before leaving? Remember coming home to overflowing laundry bins, a fridge with rotting food, and a bed with three-week-old sheets? After spending hours on a cramped flight or in a hot car on your return trip, the last thing you wanted was the experience of a dirty and cluttered home.
Now, think of a time when you cleaned your whole place before going on vacation. Remember the glorious feeling of sliding into fresh bed sheets, in a room that’s spick and span, in a home that’s clean and organized. Felt good, right? After eight hours of sleep and a cup of coffee, you were feeling like your best self.
These different travel scenarios help illustrate how important a clean space can be for your psyche. Most of us leave and come back to our house multiple times a day for work, errands, kid-related activities, and social engagements. Controlling how stressful your job is each day, how well behaved your kids choose to be at the grocery store, or how much emotional baggage your friends decide to dump on you at a brunch outing is nearly impossible. However, controlling your clutter is not. When you declutter, you gain strength to deal with those stressors you can’t avoid. Having a clean and clutter-free space helps expedite your recharging process, so you can go back out into the world and take on the next issue that life throws at you.
Reducing Clutter Helps You Tackle Other Chores
If your whole house is cluttered and dirty, it can be hard to prioritize any single chore. After all, why would you do your dishes on a daily basis when the rest of your kitchen is littered with food, papers, and other household items? Why would you clean your bathroom sinks and toilet each week if you can’t even remember what color your countertops are because they’re covered with toiletries?
On the flip side of these scenarios, a relatively clean space can lead to more cleaning. If the various parts of your living space are clutter-free, you’ll be able to see each individual chore as its own manageable task, rather than seeing your entire place as one giant mess. Having manageable cleaning projects with clear-cut starting and ending points will help you complete chores and feel better in the process. It’s not hard to understand that the prospect of finishing one chore that takes less than thirty minutes and results in a completely cleaned area will positively affect your psyche. Tackling this chore and completing it gives you a much greater sense of accomplishment than trying and failing to tackle a deep clean across a very messy abode.
A Clutter-Free Home Helps Free Up Your Time
We all know that reducing clutter helps free up space. What many homeowners don’t realize is that decluttering also helps free up time. It’s an avoidable fact that each day has 1,440 minutes in it. However, if you reduce the amount of clutter in your home, you’ll reduce the number of wasted minutes you spend looking for things. You’ll get to use some of those 1,440 minutes for better things. A quick tip that’ll save you many minutes: get into the habit of always keeping your wallet and keys in a container near your front door. Doing this will drastically reduce the number of frantic episodes you’ll have running around the house looking for the stuff you need to finally leave.
A simple container is good for more than just keys. Make it big enough to fit your pocket change, and you’ll drastically reduce the copper and nickel components of your home’s clutter. Depending on how much change you accrue, you’ll be able to occasionally use it to buy your morning coffee instead of always putting it on your card.
Declutter and label your drawers, cabinets, home office, and any other part of your pad that gathers miscellaneous items, and you’ll find that that the time it takes to do other tasks will shorten. The next time you need to change those batteries on the remote, it’ll only take you a minute, instead of ten minutes filled with frustrated searching. The next time you need to mail something, the whole process can be completed in half the time when you know where to locate stamps, stationery, pens, and tape. With more time comes less stress. Reduce clutter to get more of one and less of the other.
Area Specific Types of Clutter and How it affects Your Lifestyle.
Above, we touched mostly on small clutter that fills up drawers, cabinets, and other small spaces. Though annoying, this type of clutter is not the only species taking up your space. There are, and as far as your own home-based phycological well-being goes, small clutter is a pretty small chunk of the problem. As you may have guessed, the biggest portion of the problem belongs to the biggest items.
So, let’s talk about the clutter that’s not hiding out in cabinets. Small stuff aside, here are some of the most common types of clutter that, if reduced, can majorly improve your stress levels.
Your kitchen is usually the first place you go when getting home from work. You put down the mail (most of which is junk) on the countertop. You sit down and peel off your socks. Maybe you get up and grab something to snack on at the fridge. By the time you’re finished with this dance, the Feng Shui in your kitchen is off. Clutter has come. Likewise, the kitchen is the first place your kids (and their many friends) rush to — and tear apart — when coming home from school. Again, clutter accumulates very quickly. Not only does excessive clutter affect what you decide to snack on in the kitchen, but it also can be the deciding factor for how much you end up eating. Declutter your kitchen, pantry, and fridge and you’ll see a reduction in your stress eating and lazy eating habits. A clean, bright, clutter-free kitchen is one step to cleaning up your diet and making you feel all-around better in your snacking choices.
Shared Spaces Clutter
Whether you’ve got roommates or a family, there are places around your house where people chill out and relax. A little Netflix-and-chilling never hurt anyone, but when your weekly Saturday morning TV-viewing ends up turning into a ten-hour binge session where you don’t step foot outside for the entire day, you know that your little slice of pleasure has gone a little too far. Stressful clutter can contribute to the cave-like character of your living room, which can lead to activities like binge-watching and general laziness. Just like with the kitchen, if you keep your living room clutter-free, clean and sunlight-accessible, then it helps to keep your living room from feeling like a post-apocalyptical bunker.
Bedroom Clutter (and How it Affects Sleep)
A lot of the clutter that accumulates in the bedroom is clothing-related. Like other types of clutter, clothing can quickly accumulate. Maybe when dressing down for the night, you make the decision to not put your pants in the laundry hamper. They’ve still got another use or two in them before needing to be washed. Your favorite sweatshirt has surely got another weeks-worth of light wearing before it needs to get tossed into the hamper. So, you throw it on the ground, knowing that it’ll get worn soon enough. Then, the next day comes and you grab an entirely new set of clothes, forgetting about last night’s plan for your grounded pants and sweatshirt. By the time night arrives, you repeat the process with good intentions and poor follow-through. Pretty soon, you’ve got so many clothes on the ground that your bedroom has now officially become the most cluttered room in your house.
A poor sleeping environment is one of the biggest factors that affects sleep quality. Further, a good night’s sleep (or lack thereof) plays a huge role in influencing stress levels. The relationship is reciprocal: stress also makes it harder to sleep. As you know by now, clutter causes stress. Just as it’s not a good idea to gorge yourself on toxic news sources right before bed, it’s also not good to be crossing a dirty and cluttered bedroom as you hop into bed. Your mind and body need to recharge on a nightly basis. They do this best in an environment where you are comfortable and calm. Don’t let the bedroom clutter sour your mood going to bed. It’ll lead to bad sleep which will lead to even more stress in your life.
Live Like a Monk: Have Less Stuff, Have Less Stress
The clutter conundrum can be solved through a number of methods. There are great ways to optimize and customize your pad to creatively house all of the things that you own, effectively reducing clutter with smart storage. But then there’s also the notion that having less stuff in your home — decluttering with brute force. Take the bedroom for example. If you’ve got six pairs of work pants in your rotation instead of twenty, you’ll be forced to do laundry more often. You will no longer have the option of allowing your laundry to pile up for weeks on end because you’ll be out of pants much sooner.
Get into the habit of having good habits by forcing yourself into practicing good habit living. Sound like a mouthful? Start with clutter. Does your living room really need eight throw pillows and six puffy blankets? Could you survive with half the number of pillows and blankets? Try it out. With less unnecessary things filling up the rooms of your house, cleaning your place becomes a less strenuous and stressful task.
Now It’s Time to Declutter Your Pad. Here Are Some Helpful Tips.
Clutter is a stressor. Thankfully, it’s solvable — even for those who don’t know how to get rid of anything. If you have trouble separating the necessities from the not-necessities, there are a few tips you can try to make your next decluttering effort successful. The first is giving yourself ample time. Try thirty minutes or an hour each day after work, and work a bit longer on the weekends. Don’t try to do it all in one fell swoop. It’ll burn you out and stress you out. Next, pull everything out so you can see exactly how much stuff you’re dealing with, then start to separate your stuff into piles. Have a “keep” pile, a “give-away” pile, a “throw-away” pile, a “try-to-sell-it-online-or-at-a-garage-sale” pile. Be vigilant. Be diligent. Make the harsh cuts.
Even with these tips, you may encounter some things that contribute to clutter but simply cannot be thrown out. Sentimental items. Collectibles. Other important odds and ends. For these stalwart clutter contributors, self-storage is the right choice.
If you are in search of high-quality self-storage in Idaho, your search ends here. Our team at Stor-It proudly provides a myriad of self-storage options for residential and commercial property owners across the Gem State. We are Idaho’s largest and oldest self-storage company, operating 14 locations conveniently situated around the Treasure Valley and beyond. There, you’ll find all different sizes of units, plus parking options and packing supplies for sale. Decluttering your house doesn’t mean you have to part ways with all of your beloved things. Come store your stuff with us, where your prized possessions will be out of sight but not out of your life. Lose the clutter and lose the stress with our team here at Stor-It!