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Fax: 734-585-5634

Spring Cleaning? Does Decluttering Your Space, Declutter Your Mind And Aid Your Mental Health?

man decluttering storage space in garage

Let’s find out.
As winter fades and the first blooms of spring appear, some people find themselves inspired to clean out, refresh and reorganize their living spaces. The annual tradition of spring cleaning can be more than a means to maintain a tidy home; it can have positive benefits for mental well-being. New beginnings, new, fresh energy.  Clearing out clutter from our environment can lead to a clear mind, helping to reduce stress levels and promote a sense of control and satisfaction.

The connection between the set up of our spaces and our mental state has been documented. Psychological research suggests that a cluttered space can lead to a cluttered mind, interfering with our ability to focus and process information. Conversely, an organized and clutter-free environment can enhance our mood and mental clarity. Decluttering can help us create a safe space that further supports mental health and cognitive functioning.

Embarking on a thorough cleaning of our living or work spaces might feel daunting, but the benefits are immediate and tangible. Simplifying our surroundings by removing unnecessary items, tidying up and organizing can lead to improved concentration, reduced anxiety and an overall boost in mood. The act of cleansing and organizing signifies a physical manifestation of setting our life in order.  This often reflects back on our mental state, offering a fresh perspective and renewed energy for the months ahead.

Few things to remember.  Decide what this looks like for you – given your life, needs and ability, and remember this is not a game of perfection or distraction and avoidance – although any movement in the direction of our goals contributes to our momentum.  

Exploring the Link Between Clean Spaces and Mental Clarity

A clean and organized environment can have a positive impact on our mental health, resulting in clarity and reduced stress.  Some of us become especially overwhelmed and distracted in cluttered spaces. 

Psychological Benefits of Tidiness

  • young woman looking happy while spring cleaning her kitchen Focus: Clean spaces are known to enhance your ability to focus. A study from Princeton University found that clutter can make it difficult for our brain to concentrate due to the chaos competing for our attention.
  • Mood Improvement: Regular tidying up can lift your mood. The act of cleaning provides a sense of satisfaction and sense of mastery.  
  • Stress Reduction through Organization
  • Reduced Anxiety: A survey by the National Association of Professional Organizers showed that 54% of individuals feel stressed and anxious due to disorganization. Organizing your space can alleviate these feelings.  Tackling things in small and regular increments can make this more manageable for some of us, while others designate a time/ day for a larger clean. It’s also no surprise that our spaces often reflect what’s going on in our lives. More stress can mean messier personal space. 
  • Enhanced Productivity: It’s hard to deny that when our environment is organized, we spend less time looking for items and more time being productive, spending less time looking for our belongings. For those of us with neuro-diversity and particularly ADD concerns, having designated spaces and systems for things can also be very helpful.  If we put our keys on the same hook by the door each day, we don’t have to spend extra time looking for them every morning. 

Practical Tips for Effective Spring Cleaning

Effective spring cleaning goes beyond a superficial tidy—it’s a targeted effort to streamline your environment and our life. Here are a few additional tips for approaching this methodically.  

Identifying Clutter Hot Spots

Observation is crucial. Walk through your home and note areas that consistently gather clutter. Common hot spots include entryways, kitchen counters and desk surfaces. Jot these down as your primary focus areas.

  • Entryways
    • Collects: shoes, mail, keys
  • Kitchen Counters
    • Collects: appliances, dishes, paperwork
  • Desk Surfaces
    • Collects: office supplies, unsorted mail, gadgets

Strategies For Decluttering And Keeping Up 

Start with sorting. For each hot spot, apply the three-box method: one for keeping, one for donating and one for trash. Be relentless in evaluating each item’s necessity.  

woman decluttering by sorting items into a keep, donate and discard box Keep:

  • Only items you use frequently.
  • Those that have a designated storage place.

     Donate:

  • Unused or redundant items in good condition.
  • Things that could benefit others.

    Trash:

    • Broken, expired, or soiled items beyond repair.

Next, implement storage solutions that reduce the chance of future clutter. Use drawer dividers for small items, install hooks for keys, and use clear containers to store and easily locate items.

Maintaining Order Post-Cleaning

Create habits to keep your spaces clutter-free. Spend 10 minutes each day to reset clutter hot spots to their tidy state. Habitually place items back in their designated spots after use.

labeled pantry as part of spring cleaning Daily Mini-Cleanups:

    • Schedule specific times like after dinner or before bedtime.
    • Target areas you’ve cleaned to reinforce the habit.

Labeling can also help you and others maintain the order you’ve established. Labels act as visual reminders for where items belong.

Label Examples:

    • “Chargers” for designated charging areas.
    • “Snacks” for pantry organization.

Remember that with each item sorted and every surface cleared, you are not just tidying a room, but setting the stage for a clearer, calmer and more centered you! Happy cleaning and may the season inspire you to create a space that reflects the best version of you.

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