Other than just our physical health, our mental health is just as important for our overall well-being. It defines how we act and behave throughout our daily routine. On some occasions, stress can pile up from different aspects of life (E.g. work, personal relationships) and you can find yourself being mentally drained at the end of the day.
But what if we told you that decluttering is one way to help manage stress?
This World Mental Health Day, we’d like to share with you some ways we’ve gathered on how you can manage your stress by decluttering around the house.
What Is World Mental Health Day?
Before our tips, let’s give you a brief explanation of what World Mental Health Day is all about.
World Mental Health Day is meant to promote mental health awareness and muster support systems for mental health. It also advocates on better understanding mental health disorders to destigmatise and improve public attitudes towards them.
This year, it falls on the 10th of October, and its theme focuses on “Mental Health In An Unequal World”.
How Does Decluttering Improve Mental Health?
Having a lot of clutter around your house, especially at your workplace, negatively impacts your mental health as it can elevate your stress and anxiety levels. When we see untidy or unkept areas, it can cloud our thinking and leaves us unfocused.
In more serious cases, cluttered spaces can contribute to heightened tensions and depression.
Decluttering helps manage stress as it gives us back control, and also gives an immediate sense of satisfaction because of tangible results. Effective decluttering sessions also gives us peace of mind.
Now that you the benefits of decluttering, below are some of our decluttering tips that can help you manage stress:
1. Have A No-Pressure Plan
When decluttering, it’s important to consider what type of decluttering you would like to do.
Here are some factors to think about when making a plan:
- How long do I want to declutter for?
- Is there a specific room/place I want to declutter that will satisfy me?
- One Room?
- One Spot?
- What type of decluttering do I want to focus on?
- Office Supplies (E.g. Books, Stationery)?
- Old Clothes?
Note: During moments of stress, acts of cleaning can help mediate it as it gives us back our sense of control.
Remember, the purpose of decluttering is to get rid of stress, not add to it.
2. Sort As You Declutter
Instead of making a mountain of items you want to to throw away, categorise your items in the following groups using the 3 Box Method:
- Items that you want to keep
- Items that you want to throw
- Items that you want to store
Simply put out 3 boxes labelled with the above-bolded words to maximise the time stipulated for stress-free decluttering and streamlined organization.
3. Set A Personal Time Limit
Most of us don’t have all the time in the world to declutter, so other than having a planned list of decluttered items, you should also give yourself a time limit.
Tip: You don’t have to be a perfectionist when you declutter. It’s better to take your time, and work at a consistent pace.
Allocate 10 minutes a day to declutter, focusing on one small section of a room or one category. Regardless of the space decluttered, it can still yield meaningful results.
At the end of every decluttering session, reward yourself to cement a deserving sense of accomplishment.
For longer decluttering sessions, work in short bursts and give yourself appropriate breaks to avoid overworking.
To accompany you while you declutter, check out: Complete Chores Faster With Our Cleaning & Organizing Playlist!
4. Refrain from Holding On To Old Belongings
Other than managing stress, decluttering allows us to throw away belongings that we no longer need.
You should not feel obligated to keep old presents or items that are beyond salvaging. It’s better to remove items from your house if it’s just taking space and not serving a better purpose.
5. Declutter Your Mind
Clutter can be both a physical and mental hindrance. While physical clutter can look like stray sheets of paper, mental clutter can manifest as irrational fears. Mental clutter can occur from:
- Unfinished business — Calls to be made, work to be done.
- Perfectionism — Striving for perfectionism, and the self-criticism that comes from within.
Once you’ve sorted the items you want to keep and ones you want to keep, try practicing some of these steps to manage built-up internal stress:
- Sit with your emotions — Sometimes it’s better to just sit and sort through your thoughts instead of ignoring them.
- Practice letting go — Practice mindful thinking and letting go of things you cannot control. Let the process do what it does.
- Avoid information overload — Stay off social media to keep excess information at bay.
These suggestions can be done as you’re physically decluttering your space.
It’s important to be mindful of your mental state as you go about life. Whenever you want to destress, try decluttering a spot near you. Tell us in the comments if our tips helped you refresh your mind!