Is your home filled to overflowing with clothes, books and everyday stuff? Do you look around your home and wonder how it got so full of odds and ends? You might have a clutter problem. When we talk about clutter, it’s easy to think this is something that only happens to hoarders. But the truth is clutter happens for a lot of reasons that may have nothing to do with not being able to let go of things.
For instance, just having too many possessions can lead to clutter. Imagine trying to fit belongings that need a 10-room house into a cramped 2-bedroom flat. Apart from this, leading busy lives or not having enough time for monthly cleanouts can also take their toll, leading to overstuffed homes. But what most don’t know is that a cluttered home not only affects our ability to invite people over. It also has a detrimental effect on our mental health.
According toexperts, disorganization and clutter can drain our cognitive resources, making it harder to focus. Our brains like order, and when confronted with the sensory overload of a disorganized home, cognitive overload can result. This can also make us more susceptible to anxiety, loss of productivity and depression as we grapple with a home bursting at the seams. They call this the “clutter effect”.
So, if you have a clutter problem at home, you may also be falling victim to the clutter effect. Thankfully, there are great ways you can get a grip on disorganization and reclaim your mental balance. That’s what we’ll talk about in this article.
Decluttering your home
Possessions often represent the experiences or emotions attached to them. As a result, decluttering can be an emotional rollercoaster, as it means letting go of some things that hold sentimental value for us.
That’s why before you start this process, you should take a moment to steel yourself for what may be a difficult task. In addition, by following the right tidying system, you can use a proven process that lets you tidy up but still keep the things that mean the most to you.
There are two great resources you should start with. First is the FlyLady cleaning method and the second is the KonMari method. Let’s take a look at each of these below.
The FlyLady cleaning method
TheFlyLady cleaning method was created by organizing specialist,Marla Cilley. She created the process as a way to help people get rid of clutter, not by doing full-day cleaning marathons, but simple 15-minute sessions. If you tremble at the thought of tackling weeks or months of clutter in the home, Marla’s cleaning method works a treat.
The reasoning behind the FlyLady method is that cleaning your home should not be a stressful task. As a result, instead of trying to reclaim all of your space in only one or two days (which is likely impossible), the method breaks cleaning into smaller, doable tasks.
In addition, the FlyLady method makes it easier to not just get rid of clutter, but keep your home sparkling every day. It does this by dividing the task of home-keeping into daily, weekly and monthly routines that are perfectly easy to follow.
The great thing about the FlyLady method is it keeps you going without overwhelming you. With a clear idea of what you should be doing and when, you’re better equipped to tackle clutter sustainably.
The KonMari method
If the FlyLady helps you learn when to clean, the KonMari method breaks down how to clean. The method was created by pro organizer, Marie Kondo, author of decluttering bestseller,The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up.
Marie’s popular tidying method is based on two primary ideas. First, the goal of cleaning is to only keep the things that “spark joy”. If you have belongings that don’t give you a thrill or look great on you, then it might be time to part ways.
Second, you should tidy up your home by category, rather than by location. Remove the things you have decided to let go, and then organize what’s left in a way that is visible and accessible. Categories include clothes, books, papers and miscellaneous items (called Komono).
An important part of organizing your belongings after the great clear-out is the KonMari vertical folding technique. The technique works for everything from sweaters and t-shirts to stockings. It starts with making a long rectangle and then folding from the bottom up until you achieve a tidy little square.
Then place each folded package standing upright in your dresser, almost like color-coded files in an office drawer. What makes this technique great is it becomes easier to find where your clothes.
You no longer have to dump out all the contents of your dresser before finding the perfect outfit. This also means you don’t have to clean as much, letting you enjoy a tidy home for much longer.
Less clutter = better mental health
Just the feeling of being in a clean, well-organized home will do wonders for your confidence and satisfaction. It will also be less tasking on your cognition, and the sense of accomplishment from cleaning your home will leave you feeling energized and motivated.
To get started with the process, you should purchase The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up and the FlyLady. Read through both to get a full picture of how each of the systems work and how you should apply it to your home.
Then follow the FlyLady schedule, while applying KonMari’s organizational techniques each day. In one month, you’ll be living in a radically changed home that is cleaner and more organized than ever.
Keep repeating the process every month and in no time, you will fully get your home and space under control, which will free your mind.