A popular proverb advises that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. It’s a reminder that an item’s value is often in the eye of the beholder. It’s also a handy explanation for why it can be so hard to keep a home clean and clutter-free when you live with other people, whether family members or roommates. You might think that your husband’s desk is a jumbled mess of unnecessary items, but he might see it as a satisfactory arrangement of absolutely necessary items. So first, let’s explore why clutter is a problem. Then, let’s dig into some clutter clearing tips that you can use to clear up the clutter in your home.
The Problem with Clutter
As HuffPost reports, clutter has a variety of negative impacts:
- Health Problems: Exposure to clutter increases the body’s production of cortisol, a stress hormone, and stress is notoriously bad for your health. Studies also link clutter to overeating and consuming more junk food, behaviors that boost your risk of obesity. Plus, the extra dust that clutter collects is associated with increased respiratory troubles.
- Safety Risks: If clutter falls on you or ends up underfoot, it can cause injury. In addition, it can create a physical barrier that might make escape more difficult in an emergency.
- Professional Issues: Clutter has been shown to decrease productivity and increase absences from work. Those facts might be why nearly 30 percent of employers report that they’re less likely to promote an employee with a messy, chaotic desk.
- Financial Fails: Clutter and disorganization can make it harder to pay bills on time. In addition, clutter is linked with bad spending habits.
Clutter Clearing Tips That Work
A quick online search for clutter clearing tips will turn up an amazing number of suggestions. Below we’ve compiled a few that truly work.
The prospect of clearing out clutter can seem like a Herculean task. To make it manageable, start small. Home Storage Solutions 101 advises setting a timer for a short burst of decluttering and targeting one space. After all, cleaning out the entire kitchen might seem daunting, but removing the junk from a single shelf or drawer is definitely doable. Plus, working for hours can lead to fatigue and second guessing, but taking 15 minutes to tidy up allows you to move on to something fresh quickly. While this strategy might take time to produce noticeable results, it’s easier to maintain your momentum, and if you keep decluttering shelves and drawers, your efforts will eventually add up.
Clutter means different things to different people, so decide how you will define it. Lifehack suggests considering both your reaction to an item and its function. Then, get rid of anything that you hate, stuff that irritates you, and anything that brings back painful memories or reminds you of past failures. In addition, get rid of anything that is broken and beyond repair or practically never used.
Create a “Maybe” Box
What if you aren’t sure if an item meets your definition of clutter? Zen Habits recommends tossing it in a “maybe” box. The idea is simple: If you aren’t sure whether you should keep an item or let it go, tuck it inside your “maybe” box and put it aside. After a few months have passed, pull the box out and give its contents a second look. If there’s anything you still want, it’s easy to retrieve it, but if you haven’t missed it, you can let it go without worry.
Embrace Good Habits
All the clutter clearing tips in the world will ultimately fail you if you allow clutter to creep back into spaces that you’ve decluttered. Apartment Therapy suggests keeping clutter at bay by making decluttering part of your regular routine. At the end of the day or the end of the week, walk through and pick up anything that is out of place in your decluttered zone. Then, put it away. Making a habit of regular decluttering keeps the inevitable clutter of daily living at a manageable level.
At PrimeLending of Kansas City, we understand that clutter weighs you down. That’s why we offer clear advice and transparency in the home loan process. If you’re interested in buying a home or refinancing your existing one, reach out to us today.