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Busting the Clutter to Reduce Stress

January 29, 2019
Picture of clothes cluttering the floor with the blog post title "Busting the Clutter to Reduce Stress"

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Does your house have a lot of clutter? Having a messy or cluttered house doesn’t feel good and definitely contributes to excess stress. It is a constant reminder of things that need attention and becomes a part of an ever-growing “to-do” list. It can drain your energy in your energy and can begin to make you sick!

You need a great plan to help you attack that household clutter!

We’ve all had a house that is cluttered. A pile of mail that we need to address, clothes stacked up, dirty dishes in the sink and covering the countertops, little things that simply need to be put in their proper place. But did you know that clutter can actually significantly add to your stress level, and ultimately compromise your health and well-being?

Overcoming procrastination

Often, we put off clearing the clutter because we are simply too busy with other more important tasks to get to the clutter piles. And then when we look around and see the clutter, we simply get overwhelmed, and our stress increases. We keep telling ourselves “I really need to clean that up!” but somehow, it continues to pile up and we get even more stressed out and have even less energy!

A clutter-free living environment helps to reduce stress and get your energy flowing again.  When you have a clutter-free home, it allows you to breathe and focus on the more important tasks. It also removes one source of energy drain…and that’s so important!

How do you bust the clutter?

So how do you tackle the clutter? Focus on a smaller cleaning task rather than becoming overwhelmed by looking at the big picture. Plan on conquering one room at a time. And break it down even further to finish one task in your focus room at a time. When it comes to the family, get them involved. Set up a cleaning list for each family member. Then have each family member complete one chore at a time-if you give them more than one, then they can get overwhelmed and you’ll find that they will tend to procrastinate more, so break it down. Even the younger children can help with things like putting toys away, or throwing dirty clothes in the hamper.

Incentives work well for the kids, so encouraging them to help with cleaning with the promise of a special treat, toy or movie can go a long way. Of course, there is always the incentive of the allowance. Many parents assign monetary values to different reoccurring chores. If the kids complete that chore, then at the end of the week, they will receive an allowance based on the work that they completed. Don’t forget to give them praise and positive reinforcement for a job well done. It will go a long way to helping them to be more cooperative in the future.

Set a goal

Put together a goal sheet for clearing the clutter. Break it down into small enough pieces, so that you aren’t having to clean for hours at a time. Allot a specific, and achievable amount of time to do some cleaning. When you write down your cleaning goals, it will give you a greater sense of focus and allow you to really see what you are accomplishing as you cross each task off of your list.

Oftentimes people with a lot of clutter also say that they hate cleaning. But the truth is they don’t actually hate cleaning. They allow things to pile up so much that they feel very overwhelmed, and in turn, it causes a great deal of stress and so they don’t do anything. And so things just keep piling up and piling up…and so does the overwhelm and stress.

Once you recognize that it is the overwhelm and the resulting stress that is the real culprit, then you can decide what is the most important cleaning task to finish first. Then focus on that one task. If you begin wandering away from that task, be aware and get back on track. But breaking the cleaning down into smaller chunks will allow you to be less overwhelmed and stressed out.

So try putting together a plan to bust your clutter. You will be amazed how much better you feel and you be able to reduce your stress level and improve your well-being and your life!

Photo credit: © David Waugh |

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