If you’ve ever watched an episode of Hoarders, then you know living in clutter can be a nightmare.
You lose keys and wallets in piles of laundry and knickknacks, and worry about how to turn down visitors because of the mounting eyesores in your home. If you’re sharing a space with family and friends, then your litter is bound to cause friction as well.
Why does clutter cause so much anxiety? It’s because when stuff builds up, it creates a mess and disrupts your way of life. Clutter can even lower your job performance and strain friendships, which ultimately adds to your overall stress:
How Clutter Harms Your Job and Friendships
- Lost Work Hours. A survey by Brother International Corporation estimated that $89 billion is lost annually from employees looking for misplaced items. Ask yourself: How many hours of productive work do I waste searching for missing pens and files, all from having a cluttered work desk?
- Workplace Disadvantage. The same Brother survey found that co-workers have a negative opinion of employees with cluttered desks. Avoid earning a bad reputation among your boss and co-workers by cleaning up your desk.
- Social Shyness. Surveys consistently show that people with cluttered homes are less likely to invite their neighbors and friends over. Your inability to host parties and dinners might strain your relationships with loved ones.
Instead of calling a clean-up crew to take all your stuff away, it’s better for you to focus on dirty space at a time. I’ve listed three of the best areas to start your decluttering because these take the least time and help you most to achieve a clean and healthy living arrangement.
Bathroom. Shampoos have expiration dates, which are often indicated with “12m” (1 year) and “24m” (2 years) stamps so throw out those old bottles you keep out of habit. Do a similar check for conditioners, body washes, face creams, and toothpastes. This will speed up your bathroom rituals since you won’t have to go digging for your favorite items.
Bedroom. Quality sleep is hard to come by when you have a chaotic bedroom. Organize your chests and drawers, place dirty clothes in the laundry basket, hang repeat-use outerwear like coats and jackets in a corner, and store shoes and other accessories in racks and compartments. Do this and you also avoid the nuisance of missing clothes every morning.
Work Desk. Like the research above says, a disorganized desk will flag you as a person with a disorganized mind, which is far from ideal. Mark folders and assign drawers to easily find files and avoid a last-minute scavenger hunt when a surprise meeting is called. Also, arrange your desk before leaving for lunch and home. This gives the impression among the lunchtime crowd and your early bird boss that you have it all together.
Once you tidy up the house and office, there’s still much to declutter! Just open your day planner and you’ll see a long list of activities ripe for pruning. At first, all of your commitments might look important, but look hard enough and you’ll find a few that can be dropped from your to-do list.
Junk food and fast food are the equivalent of dietary clutter, so purge them as well. To do this, jot down your food intake for a week and see what your current eating habit is like. Then slowly replace the unhealthy fare with more nutritious alternatives.
Decluttering can be a handy tool for overall healthy living since it helps you throw out the useless stuff and keep the most valuable ones. Let me know how else decluttering has improved your life!
Health and Love,