Being in a crowded and cluttered environment can overload your senses making it difficult to relax. But how can decluttering reduce stress?
"It's not easy to relax at the end of the day in a cluttered home because signals are being sent to the brain that there are a million things to do," the Association of Professional Declutters & Organisers (APDO) tell us. "Also clutter distracts and steals the focus away from what is most important.
"There is evidence to suggest being surrounded by clutter and disorder negatively affects the brain and causes stress. It also causes 'scattered thoughts' and an inability to focus and concentrate."
With this in mind, APDO give their top tips on how to reduce stress through decluttering:
1. Don't give up
When you start decluttering and organising, things can look worse before they get better. The key is to commit some time to the process, not become distracted by other tasks and push through feelings of being overwhelmed.
2. Be realistic
Rome wasn't built in a day. It took longer than one weekend for things to become disordered so it will take time to solve the problem. Don't be discouraged if it seems like you have a mountain to climb. Break down the task into bite-sized chunks and it will be far more manageable.
3. Say no
We all have the same 24 hours in the day and we owe it to ourselves and our loved ones to get the utmost value out of each one. If you won't get much out of a social event, don't attend. Like our possessions, how we spend our precious time is up for question. If it isn't a useful, valuable or enjoyable experience, consider decluttering it.
4. Digital decluttering
Responding to emails pinging in from your phone every few minutes is as bad as living in a physically cluttered environment. It can mean there are constant demands on your attention and you never have chance to be in the present. Assign designated times where you check email, limit the number of people you follow on social media and reduce the number of apps you use.
5. Call in the professionals
Sometimes the task of tackling clutter on your own can feel too overwhelming. That's when a professional organiser can help you clear a path through the mess and stress in order to achieve a calmer home and life. They have the experience and ideas to help you make the most out of the space you have. They have the expertise to advise you on what to do with unwanted possessions and they can teach you to maintain the changes for good.