Cut stress by decluttering your home

Feeling stressed? Try cleaning and organizing your living space. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the immediate positive effects it’ll have on both on your home and your stress levels.

The process of clearing out your home can be overwhelming, especially if you’ve got a lot of clutter lying around. Use the following tips for clearing your home of clutter and you’ll be on your way to less stress, which also means fewer outbreaks.

Get prepared

Before you begin to declutter any space, you need to do some preparing. One of the easiest ways to do this is to follow the four box method: gather four boxes, each for a specific purpose:

  • Trash
  • Give away/donate to charity/sell
  • Keep
  • Relocate (for things that belong in another part of the house)

Start with what you can see

No matter which room or space you plan on tackling first, start by clearing off everything on the floors. Take one item at a time and decide which of the four boxes it belongs in and place it in the appropriate box.

After clearing the floor, follow the same approach with flat surfaces, like countertops and tops of dressers, and then move on to furniture, closets and drawers. Every time you finish with a space, place each item in the “keep” box into its proper home.

Take things in small chunks

To avoid getting burned out or overwhelmed, set a timer for 15 minutes and tackle just one area of your house that is extra-cluttered. This can be a room, a corner, a drawer or some other nook that desperately needs to be cleared out. During this time, quickly sort through everything and place each item in the correct box. After the 15 minutes is up, stop. Do the same thing the next day. And the next.

Once you have this down pat, try setting the timer for a longer period of time (like an hour) and work on a bigger challenge, such as a basement or home office. You won’t believe how much decluttering in small chunks of time on a daily basis adds up. Before you know it, you will have decluttered the majority of your home.

4. Keep clutter in check

Like it or not, clutter always starts to creep back, no matter how well you’ve decluttered your home. In order to keep your home clutter-free, be vigilant about regularly weeding out clutter by using the categories in the four-box method described above — otherwise, you’ll end up back in the same spot you started in.

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