relieve stress

To Relieve Stress, Declutter Your Life

WellnessApril 6, 2017

Do you get hives thinking about a certain closet in your house? Do you purposely avoid going into your basement, because you don’t want to see the dusty storage boxes? We’ve all been there, and we know how it feels to have a cluttered, unorganized mess on our hands. But here’s the thing: think about how relieved and free you will feel when that mess is cleaned up. Today, I’m talking about a new kind of stress relief. It doesn’t have anything to do with relaxation techniques, soothing herbs, or fluffy advice. It’s simple and straightforward: to relieve stress in your life, declutter.

Every person is different and every house is different, so this is where you get to choose. Tackle the mess that’s bothering you most. From there, quit or keep going. It’s all about you and your peace of mind. Remember: go at your own pace and do work that feels good. It may take time, but finish one task completely before you begin a new one!

Here are some ideas and action plans for decluttering.

Start with your closet. Hello, five-year old shirt you love but never wear. Get rid of it. As a general rule, if you haven’t worn a piece of clothing in the past six months, remove it from your closet. While I recommend donating your old clothes (it’ll feel good!), you can discard of them however you choose.

Try the 12-12-12 Challenge. Find 12 items to throw away, 12 items to donate, and 12 items to return to their proper place in your home. That’s 36 things you’ve taken care of – and taken off your mind. (Involve your family in this one, and challenge your children to complete the 12-12-12 Challenge, too.)

Tackle that storage space. First, organize it! Go through everything and identify every item. Throw away as much as you can. When you’ve sorted through the items you’re keeping, gather them together in like piles. (Children’s clothes, seasonal decorations, important memorabilia, etc.) Once sorted and organized, pack everything in boxes or storage containers and label them. You will thank yourself for that!

Closets and storage areas are obvious places to declutter, but what about every day rooms? If you’re like me, you have a few cupboards, drawers, and a pantry that could use a little love.
Drawers: consider buying drawer organizers, so your things aren’t just floating around. And that infamous junk drawer? Just empty it and throw everything away.
Cupboards: you’ll be surprised at how good it feels to just clean and rearrange your cupboards! Take everything out and wipe down the shelves. Then put your items back in: line up your drinking glasses, stack your plates by size, and so on.
Pantry: Here’s an opportunity to do good! Take all those canned food items that you know you’ll never use, and deliver them to your local food pantry. Throw away anything that’s expired. You’ll probably be surprised by how much you’re able to get rid of.

I know this might not be traditional stress relief advice. But I also know how good you will feel when your space is clean and your mind is clear. Don’t give in to feeling overwhelmed; I believe in you!