How Cleaning & Organization Positively Affect Health

“If you want to improve your life immediately, clean out a closet. Often what we hold onto holds us back.” ~Cheryl Richardson

The challenge yet importance of letting go. Be that of material things, emotions, connections, things that no longer serve us. If we are stuck holding on, we are staying in the same place. In order to grow, you have to move. One of the best reminders I had of this was in a nutrition coaching session years ago, the coach used the phrase ‘keep feet moving’. For me, it became a mantra. When I felt stuck or had trouble seeing my progress, I made sure to keep going. Even if it was a small, tiny step or contribution, do it anyways. Like the quote above suggests, to improve your life immediately, clean out a closet. Or a drawer, a box, a file, the storage on your cell phone. The surge and freedom you will feel after letting the clutter go will be so rewarding. You will make space for new and better things in your life. Imagine all the possibilities waiting for you under the clutter. Trust me on this, go clean out a closet. Share how you felt afterwards in the comments.

“With organization comes empowerment.” ~Lynda Peterson

Think about this concept. If you are organized, everything has a place, you know where your belongings are, when you do need something it’s there. This eliminates the stress of not knowing where the needed item is, the time it will take to locate it, and overall less ruminating on where the object is, instead of accomplishing whatever you were trying to do in the first place which has long been forgotten looking for the missing item. Being organized gives an advantage of being able to achieve more than the disorganized who spend time and energy trying to get organized in haste. Have a system, stick to it, put things back in their place after you use them.

I use a concept I refer to as the ‘5 minute tidy’. When I get home from work or being out of the house, I spend 5 minutes putting whatever I used that day away. Shoes go in their spot, bag goes on a hook, lunch bag is emptied, jacket hung up, dirty clothes in the laundry hamper. I also do a 5 minute tidy before bed which looks like: empty water bottles in the recycle bin, set out outfit for next day, pack any bags for work or activities, pick up anything that hasn’t been put away, etc. It makes a difference because the clutter doesn’t pile up and leaves less for me to have to do the next day. I can focus on other to do items and minimizes my worry of finding time to do what I need to do. I recommend doing tasks that take less than a minute as you go like putting dishes right in the dishwasher or washing them right after you are done. Don’t let them pile up and make more for yourself later. If it will take less than a minute, do it now. Use time wisely and to your advantage. Minutes add up, so if you stay on top of the small things, you will make more time for the bigger, more time consuming things.

“Clutter is nothing more than postponed decisions.” ~Barbara Hemphill

This. Yes. I so often see the advice to make a keep, donate, sell, and maybe pile. DO. NOT. DO. THIS. Make the decision to keep something or get rid of it in the moment. Otherwise, you are making more work for yourself at a later time. As a very indecisive Libra, this is one of the more useful lessons I have learned. I take this a step farther and remove items I am getting rid of immediately. Put them right in your car so they are already there and there isn’t an additional delay of moving them from near the door to your car to finally take the box wherever. Don’t even allow for a chance for those items you decided to let go of make their way back into the space you took them from. Eliminate the clutter, make the decision in the moment, and do all the steps to follow through right then.

“Minimalism is not about what you own, but why you own it.” ~Brian Gardner

This applies universally, not just to those who are or striving to be minimalists. This is anything. Accumulation is about owning things to own them or having many acquaintances just to know people. When you stop to ask why you own each thing or why this connection is important to you, that allows for deeper appreciation for the objects or connections you have. There is a ginormous distinction between having a thing or person because it is easy to have versus truly desiring that item or connection for the fulfillment and satisfaction it brings to your daily life. I had someone I was involved with tell me he preferred a relationship with someone else because it was ‘effortless’ and we were too much work. This disgusted me to my core because nothing worthwhile in life is effortless- relationships, the material objects you own, everything takes some effort to have and to hold onto. Anything that adds value and meaning to your existence will require some exertion to maintain. Whether decluttering or evaluating your personal connections, really sit with the decision and ask the why question. This will lead to more significant and purposeful things and people being present in your existence.

What Are Other Benefits of Cleaning and Organizing?

Getting rid of excess stuff can benefit your mental health by making you feel calmer, happier, and more in control.

Sharpen your focus- reducing the chaos around you minimizes the distraction of it.

Relieves anxiety. Thinking less about the clutter because the clutter does not exist to think about.

Energizes you into productivity mode. Doing one thing will feel so good, you are likely to keep going.

Improves your social connections. Having a clean, organized, decluttered space will make you feel proud and encouraged to show it off.

Improves sleep. Minimizes worry about all the things you have to do and allows you to relax for a better night’s rest.

Focus on other projects. Because your environment is neat, you can accomplish other tasks or hobbies.

Positive mindset. Enjoy decorating and organizing your space so it looks how you want it. Your outlook will reframe to be more positive overall.

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