5 Reasons Why You Should Declutter Your Home This Spring
March always feels like a pivotal point in the year as we say goodbye to the dreary winter months and look towards springtime. Spring has long symbolised a time of new beginnings and fresh starts after a long hibernation. Everywhere we look we can see examples of nature’s tenacity – flowers start to bloom again, leaves return to the bare branches on trees, farms are full of new life – and it can get us thinking about new opportunities for ourselves. Spring is pretty great time for change!
In line with the idea of getting our homes and minds in order, you’ll find a few initiatives around the world that take place in March: National Spring Cleaning Week, National Cleaning Week and the Great British Spring Clean. All these events are in place to get us decluttering, cleaning and organising our spaces and environment.
Have you heard the saying ‘tidy house, tidy mind’? Research shows that having a well-organised, clean and functional home plays an important role in our mental health.
Meet Sharné Bättenhaussen – the home organising expert of Sevenoaks
Sharné (shar-nay) Bättenhaussen is the founder of The Productive Lifestyle Company and an expert in decluttering, organisation and productivity. She says, “Clutter isn’t just a physical thing. It’s very much a mental and emotional thing – like intrusive thoughts or an overwhelmed mental-load. Clutter is everything that doesn’t support you, your lifestyle and your space.”
There are many reasons why a person might accumulate clutter in their home, from being time-poor to attaching excessive sentimental value to possessions to even medical and/or behavioural conditions, such as depression, ADHD or OCD.
Inviting a professional into your personal space can seem daunting but Sharné is adept at removing any notions of shame and providing practical, efficient solutions and systems that work for you. Combined with a therapeutic and psychological approach that is both encouraging and free of judgement to improve quality of live and make lasting changes that you can refer to time and time again.
5 reasons why decluttering your home can improve your mental and emotional health
Sharné is a firm believer in the connection between unkempt physical surroundings and a lack of mental wellbeing.
Here are her five top benefits of decluttering to improve your mindset:
Reduce stress & enhance focus
An environment filled with clutter is an overwhelming visual stimulus that can cause stress and create negative feelings of laziness, guilt, shame and anxiety. Subconsciously, our brains feel like our ‘work’ isn’t finished so, instead of resting and relaxing, we feel distracted and struggle to concentrate. This hinders our productivity, which can lead to further stress until we break that cycle.
A space free from clutter where everything has its place and an easy-to-follow organisation structure, helps to pull your focus back to the tasks that matter and give you the mental capacity to think a bit more clearly and rationally. When your mind is in a positive mode, you’re much more motivated to succeed with your goals.
Even simple things can make a big difference. For example, being able to easily find and access everyday objects, such as your car keys. It may sound inconsequential, but we all know what it’s like when you’re trying to rush out of the house to get to an appointment in time. When you can’t find those keys, you panic and end up leaving the house in a fluster, setting the mood for the day. BUT, when the keys are kept in a proper place, you leave the house in a much better headspace.
A messy environment can be distressing and lead to anxiety and depression. Disorganisation and uncleanliness can cause significant stress and fear of more chaos. Decluttering can bring peace of mind, helping us to think pragmatically and feel calmer.
Visual clutter – like a pile of post sitting on the sideboard – is an example of this. It’s a consistent reminder that you haven’t completed a task and can play on your mind throughout the day. Maybe you’ll spend time worrying about the contents of those letters and avoid them for even longer.
Decluttering is also a form of self-care. Most people can sleep better in a tidy bedroom and are more likely to cook healthy meals in a clean kitchen. You’ll also feel more comfortable inviting friends and family over to your home to entertain – filling up your social cup is a real mood-booster!
Clearing physical clutter goes a long way in also clearing the clutter in your mind.
When our mind is free of overwhelm and distracting thoughts, that’s when our creative juices have the space to start flowing! There’s more capacity for your mind to wander – ever noticed you often get a ‘lightbulb moment’ when you’re in the shower? Showering itself is actually part of a decluttering process!
This mental clarity naturally fosters creativity and productivity, which in turn energises you and keeps you motivated.
Following a session of tidying and organising, you’ll feel a real sense of accomplishment and pride in yourself and your home. Decluttering really helps to cultivate decision-making and problem-solving skills. As with everything, the more you practise the easier it gets.
Sharné points out that your wardrobe is a perfect example of this – once properly sorted, every single item of clothing that is left should make you feel good about yourself and bring out your personality. No longer hanging on to clothes that don’t fit well or are no longer your vibe, you’ll save heaps of time trying to create an outfit that expresses the current ‘you’.
Create a sense of control
When your space is disorganised, it can make you feel like your whole environment is out of your control. This can also seep into and put a strain on your relationships, making you feel like you don’t have the emotional bandwidth to cope with other areas of your life.
Removing things that are unnecessary is empowering and liberating, helping you take back control in your life. When other things in life feel uncertain, you can still have a sense of mastery over your environment. Studies have shown that during times of high stress, people tend to default to repetitive behaviours like cleaning because it provides a sense of control amidst the chaos.
“In a world of chaos, wouldn’t you want your home to be your sanctuary?” – Sharné
About The Productive Lifestyle
Did this resonate with you? Grab a FREE 15-minute consultation today!
The Productive Lifestyle Company delivers both in-person and virtual professional home organiser services:
Downsizing and bereavement
Garage, basement, loft and shed
Learn more about these services here.
The Productive Lifestyle Company is here to help you achieve the lifestyle and home you desire. Using decluttering, organising and productivity methods to help you gain a deep understanding of yourself and how you want to live. Their non-judgemental support will provide you with the tools and guidance you need to create long-lasting habits that will help alleviate the feelings of frustration and shame that come with having a cluttered home or office. The Productive Lifestyle Co. will help you achieve your goals and live a life of simplicity and harmony.
By Ruby Plenderleith