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As spring arrives, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and start cleaning.
But did you know that spring cleaning can do more than spruce up your physical space? Research has found that decluttering and organizing can significantly benefit your mental health by reducing stress and anxiety while increasing productivity and focus.
This article will explore the link between spring cleaning and mental health — providing practical tips for decluttering your mind, workspace, and life. So grab your broom and dustpan, and prepare to spring clean your way to a happier, more productive you.
What a Clean Home Can Do for Your Health
A clean and organized home can provide many benefits for your health. Studies have shown that cluttered spaces prevent your brain from focusing correctly and increase cortisol levels.
Here are some of the ways that a clean home can improve your health:
Reduce Stress and Anxiety: Cluttered and messy spaces can lead to stress and anxiety. In contrast, cleaning and organizing can calm the mind, help reduce stress levels and eliminate the feeling of unfinished business.
Enhance Mood: A clean, organized space can make you feel accomplished and productive by creating a sense of satisfaction and positive energy. It can also uplift your mood, making you feel happier and more content.
Improve Focus and Attention: Cluttered spaces can be distracting and overwhelming, making it hard to focus on tasks. Conversely, a clean, organized room can improve focus and attention span.
Promote Better Sleep: Clean sheets and a made bed lead to better sleep. A clutter-free bedroom can also reduce distractions and promote relaxation.
Inspire Creativity: Cleaning can uncover old or lost items that may spark new ideas. A clean, organized space can also provide renewed motivation to tackle new projects.
How to Set Goals and Achieve Them
A strategic plan is essential if you want to set goals and achieve them. Building a strategic plan requires:
Step 1: Identify Your Three Core Areas
Identify the three broad areas that cover everything you do — they should be expansive enough to provide flexibility. However, do not tie these areas to specific projects or people.
Step 2: Imagine Success in These Three Core Areas
Build your plan to create positive outcomes in the future and picture what you’d see if you successfully advanced all three of your core areas. Also, remember to be open to possibilities and use your imagination.
Step 3: Assess Your Current Reality
Assess the current level of your skills, readiness for change, and available resources. Choose priorities based on what will help create future success, not deadlines. And consider what you truly need rather than what you want.
Step 4: Determine the Key Actions Needed
Determine the tangible activities you’ll use to achieve your goals. Your key actions should outline your busy schedule throughout the next 12 months. They should also include how you plan to collaborate with others and elevate skills.
Step 5: Assign an Appropriate Timeframe
Assign deadlines, frequencies, and milestones to your key actions.
Step 6: Write Three to Five Goals
Up to this point, you may need to write down three to five goals; for example:
- Use the formula CONTEXT + ACTION + TIMEFRAME = RESULTS.
- Write about the current challenges or opportunities you’ll tackle.
- List the one or two core actions you’ll take to solve the context.
- Add the dates you’ll take those actions within.
- Clarify the results that would equal success.
The Secret to Big Success Through Small Steps
Small steps may seem insignificant but are essential for achieving bigger goals.
Taking small steps breaks down goals into manageable tasks and prevents feeling overwhelmed. It also allows you to create a sense of progress and momentum toward your goal, which can be very motivating.
Here are some tips for achieving big success through small steps:
Set achievable goals: Setting unrealistic goals can lead to frustration and demotivation. Instead, break down your goals into smaller milestones that you can achieve gradually.
Take consistent action: Set a regular schedule and commit to your daily goals.
Celebrate your progress: It helps maintain motivation and momentum toward your goal. Take time to acknowledge your accomplishments, no matter how small they may seem.
Embrace failure: Failure is a natural part of the learning process. Use your failures as an opportunity to learn and grow, and don’t be discouraged by setbacks.
Stay accountable: Having someone to hold you responsible can be a powerful motivator. Find a friend who can support and keep you accountable for taking action toward your goals.
Getting Organized Is the Ultimate Solution to Clutter
Remove Unnecessary Items
Start with a plan to help identify and rank the areas that need decluttering to help you stay focused and avoid feeling overwhelmed.
Next, get rid of items you don’t need because clutter can be a significant source of stress and anxiety. Thus, eliminating unnecessary items can be incredibly liberating. Consider donating, selling, or throwing away nonessential items.
Once you have gotten rid of items you don’t need, create a system for keeping things organized. Using storage tools to keep things organized and having a designated place for each item can help reduce clutter and make it easier to find what you need.
Store Seasons Items
Use protective covers, wrap fragile items in bubble wrap or tissue paper, and label boxes.
Create a designated space for storing seasonal items — a closet, garage, or attic. Make sure the area is clean, dry, and free from pests.
It’s also essential to rotate seasonal items regularly to keep them organized. For example, at the end of each season, remove the things you won’t need for several months and store them away. This will free up space for the items you need during the following season.
The Life-Changing Benefits of Donating Your Extra Items
Donating your extra items may be small, but it can significantly impact your life and others. Giving to others can make you happier, healthier, and more connected to your community.
According to a study, giving increases happiness more than spending on oneself. Donating to charity stimulates brain reward, social, and trust circuits.
Giving also benefits our health. Research suggests that different forms of generosity lead to better health — especially in people with chronic illnesses. Helping friends or supporting spouses lowers the risk of dying over five years.
Giving promotes cooperation and social connection. It strengthens our ties to others because we perceive them more positively. This dramatically emphasizes helping one another and working together in our social community.
Clean Your Way to a Happier Life
Spring cleaning is about decluttering your physical space and improving your mental well-being. It is a time to let go of things that no longer serve you and make room for new opportunities and growth.
To make the most of your spring cleaning, start with a plan and take it one step at a time. Set realistic goals and focus on the areas that will have the most significant impact on your life. Remember to take breaks and reward yourself for your progress.
As a takeaway, here are some expert tips to help you spring clean your way to a happier, more productive life:
- Start with a plan and rank your goals.
- Declutter your physical space and donate or sell items you no longer need.
- Organize your digital files and unsubscribe from unnecessary subscriptions.
- Check your finances and create a budget or savings plan.
- Assess your relationships and let go of toxic ones.
- Make self-care a priority and establish healthy routines.
Follow these tips to create a clean, organized environment promoting positive mental health.
This article originally appeared on Financially Well Off.