5 Easy Tips to Get You Started with Decluttering

by Tammy Sarmiento, MSN, FNP-C

Can clearing the clutter in your life lead to better health? Research suggests that clutter can cause fatigue, depressed mood and feelings of stress. It also suggests that decluttering and organizing can decrease cortisol levels and improve sleep quality, which are key to a healthier you.

Knowing that decluttering will help you decrease stress, improve productivity and your overall mental and physical health is a great reward to help keep you going. You can start by setting aside just 15-20 minutes daily to tackle that infamous junk drawer, closet, office space or bedroom! Oh, and don’t forget to include your “digital space” (overflowing email inbox or unorganized photos) on the decluttering list, too.

Follow these basic steps and you’ll be on your way to a clean, organized and clutter-free physical, mental and digital space:

  1. Set aside 15-20 minutes daily to devote to a specific decluttering task. You don’t have to finish it all in one day. Just accomplish those assigned minutes.
  2. Start with the space you use most often, such as your kitchen, living area or maybe a home office. You’ll reap the rewards immediately and will be encouraged to tackle more areas.
  3. Start a box for donation. We all have clothes from decades ago that we are hoping to fit into again or kitchen gadgets that were a must-have that now take up counter and drawer space. It’s time to let these items go! If you haven’t used them all year, you don’t need them.
  4. When was the last time you cleaned up old emails, text messages and voicemails on your cell phone? Dedicate 15-20 minutes to deleting them from your digital space!
  5. Dedicate one of your daily decluttering sessions to organizing the hundreds (or thousands!) of photos on your phone or computer. Use a cloud service or put them into folders labeled by month/year or event.

Don’t let the clutter in your life get you down. And don’t feel overwhelmed with feeling you have to get it all done in one day or weekend. You can control it with short bursts of daily focus. You will be amazed at the difference a clutter-free physical, mental and digital space can have on your overall health. That good feeling will motivate you to keep it up. Go slow and steady! You got this.

Explore more healthy living advice from our team of experts.