Home » Clean and Organize Your Way to Better Mental Health: Tips and Tricks
Clean and Organize Your Way to Better Mental Health: Tips and Tricks
The Link Between Mental Health And A Tidy Home
Maintaining a clean and organized home is essential for good mental health, as Forbes highlighted the sentiment through Danielle Roeske, Psy. D, vice president of residential services at Newport healthcare, “Our outer worlds invariably affect our inner worlds and vice versa.” Our cluttered and disorganized surroundings can make us feel overwhelmed and stressed and promote anxiety. On the other hand, a clean and organized home can help us feel calm and in control. This enables better mental health.
The link between a tidy home and mental health is a cyclical relationship. A clean home promotes mental health, and good mental health promotes a tidy home. While an organized living space isn’t the magic bullet for mental health issues such as depression and anxiety, synchronizing your inner and outer world certainly influences your mental state.
Here are some tips and tricks to help you clean and organize your way to better mental health.
1. Start with a Plan
Before cleaning and organizing your home, start with a clear plan. Survey critical areas in your home that make you unhappy and create an action plan. You can do this by creating a list of the areas you want to tackle and what exactly needs to be done. For example, a high-traffic area such as the kitchen would be a great starting point for decluttering, cleaning, and organizing. A bedroom may be clean and tidy but could use some decluttering.
Set realistic goals for each day and be mentally prepared that cleaning and tidying your home can take a few days to up to a month till you’re satisfied. Even with that, organizing and tidying is an ongoing and evolving process. More on that later. To start with, survey your home and create an action plan. Creating an action plan helps to offset any anxiety that may come with the large task of tidying your home. Being able to see what you need to do and when you plan to do it gives a sense of control.
2. Work In Segments
When you’ve created your action plan, it’s time to work in segments. Pick an area to work on and allocate your time and effort accordingly. For instance, you could dedicate 30 minutes to cleaning a kitchen pantry and spreading out that task throughout the week. Or dedicate the entire morning to cleaning out your kitchen. Another way to segment your work is by category instead of area. For instance, you could reserve the whole day for decluttering and organizing clothes. When cleaning and organizing, the trick is to carve out time and work in segments that make sense to you.
Working in segments lets, you see the fruits of your labor when you’re done. Even if you haven’t completely tidied your home yet, you can still get frequent and regular bursts of satisfaction by dedicating your efforts to a targeted area each time.
3. Declutter, Declutter, Declutter
Clutter is a major source of stress for many people. We suggest decluttering before cleaning and organizing. You’ll be surprised at how much junk you have accumulated that’s just taking up space in your home and mind. For any given segment of space you’re working on, take out all items first. Go through all the items and toss out or donate what you no longer want or need. You’ll likely end up with much less items to deal with, which in itself is already easier on the mind.
4. Create a Home for Everything
A common source of mess and anxiety when it comes to keeping a clean and tidy home is not having an allocated space for your items. Fix this by creating a home for everything. This way, you’re not left haphazardly leaving random items in random places. When everything has a home, it’s easier to keep your space organized. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Shoes go on the shoe rack, bags go on the shelf etc.
If you don’t have a space for certain items, you can invest in storage solutions like shelving, baskets, and containers to help you create a designated spot for each item in your home. This promotes your mental health in so many ways. You no longer need to feel anxious looking for items, you promote healthy habits every time you put something back in the right place, and you effortlessly keep your home organized.
5. Create Systems
As mentioned briefly, cleaning is an ongoing and evolving process. It is unrealistic though for people to regularly do a deep dive of cleaning and tidying. When life inevitably gets in the way, one of the best ways you can keep your home organized amidst daily life is to create systems that promote a clean and tidy home. While it’s a matter of personal preference, some systems that could keep your home clean and tidy is:
- A daily cleaning routine made of small tasks
- A checklist of cleaning tasks that you can complete throughout the week
- Designated cleaning jobs for people in your household
- Create strict rules for certain areas (ex. Bed always has to be made after waking up, no dirty dishes left overnight)
Keep in mind that systems are meant to make the task of cleaning and organizing easier and more efficient. If you find that your cleaning systems are just giving you more anxiety trying to follow them, it’s time to reassess.
6. Make Use Of Tools And Technology
For those who find cleaning to be a source of anxiety, you can take the edge off by using tools and technology to your advantage. Having the right tools and equipment makes cleaning so much easier. For instance, robot vacuums are fantastic for maintaining clean floors with the push of a button. Dishwashing machines are essential and will save you so much time from the kitchen. Multipurpose mops and the right cleaning products carry most of the work for you. This is a classic example of working smarter, not harder. Invest in the right cleaning and organizing tools that do the work for you.
At the end of the day, when it comes to your mental health, a clean and tidy home is for your benefit. If you find yourself stressing over your own cleaning and tidying schedule and rules, it’s time to readjust accordingly. Your living space is meant to make you happy. Maintain your home in accordance to your happiness and you’ll find that keeping it that way will come more naturally.