Anxious? Stressed? Unhappy? Your cluttered home might be making you feel worse. Our environment is a reflection of our mental state, so cleaning up can help improve your mood.   

Studies have shown that multiple visual stimuli within your range of vision can result in those objects competing for your attention. Essentially, your brain will have trouble concentrating if there’s clutter around you. And that’s just how it affects your attention span. Messy homes and work spaces can leave you feeling overwhelmed, stressed and anxious (especially if company is on its way over).

And don’t think that an “out of sight, out of mind” approach will help you. Sweeping things under the rug rarely works in any situation and in the case of clutter, knowing that your hall closet is about ready to burst from your hidden mess will only add to your anxiety and stress.

Even small gestures like cleaning up your dishes, clearing away trash and hanging up your clothes can help alleviate these feelings. Plus, keeping a clean space is a form of self-care. You’re taking the time to take care of your things and your surroundings and it shows that you care about how your space reflects you as a person.

No matter the extent of your messy monster infestation, you can handle it and kick it out for good. Here are some simple ways to start tidying today:

  1. Find your middle ground - you don’t have to live in a sterile, barren space if that’s not your aesthetic. Figure out what your level of tidy is and strive to maintain it.
  2. Don’t let things pile up. The mess will continue to grow and become more difficult to tackle.
  3. Wipe down surfaces daily (this also forces you to clear off surfaces daily).
  4. Give items a home. If you can’t find a home, perhaps it’s time to donate it.
  5. Set attainable goals. Instead of looking at it as a complete overhaul, pick 2-3 things to complete daily (depending on your time) to work away at.