Have you ever considered how the clutter in your home affects your emotional wellbeing? Do you think it clutters your mind? Does it lower your mood, or make you feel anxious and stressed?
Well it’s a scientific fact that a messy home (or workplace) will affect your anxiety levels and make you less focused, less organised and struggling to manage your mental and physical health.
It brings huge feelings of overwhelm into our lives as well as the frustration you feel when you can’t find things you need. A messy home has a lot to answer for and can seriously affect our emotional wellbeing.
The recent love affair with Marie Kondo and her approach to reducing clutter in homes has brought more awareness to the lack of peace and relaxation a lot of us feel in a messy home, and the increased desire to change it.
If you feel like this and want to tackle your burden of clutter, today’s post looks into the strategies and processes we can adopt to help us and our family live in a clutter-free environment.
Today’s post is in collaboration with VELUX, a brand partner this year, who has a strong commitment to improving emotional wellbeing in our homes through an increase in daylight, ventilation and space.
How to Declutter Your Home and Improve Emotional Wellbeing
The feelings of stress and overwhelm can be truly crippling for many people when they live in a messy home.
I feel very focused when my space is organised and clutter free. My mind feels lighter, I can focus on my current task without feeling distracted by the mess around me and I feel more inspired and motivated.
These are the rooms where I like to unwind, the rooms where I take sanctuary and enjoy relaxing. It’s essential they are clutter free before I can rest.
The steps I take to ensure these rooms remain clutter-free form the basis for the tips I’m sharing today.
If you’d like to improve your emotional wellbeing at home, check out these 3 steps to decluttering your home (or a particular room) to help create a less distracting space.
Step 1 – Decluttering
It would be very easy for me to say that decluttering simply entails throwing away all the things you haven’t used recently. It’s not always as simple as that though.
We become emotionally connected to our possessions. Even if we haven’t used them, worn them, read them or burned them (candles!) they can still have great importance in our lives and it can be very difficult to throw them out.
If you find this is the case for you, it’s wise to employ a different strategy.
Being more formal in your approach to decluttering will help you clear some space, and having some help and moral support is usually a good idea too.
- Make a plan on how you’ll attempt to declutter. For example, on Day 1, you’ll tackle the clothes pile, book section and newspapers in the room. Give yourself a set of tasks to do per day and try to stick to it, as hard as it may be.
- Give yourself time to emotionally disconnect from the object, give yourself permission to discard something and if you choose to get rid of it, say goodbye. It may sound cheesy but this is the kind of approach Marie Kondo takes – saying thank you for that item’s time in your life is a good way to let go.
- Evaluate the sentimental value of an object. This can be tricky so having someone with you, to keep you on track can be useful. Be realistic and attempt to remove a lot of the emotion from the task.
- Finally, keep the emotion at bay by being logical and systematic in your approach. You’ve made the plan, now follow the guidelines, write it all down and be more clinical. It will enable you to be more effective in your decluttering.
Step 2 – Storage Solutions
Once you’ve declutttered a room it’s important you don’t fall back into old habits. Investing in a good storage system is key to maintaining an organised home.
One of the main areas problems can arise is in open plan living areas, particularly if you have a single storey extension for example.
Many open plan living areas have a lack of internal walls which makes including particular storage solutions difficult. In these cases we have to think cleverly, we have to be creative in how we use the space to create useful storage.
It’s important to include lots of low level storage. Kitchen cupboards, sideboards, ottomans and more all make good storage in an open plan living space, and some will double up in their usage too. An ottoman makes a good window seat for example.
Where you do have a free wall consider a glass cabinet. They’re a great way to organise your possessions and add some colour and interest to your clutter-free room.
These images are from VELUX who can help homeowners achieve the ideal amount of natural light in their homes through their range of roof windows and blinds.
Natural light is essential to your wellbeing. The size as well as the number of roof windows are fundamental to how your space will look and feel. Check out more single storey extension ideas here.
By coupling their roof windows with better organisation and storage solutions in our homes we are able to manage our emotional health better, increase our happiness and feel more relaxed and focused in general.
In the image below, you can see how a shelf above a kitchen work surface, helps keep the space free from clutter.
This enables us to work effortlessly and easily when preparing meals, making what can sometimes be a chore into a more pleasurable experience. (Be careful with the open shelf though if you have a tendency to pile your belongings rather than put them away!).
The other room where I find it very tricky to manage clutter, is the loft bedroom.
I’ve already mentioned how important it is to me that my loft bedroom remains tidy, but finding good storage for these spaces can be difficult.
It’s often necessary to invest in bespoke wardrobes and storage solutions, which can be costly. I did notice recently that IKEA has some loft bedroom storage pieces – the modular sort which you can build to suit your own space – which is a great idea.
Now consider a loft space with a bathroom. Head height can be an issue and often the space isn’t very large, but you still need storage.
VELUX roof windows on the sloping roof is a great way to ensure your room is light and bright, while not taking away much needed storage space. Their website has more loft conversion inspiration.
This image below show how baskets can work well under a sink unit – and the addition of a curtain keeps it hidden from view. (The more you can hide, the better, just be sure that it’s organised even if it’s out of sight).
Sink units with drawers are ideal in a small loft bathroom (well any bathroom really) and can hold a lot more than you think. If you don’t have space for tall bathroom storage this is a great solution.
And my final room which always causes me issues is a child’s bedroom. I do believe this is an ongoing struggle and the storage requirements change as a child gets older, but keeping on top of a kid’s clutter is hard work.
I have a selection of existing blog posts that will help you:
- Children’s Bedrooms in Small Spaces
- Storage Ideas for a Clutter Free Home
- Younger Girls Bedroom Makeover
- Teen Girl Bedroom Makeover
Step 3 – Ongoing Strategies
How do we stay on top of a tidy home and make it easy to maintain? Again, it’s about being proactive and having some systems in place so we aren’t overrun by our emotions. I know, this is easier said than done.
I would suggest that every 3 months take a look at your room and assess if it still looks as tidy and uncluttered as it used to. In the UK, this is good to do with the changing seasons.
As before, write things down and make a plan to allow you to be less emotional about your belongings. Assess what’s worked – maybe some new storage baskets have been a fabulous addition to the room, and it would be a good idea to invest in some more – and identify what needs updating.
Perhaps some of your ideas and solutions haven’t been as successful as you’d hoped. The new cupboard for your books isn’t as big as it needs to be and that’s why they’re now stacked on the floor as well. Be clinical and open minded; be prepared to find new solutions and replace those that don’t work.
One thing that works very well is to take photos. Grab your phone and snap a few shots of the space to compare with those you took when you originally decluttered. What areas need work? Do the photos compare well or can you easily see which spaces need attention?
If you’ve found that your anxiety levels are reduced, you feel more relaxed and are at peace now in your home, this exercise is extremely valuable and well worth your time.
Keep on top of your clutter-free home in this way and look forward to a spacious, organised home which empowers your mind and helps maintain a healthy emotional equilibrium.
I’ve pulled together some Pinterest boards on both loft conversions and single storey extension storage ideas for further reference.
Check out the Home Decor for Wellbeing board here
Did you know that a clutter-free home could be so good for your emotional wellbeing?
VELUX has just launched a Loft Conversion of the Year 2019 Awards with Grand Designs Magazine and Good Homes Magazine. If you’ve just renovated your loft and re-organised your living space in your loft enter this VELUX competition.
PIN FOR LATER:
Commissioned Post – in collaboration with VELUX as part of my 2019 paid partnership