The recent pandemic has seen a massive increase in the number of people suffering from mental health issues. This is a huge problem and places extra strain on health services even as they struggle to cope with the pandemic.
But did you know that living in a cluttered home has been proven to greatly increase stress levels, one report by UCLA details many of the reasons for this. For many people, this small step might just be the boost they need in the struggle against mental illness.
At U Store It, we like to do our bit to help. So, as storage experts, we have compiled a guide on how to effectively declutter your home and help clear your mind at the same time.
Why a cluttered home can be detrimental to mental health
The study undertaken by the Centre on Everyday Lives and Families (CELF) at UCLA threw up some interesting facts. Most relevant was that stress levels in a household increased depending on the amount of clutter they accumulated.
Amongst the conclusions were:
- Women living in cluttered homes were stressed because having a neat and tidy home is something they associate with having a successful and happy family
- A direct link was correlated between higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol and higher amounts of household objects and clutter
- Families found it emotionally difficult to reduce clutter because of the sentimental or monetary value of the objects. This triggers an “uncertain response”, which can become the default state of mind, uncertainty is another stress-causing emotion.
What is surprising about the findings was the quite substantial effect that a cluttered home can have on mental health and just how difficult people find it to address the situation.
How to motivate yourself to declutter your home
Stress is one of the biggest contributing factors to mental health problems. This is such a fundamental part of the findings in the CELF study that it has to be the first point considered in this section:
- Less Clutter – Less Stress – The direct correlation between stress levels and clutter is now an established fact. This fact alone should provide some motivation towards striving towards an uncluttered home.
This, like many things in life, is an instance where thinking about it too much can make the problem far bigger than it actually is. Start with small steps, clear out a wardrobe or a storage cupboard, remember Rome wasn’t built in a day.
We understand that parting with sentimental items can be difficult, but for many people, a self-storage unit could be the perfect solution. With prices starting from as low as a few Euros per week, you can store sentimental or valuable items in a secure, dry, and clean environment.
- Increases happiness at home – Being able to enjoy the home environment is critical when it comes to good mental health. A decluttered home, free from the uncertainty and stress of all that clutter, can once again be an oasis of calm that allows you to recharge your mental batteries.
Living in a tidier home also makes it a more functional home, which in turn frees up more time to relax and enjoy your decluttered surroundings.
- Increased Concentration – Decluttering your home allows you to focus on the important matters of life without being constantly distracted by all the excess belongings surrounding you.
This is important as a proper focus helps maintain a healthier overall outlook on life.
- Increased Efficiency – Cluttered homes are easier to manage, and for the busy household existing and functioning amidst clutter can cause havoc in the day-to-day running of the household.
This, in turn, causes our old friend stress to rear its ugly head once again.
These are strong motivations, but the practicalities of decluttering can seem overwhelming at times. This is where self-storage can help, in the following section, we look at how a self-storage unit can help declutter your home.
Tips for using a self-storage unit to declutter your home
Such a simple thing as decluttering your home can make a big difference to your stress levels and overall mental health. But it can be difficult to know where to start and how to go about it.
In this section, we have compiled some useful tips to help you get started.
1. Start small
Feeling overwhelmed by the size of the task ahead can be all it needs to keep putting the task off. The problem is that by putting it off time and time again, the amount of clutter will continue to grow.
Set yourself reasonable and achievable milestones, and by breaking the task into manageable units, you will soon have momentum and enthusiasm for the task.
2. Place valuable and sentimental items in a self-storage unit
A self-storage unit is a perfect solution for decluttering any space, including homes. At U Store It, we have units available in a range of sizes and facilities throughout Ireland to make it even easier.
Self-storage units provide an ideal solution for storing sentimental and valuable items that are adding to the clutter but are too valuable to simply discard.
3. Create a checklist
A checklist provides a perfect way to monitor those steps, even the smallest of ones! By providing a visual record of the steps you have taken and what you still have to achieve, a checklist is a great way to stay motivated.
4. Start now!
There is no time like the present. Grab a black bag and fill it full of items that can be dumped or donated. This could just be some old magazines that you will never read again or old clothes that are clogging up valuable wardrobe space.
5. Take before and after photographs
Slow progress is better than no progress at all, so don’t beat yourself up if you think you are getting nowhere. This is where before and after photographs can help to document the changes that your efforts are producing.
Even if it is just a small area like a cluttered mantlepiece, once you have tidied it, the before and after images will help to keep you focused on the benefits of decluttering.
At U Store It, we are here to help you declutter your home and your life! A Self-storage unit is an affordable option that allows you to keep valuable and sentimental items and allows you to delay making decisions about their ultimate fate.
With a wide range of sizes and units available for as long as required, our units provide a safe and clean environment so that all that clutter is safely tucked away out of sight and out of mind!