While many of us are finding ourselves spending more time at home, we may also discover that the clutter that easily accumulates over the winter months can make life at home unnecessarily difficult. Spring is a great time to take stock of our homes and determine how we can create a more tranquil space that is both comforting and functional.
In times of upheaval and uncertainty, we often turn to our homes as a source of strength and comfort. And as many of us are now working from home, ensuring our space is organized and functional will not only make us feel more relaxed, but will help us to be more productive.
Decluttering benefits us for a number of reasons. First, a disorganized space can simply be distracting. Disorganization can over-stimulate our brains, which can increase our overall anxiety. The more organized you are, the more clearly you’ll think and recall information. A tidy home is a tidy mind, so to speak.
Disorganization can also put a strain on our relationships – especially if we’re suddenly faced with working in close quarters. Ensuring that your home is functional and calm will help to ease any friction that uncertainty can bring out in us. Part of that is simply because organization makes us more efficient! When everything has a place, you no longer get frustrated or waste time searching for what you need.
Being organized also leads to an overall sense of tranquility. Visually, we are cued to relax in a space that gives us room to breathe. Studies have shown that our brains react positively to organization, meaning we have more restful sleeps, see a reduction in cortisol levels (the stress hormone), and have more mental and physical space to be creative. Rearranging furniture can even open up your home’s potential and help you see your space in a new light.
So, how do you tackle a spring cleaning? First, take it one space at a time: a room, a closet, a distinct area. Give yourself small, reasonable goals, rather than trying to overhaul your entire house at once.
Second, when you choose a space to organize, pull everything out so you can assess what you have, what you can donate, and what you can throw away. It’s easy to tuck things away and forget how much we’ve actually accumulated. Haven’t worn that top in six months? Donate it.
Third, find a place for everything. As British designer William Morris said, “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” Invest in storage pieces that will help keep everything where you need it, like baskets for organizing toys, magazines, or seasonal clothing.
Fourth, wipe down surfaces as you organize. Now is a great time to ensure your home is disinfected and clean, so after you’ve pulled everything off of shelves and out of closets, get out that sanitizing spray and get to work.
Lastly, find organizational inspiration online – the internet has a wealth of information about to best make use of your space. Search for pieces that can serve multiple functions, like a storage bed that can hold your extra linens, or a media unit that will display your favourite objects while keeping chords and routers out of sight.
When we take the time to declutter and reorganize our space, we give ourselves room to breathe and ensure that our homes are truly the calm and comforting spaces they should be.