Getting and keeping a house in order can be a struggle, especially as we age. Sorting through decades of belongings is often emotional and stressful. Is this jewelry valuable? What should I do with all of these tools I no longer use? But while it can be tiring, the effort to simplify can be worthwhile for both our homes and our health.
The health benefits of decluttering
Decluttering can be exhausting. But tidying up may help you:
- Clear your mind – Getting rid of things you no longer need may have a positive impact on mental health.
- Stay safe – Decluttering can keep paths clear to help prevent falls.
- Get active – Regular household chores, like vacuuming, can be great exercise.
- Be social – A tidy home can also mean we’re more likely to invite people over.
Tips for getting started
Decluttering doesn’t need to be a dreaded task. Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind:
- Time and patience – Decluttering is a big task, so go easy on yourself.
- One room at a time – The kitchen can be a good place to start. It may be easier to part with dishes than important paperwork.
- Get ahead of the clutter – Be disciplined in stopping build-up of clutter (like junk mail).
- Go through clothing and shoes often – Keep only what you use the most.
Once you feel good about your progress in the kitchen, move on to the office and other spaces where belongings tend to pile up, like closets.
At the end of the day, it’s okay to hang on to belongings that are near and dear to you. But for items that aren’t, kick-start a decluttering mission today so you can enjoy a tidier, safer home tomorrow.