(NaturalNews) Whether it's piling up at your home or your workplace, clutter not only makes everyday life more difficult, but it also negatively affects your mental and physical health. According to author and physician Dr. Roberta Lee, when someone is entrenched in clutter the stress hormone cortisol is secreted. Long-term high cortisol levels can lead to a host of physical problems such as lowered immune system, blood sugar imbalances, high blood pressure, decreased bone density, and obesity.
So what's the solution? Get rid of it! Treat clutter like the ENEMY, because it absolutely is. Unless your want your home to look like an episode of Hoarders you need to attack the clutter, wherever it is found. Yes it's a constant battle, but, for your physical and mental well-being, it's a battle well worth waging.
Easier said than done, right? Here are some tips to help de-clutter your life.
1.) Give everything a home. If something has no home, it will end up where it's not supposed to be. This seems simple, but it's true on so many levels. If you make this a habit, staying organized will just be a matter of returning an item back to its 'home' after using it.
2.) Purge clothing regularly. If you buy something new, get rid of something old that doesn't fit or look good anymore. Resist the urge to buy new hangers.
3.) If you have children, make them pick up after themselves. Kids, by nature, attract clutter like dogs attract fleas. If you don't train your children to pick up after themselves, not only will your job be more difficult, but they will develop bad habits that will likely stay with them into adulthood.
4.) Deal with mail immediately. Mail is a huge source of clutter, so don't let it pile up. As soon as mail comes, make a decision regarding each item. Put bills in one place, toss junk and other mail you don't want, put papers you need to file in one place (be sure to file once a month at least), replace old catalogues with new ones, etc. Every piece of mail should have an instant home.
5.) Errands are a necessary source of clutter. Minimize the distraction by putting that dry cleaning, item to be returned, banking, etc. in a basket beside the door you exit regularly.
6.) Keep a donation box for items you don't want or need anymore and want to donate instead of sell. When it's full, take it to the nearest charity.
7.) Have a garage sale (or eBay, Craigslist, etc.) shelf, box, or area (ideally in a basement or storage shed). Things marked for sale go directly to that spot. If they do not sell after a try or two, put them in the donation box.
8.) Provide organizational resources for your children. Do you have a child who loves Legos? Make sure they have a box, cubby, or shelf just for Legos. Everything should have a place, even in a child's room.
9.) Don't buy something unless you absolutely need it, and have a 'home' for it. Just because it's a bargain doesn't mean you need it or have room. Practicing this will help the wallet as well as the clutter.
10.) Keep surfaces clear - kitchen counters, hutches, desktops, etc. The only thing that should go there is what GOES there.
Eliminate the clutter from your life, and you will be healthier, happier, and more productive in whatever you choose to do.
About the author: Scott is a blogger, writer, and researcher whose primary focus is how to raise healthy kids despite a system and status quo that makes it as difficult as possible. He and his wife, Kim, live in the hills of east Tennessee with their four small children. He holds an MBA from East Tennessee State University. Scott and Kim blog about parenting, marriage, healthy lifestyle, nutrition, and homesteading at www.amorefieldlife.com. Connect with them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/amorefieldlife.
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