In recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month, we’re bringing attention to the mental health benefits of a clean, organized home. Giving the shelves a quick dusting, sweeping the kitchen floor, or simply organizing your magazine pile can be as beneficial for your mental health as using a mindfulness app.
After a long and overwhelming day, walking into a clean and organized home can help you unwind and de-stress faster than a glass of wine and bingeing the latest Shonda Rhimes series. We’re not talking about deep cleaning (although that can feel great too), we’re talking about simple tasks to bring a sense of calm to your home, igniting a sense of calm in you.
“When your environment is clean, you feel happy, motivated, and healthy.” – Lailah Gifty Akita
Here are some simple, but impactful, ways you can declutter your home, clear your head, and start creating the sanctuary you deserve.
- First things first, take a moment to clean out your purse or everyday bag. You’re never going to need those old receipts, candy wrappers, or mystery crumbs mixed in with that loose change. Start by putting an old newspaper down on the floor and dumping the entire contents of your purse onto it. You won’t believe how good this will feel. Then repack your purse with everything you still need and want. Then just roll up the newspaper and throw it away. Easy peasy.
- Sometimes it’s important to look at things from different points of view. Maybe your home has lost its luster and healing power just because you're bored of looking at it. Try changing up the layout (and therefore the view) of a room or two, even if it's just nudging the couch a little to the left or switching out a throw rug. What may seem like a chore is really an amazing act of self-care.
- Regularly wash your bedding, towels, robes, and favorite yoga pants (you know, the ones you live in). After everything is refitted on your bed, or folded and put away, take a moment to breathe deeply and congratulate yourself on a job well done. Remind yourself that stagnancy and sadness aren't permanent. We all just need a little tumble-dry from time-to-time.
- Give your houseplants some TLC. If they’re a little thirsty, give them a refreshing drink of water. Then gently wipe off the dust and dog hair, giving them a lovely shine. Place your plants in the sunshine, and while you’re at it, sit in the sunlight with them. Take a few quiet moments to soak up the sun and let your mind wander.
- Clear off and clean every surface in your home. Consider this a practice in clearing away mental clutter. You can clean all of your home’s surfaces all at once. Or you can clean the surfaces one room at a time, completing the task over several days. Nothing ever has to be done all at once. Cleaning is a journey, not a destination. Much like our mental health.
- Reorganize your closet with the goal of reducing stressful mornings and creating more joyful experiences. If just the thought of this task makes your heart race faster, that’s ok – organizing isn’t everybody’s thing. Remember, it doesn’t have to be perfect; it just has to work for you. Use stylish baskets to hold all the things you don’t know whether you should hang up or fold. Heck, use baskets for everything if you’d like. The main point is designing your closet so you can find what you want, when you want it.
- Last but not least, light a candle, burn some incense, or turn on an essential oil diffuser. Aromatherapy has the amazing power to transform your mood. Surround yourself with scents that you find calming, joy-inducing, or simply remind you of your favorite things: like clean linen, lemon cake, or cedarwood.