It’s officially spring – the time of the year when we put away our heavy sweaters and spend more time outdoors. For many, spring is a time of renewal and change. Whatever that means to you, spring, for many people is the perfect time for decluttering – both mentally and physically.
Clutter and Our Brain
If you live where winters are harsh, that means you are shut inside for months. This often leads to clutter in different spaces of the house – bedrooms, closets, and entryways. Consequently, this clutter can lead to feelings of irritability and stress.
According to psychologists, it’s normal to feel this way. On a subconscious level, clutter is often associated with negative emotions such as confusion, worry, and tension while a clean space is often linked to more positive emotions such as happiness, calmness, and a sense of well-being.
Clutter often stress us out because it can be viewed as an unfinished business. For many people, this can be unsettling and hence, stressful.
How Spring Cleaning Helps:
There are several reasons why spring cleaning can help reduce depression and anxiety:
- It helps reduce the distraction and overwhelming stimuli from the environment.
We are biologically wired to be more aware of our environment. When there’s more clutter around us, we tend to feel more depressed and stressed. Clearing up our clutter can help in reducing the stress hormones and thereby, benefit our mental health.
- Spring cleaning is a form of exercise!
Cleaning, in different forms, is a great exercise. Physical activities like this promote the release of endorphins, also known as the ‘feel-good’ hormones.
- It gives you a feeling of satisfaction.
Clutter stresses us out because it makes us feel unaccomplished. Spring cleaning does the opposite. Even if it’s just a small area of the house or one item in your list (e.g. clothing), getting rid of the clutter can give you a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction.