Have you resolved to be better organized in the New Year? January is also known as National Get Organized Month, and for good reason! Whether it’s cleaning out the clutter at home or clearing your mind, here are a few reasons why getting organized is good for your mental health.
At The Alliance for Health Equity (The Alliance), our goal is to improve health, social, emotional, and economic conditions for Coatesville Area residents. According to Verywell Mind, there is a powerful “connection between decluttering, cleaning, and mental health.” If your resolution has fallen off the radar since January 1st, it’s not too late to start!
The Impact of Clutter and Cleaning on Your Health
Research has demonstrated the negative impact of clutter and the positive impact of cleaning on mental health. Citing studies from Princeton University and others, Verywell Mind states that clutter may contribute to anxiety, depression, and higher levels of cortisol (a.k.a. the stress hormone) in the body. Per the report, “Clutter and mess is linked to negative emotions like confusion, tension, and irritability while an organized home tends to produce more positive emotions like calmness and a sense of well-being.”
Random clutter can also be an overwhelming distraction, making it difficult to focus and think clearly. A clean and organized home, on the other hand, gives you some control over your environment. It’s a simple way to calm the chaos that surrounds you. Sharing the health benefits of decluttering, Shape notes that repetitive actions like cleaning and organizing engage the mind and can have a meditative effect. Essence calls these tasks “organic mood boosters” that contribute to a lasting sense of accomplishment, as well as a healthier and more comfortable living space. As an added bonus, regularly tidying up also counts as a low-impact cardiovascular activity that can strengthen your heart and lungs, per Shape!
Tips for Cleaning and Getting Organized in 2024
- Keep a to-do list, but don’t try to complete everything all at once. Instead, focus on one area or task at a time before moving on to the next. Pace yourself, and if possible, enlist the help of friends and family to help divide up the work. This approach makes cleaning and organizing more manageable and less overwhelming.
- It’s easier to maintain a clean home with a system in place and creative storage solutions. Start by eliminating all the visual clutter (a deep-clean can come later), and make it a priority to put everything back in its place at the end of each day. If it’s something you haven’t used or worn in a long time, consider donating items in good condition to a neighbor in need.
- Browse online resources like Better Homes & Gardens, The Family Handyman, and Good Housekeeping for quick and easy cleaning tips, and check out this article from The Spruce for inexpensive organization ideas to declutter your home. You can even find recipes to make your own cleaners with everyday items like baking soda, vinegar, and lemon juice!
To learn more about The Alliance or to join us in our mission to advance a more equitable, resilient, and healthy Greater Coatesville community, please visit our website.
The Alliance for Health Equity (formerly Brandywine Health Foundation) is a philanthropic organization striving to advance a more equitable, resilient and healthy community for all residents of the Greater Coatesville area. We pursue our mission by providing grants and scholarships to local nonprofits and students that address health and economic disparities and social justice. We also build partnership programs and give voice to those often left out of community solution building to improve the overall health of their communities. 100% of contributions go directly to those in need.