This Is What Happens To Your Brain When You Declutter
While the most overused question of 2019 may have been "does it spark joy?", the recent trend towards simpler, more sustainable living shows no signs of slowing down in 2020. In fact, now's arguably the best time to schedule in some time to declutter your home, office or phone and as a result, your brain. Most of us have transitioned into January with a list of things we'd like to achieve in the next twelve months, whether that's to exercise every day or to start a business. To give yourself the best chance at performing in all areas of your life at an optimal level, it can help to take a look into any physical or mental barriers that could be affecting your happiness and productivity. Decluttering affects a person's mental health as much as it does their physical surroundings and is a great way to move into this year feeling light and content. Here are the surprising things that happen to your brain when you declutter.
You'll be more productive
A study undertaken at Princeton University showed that when people were placed in a work environment that was visually cluttered, performance dropped and feelings of stress increased because the clutter actually competes for your attention and strays you from the task at hand. Some people feel comfortable surrounded by a few of their favourite items while some prefer a clinical working space, so the idea of being tidy is different for everyone. Start by removing any unnecessary documents or objects from your desk to regain focus.
You'll feel more creative
If you're suffering from a case of writer's block or can't seem to come up with any innovate ideas lately, take a minute to think about any persistent thoughts that might be running through your mind. We often have a list of things that we've been meaning to do for a while that can lurk in the back of our minds and hinder our thoughts. Clutter can be physical, digital and mental so it's probably time to set specific goals around achieving those looming tasks once and for all.
You'll stop living in the past
Do you have boxes hidden in cupboards and under beds filled with old photos, documents or receipts? Do you quickly grab your clothes out of your wardrobe every morning and try not to catch a glimpse of the accumulated clutter? Some items are sentimental and irreplaceable and completely deserving of a spot in your home, but by letting go of unnecessary clutter you'll feel more free to focus on your future rather than hoarding things from years gone by.
Your physical health may improve
Research on the topic of tidying up has shown that a person's sleep and can even lead to poor eating habits. There's a certain feeling you get from decluttering that immediately lightens your mind and body, so it's no surprise that by keeping your home and workplace clear of clutter you're more likely to maintain a healthy relationship with your physical wellbeing as well.
You'll be more present
When you take time to declutter and remove things that aren't important, whether that's old clothing or reducing notifications on your phone, you're left to focus on what's around you—your friends, family and only items that hold value in your life. If you're having trouble keeping focused on your resolutions for the new year, consider whether you need to spend some time decluttering.