Everywhere you look there are things in your way.  Papers, magazines, closets full of clothes that don’t fit or you don’t wear, toys, and junk. You feel closed in, frustrated and fatigued.

Everywhere you look there are things in your way.  Papers, magazines, closets full of clothes that don’t fit or you don’t wear, toys, and junk. You feel closed in, frustrated and fatigued.

Did you know that clutter can interfere with your sense of well-being? It can and it does. It’s like shopping in a store where the aisles are too close together and shelves are too full. You can’t see anything. The same thing happens in your house, in your closet and in your life.  Decluttering can be healthy. 

Here are some healthy tips for decluttering.

n Make sure your furniture fits comfortably in your home with ample room for you to move around safely.

n Have one spot in the house for newspapers and magazines. After you read them, they should be immediately recycled.

n Let go of most books, keeping only those that have meaning. The same is true of videos, CDs and other items that collect dust and create visual clutter.

n Small items take up visual space. Unless they are of particular sentimental or artistic value, you are better off without them, and the task of dusting them.

n Coffee tables, end tables, and nightstands should be free of items that are not used every day. Even too many decorative wall hangings can interfere with the flow.

n Save yourself the time and energy of searching for misplaced items. Organize your home so that you have a place for everything.

n Every time you bring something new into the house, get rid of something else. You will get a sense of satisfaction from ridding yourself of useless things… even more so if you donate your old possessions to a worthwhile charity.

Next, create your space. Call it a sanctuary or a hiding place.  It could be in the basement, in your bedroom or the lawn chair in the backyard. Wherever it is, it should make you feel calm and relaxed. Candles, soft music, a good book or just grateful silence can boost your energy level and rejuvenate your brain. 

Last, know when to delegate. Chronic illnesses can cause low levels of energy.  Work smart and set priorities. People don’t necessarily know when you are not feeling well, so ask family members to help out. 

Clutter holds mass amounts of dust mites, pet dander and dust. These three things can cause poor air quality and potential asthma problems.  

Getting organized is unquestionably good for both mind and body – reducing risks for falls, helping eliminate germs and making it easier to find things like medicine and exercise gear.  If you can’t find your sneakers, you aren’t taking a walk. 

An unsanitary living space severely affects physical health as well as mental health. Staring at mounds of dirty dishes, clothes or piles of paperwork are the visual stimuli that produce negative feelings and can be energetically draining; just as looking at a beautiful painting or image of the ocean can fill someone with a sense of freedom or happiness.

This summer, make decluttering a family affair. Find a charity for your unnecessary items. It’s not that they aren’t useful; they just aren’t useful to you anymore. Decluttering will make you feel better about you and your surroundings. When you feel better, your family feels better.