New Year’s resolutions often pop up during the start of every January as people rush to make healthier commitments, habits, and changes in their lives. Apart from starting a better diet or fitness routine, cleaning up and properly arranging your surroundings (be it your bedroom, kitchen, or living room); keeping only the things that you need and cherish the most is usually high on the list of to-dos’. However, does tidying up have benefits aside from making your space look neater?
It does. Not only will you have a room worthy of a magazine catalog, but it will also help you tidy up your own mental space. Cleaning up and throwing out things that no longer mean much to you can make you happier, sharper, efficient, and physically healthier.
The Domino Effect
Sorting through your things and keeping only what is useful has two main effects: you will be aware of exactly what you own, and you will know where everything is. Because of this awareness, you’re more likely to keep your things at a minimum; not buying doubles of certain objects you already have. This saves you time, money, all while raising the aesthetic appeal of your room.
Because of tidying up, you will be more appreciative of the uses of each item. This goes for all things under all categories; clothes, books, papers, miscellaneous tools, and items. Who knows – you may find something valuable that you forgot you ever owned.
Less to See, Less to Think Of
With items easily accessible and made more useful because of that easy reach lessens your level of stress and having cluttered thoughts. Knowing exactly where things are located and seeing them neatly arranged sparks your psychological state to subconsciously take this as a signal that your own mental state is set to follow, giving you a clearer head on your shoulders. If the space you’re cleaning up is your own bedroom, it is likely that you’ll find it easier to sleep, as a mess-free room is more calming to the senses.
Your system may also take this as a fresh start in your life in general, which inspires you to make other tiny changes to improve your circumstances such as eating better, cleaning up more, having a more positive outlook for the future. This positive domino effect all comes from the act of tidying up your space.
Open House Fun
Fostering good relationships with others is essential to having a peaceful, centered, and clear mind. Tidying up your space will give you that extra confidence to invite others into your space, allowing you more opportunities to bond with those close to you, or form new friendships. Showing off your newly-cleaned room could also give your self-esteem a little boost, improving overall morale.
Tips to Tidy Up
Now that you know how tidying up your space brings many benefits to yourself, especially mentally, you may be wondering where and how to start embarking on this journey of clearing up clutter. Using advice taken from world-renowned tidying guru Marie Kondo, there is a simple (however tedious and time-consuming) way to methodically tidy and organize your things.
First, go through all your clothes by dumping the contents of your entire closet on a large space, like your bed or the floor. Hold each piece of clothing near you and see whether it “sparks joy” within you. Be honest with yourself. If it does, keep it. If it doesn’t, thank the article of clothing for how it has served you since you’ve owned it, and let it go to be donated, thrown away, or sold.
Next, tackle your books, and the papers. The same process is used. Does this book spark joy within you? Be critical about which books you truly want to keep, and which ones you’re making an excuse to keep. Perhaps the book that you truly treasure, and has your favorite characters can stay – but that novel you don’t plan on rereading? Perhaps it’s time to let that one go.
Papers need to be divided and properly labeled into 3 categories: papers you must attend to right away (bills), papers to be kept for a while (warranties, temporary documents), and important papers that are never to be thrown, such as certificates, contracts, etcetera. All other papers, as much as possible, must be discarded.
Toys, tools, electronics, cosmetics, all fall in this category, and must be sorted out in their proper places. Throw out empty bottles and tubes and place all the old items that you no longer have any use for in a box to be thrown away, sold, or donated. Having boxes to properly stow away and organize the items you intend to keep is crucial to this process and having tinier boxes for the smaller objects help keep things in place.
Lastly, treasured photographs, notes, cards, trinkets, jewelry, and other items that are considered memorabilia or sentimental pieces are sorted through. Because you’ve gone through the process of tidying up, choosing which things to keep and throw will be easier. Photographs that have similar copies, for example, can be solved by just keeping one. Before you know it, you’ll have successfully tidied up your whole place, and have attained tidier mental outlook as well.