clutter triggers stress

Does Your Clutter Trigger Stress? Here’s What To Do About It

Do you look around the house and wonder what happened to the space and order that was once there? If so, the clutter you see day after day can feel overwhelming and be a significant source of stress. In this case, it’s time to declutter the home.

Why Clutter is Stressful

When you have excess possessions, why exactly does it put you on edge? A big reason why is that just looking at all those things reminds you of the future project to do to sort through it. That weighs on your mind amidst an already-busy day.

That type of environment is tense rather than serene. Clutter, therefore, makes relaxing at home more difficult.

Not only that, but it is also likely difficult to find things when you really need them. Looking for something last minute and being unsure where it is in the home is stressful.

Finally, being in a residence that is not orderly can make surprise visits a source of embarrassment. You may feel guilt that you have not organized the space better yet and stress after the guests leave that they will judge you for the mess.

clutter triggers stress

Finding Remedies that Work Well for You

Knowing how clutter triggers stress helps light a fire under you about how to help remedy the situation. The best solution will depend on which room you are focusing on, the extent of the clutter, your lifestyle, and other factors.

If the clutter has spread across the house, for example, choose a specific room to start and involve everyone in the household in improving it. Assign each person an area in the room to declutter or, if you live alone, begin in one area and finish it before moving onto the next. That way, you will not feel overwhelmed by the project because you are taking small steps to complete it.

The process also involves deciding what to keep and what to toss or donate. Our professional organizers help make this step easier by asking you questions to determine if it’s something you need, want, or use. If none of those three things applies to the item, then toss, recycle, donate, or sell it.

The sorting process can be an emotional one if many of the possessions evoke memories. Our organizer helps you make decisions that clear the clutter using a supportive, non-judgmental approach.

When Clutter Interferes with Daily Life

If clutter is stressing you out at home, you might find you have less energy and motivation. That can negatively affect your relationships, as well as your work performance.

You might also find yourself coping with the situation in an unhealthy way. Overeating is one example.

Rather than reducing your quality of life and living in a continual state of stress, reach out to our friendly team for guidance. We have exclusive tips for clearing away messes and organizing the home.

Decluttering is what we specialize in, and we look forward to helping you. You don’t have to let physical clutter get the better of your mental health, and you don’t have to tackle it alone.

declutter to sell your home

Declutter to Sell Your Home Fast Using These Tips

Before putting your house on the market, consider these suggestions from our professional organizers to declutter the interior. Doing so can sell your place quicker by attracting more potential buyers as the living area appears larger. Remember that house hunters check every inch of the living space, so it’s crucial that you go from room to room, clearing away the clutter.

Where to Start

The hallway is an excellent place to start as it is usually a small space that gets overwhelmed with things. By clearing away excess items, this space quickly looks larger and more inviting.

It is also one of the first places people see so it’s important to make a great impression. If there is a closet, tidy the coats, putting aside those you no longer wear to sell or donate.

Remove items that out of season too, such as snow boots in the summer. Put them into boxes and storing them out of sight, such as beneath the bed.

declutter to sell

In the Living Room

An important room to declutter is the living room, as that is where the next homeowner will likely spend most of their time. Look at what furniture is needed and what can be moved to another room to open it up.

Consider donating an extra chair or table to a charity if it’s just taking up space. Not only will you help someone in need but also bring attention to attractive features of the room, such as picture windows.

Kitchen Clear-Out

The kitchen is another place that buyers will look at in detail to assess if it fits what they are looking for. Start by clearing all items off the countertop, if possible. A spacious counter is a great selling feature.

Putting away appliances and paring them down to only those you use will also give the kitchen a cleaner and more inviting appearance. The time it takes to do so is worth it as serious house hunters want to be able to envision themselves in the space.

Organize Cupboards and Drawers

Of course, putting away appliances once kept on the kitchen counter into cupboards means that you will need to make space there for them. Start by donating or selling any duplicates and then move on to discarding broken items.

Then, do the same for drawers, both in the kitchen and in other rooms. From there, you can see if friends or family might be able to use items that you no longer use or any single-use appliances that are collecting dust.

Clothes Closets

Be sure to declutter your wardrobe before putting the home up for sale too. A closet that is brimming with items looks small and messy.

Instead, present it in the best light to potential buyers by removing pieces that you do not wear anymore. Also, put off-season garments into storage boxes. Choose nice-looking boxes or bins if they are going to be in plain sight in the closet. Don’t forget to declutter what’s hanging on the back of the bedroom door too.

Final Words

Whether you have a small home or a bigger one, it’s easy to accumulate clutter. Our friendly experts are here to help you remove clutter and organize rooms to make better use of the space to sell your home faster.

Decluttering in winter

Decluttering to Beat the Winter Blahs Starts… Now!

If you need a boost during this time of the year, you’re not alone. The cold, dark days of winters can leave many people feeling “blah” as they stretch on seemingly forever. Along with bundling up and getting outdoors for some light exercise, another way to boost your mood is decluttering around the house.

A Fast Start

So many of us are stuck indoors most days during the pandemic, which may make the winter blahs worse than other years. But a positive way to look at it is that you’re already there, likely working from home, so tackling clutter is something you can start to do today.

The next question is, “Where to begin?”

Focus on the Area that Stresses You

Is there a particular spot in the home that you get annoyed just thinking about, let alone looking at it? Maybe it’s the messy top kitchen drawer that has been accumulating random things for months or the overflowing bedroom closet.

The stress and anxiety that comes from this clutter are no doubt contributing to your winter blahs. That’s especially true if it’s in plain sight every day.

When you clear away the mess and organize the space, you will likely feel a sense of accomplishment and personal satisfaction. Also, staying busy can help combat feelings of overwhelm and tiredness.

Be sure to focus on only decluttering one small area at a time, though. Otherwise, you might find the project feels like too much. In this situation, you’re unlikely to finish it because you quickly feel defeated and give up.

After completing the small project, take a moment to reflect on a job well done before moving onto the next one. This positive thought process can counteract winter doldrums.

clean windows in winter

Clean the Windows

Finally, pull back the curtains and clean the windows in the area you’ve been decluttering; then do the same in other rooms at home. Doing so can help welcome in light and refresh the living space.

Maximizing the amount of natural light inside the house can go far toward improving your mood. Plus, looking out clean windows rather dirty ones helps the home look better. Enjoy the view too on those days when you don’t have the time to get outdoors!

Clutter Happens: Be Kind to Yourself

For most people, accumulating clutter happens gradually over time without barely noticing it. But when it gets to the point that looking at the mess brings down your mood, it’s time to make a change.

It’s important, though, that you’re not too hard on yourself when it comes to making improvements around the home. Recognize that most people have at least one area in their house that has clutter. It also takes time to clear it away, and sorting possessions doesn’t come easy for everyone.

Thankfully, you don’t have to do it alone. One of our professional organizers can help you start to declutter your home virtually, or in-person when it is safe to do so.

Start to feel productive as you clear clutter and find places to store things that make sense. Your winter blahs are going, going, gone!

clutter and mental health

How Clutter affects Your Mental Health

Now, more than ever before, people are speaking up about their mental health in addition to physical issues to help others and get the needed support. The annual Bell Let’s Talk Day initiative in Canada helps raise awareness about mental illness and spark conversations about ways to take care of your body. Stretching and deep breathing can help reduce stress, for example, as can decluttering your living environment.

Making Time for You Matters

A sense of balance in life can improve mood and reduce tension, all of which can benefit mental wellness. Finding this balance matters as you will then have more energy to give to what and who is most important to you, such as your kids.

Ironically, being able to put energy toward those who you care about the most often involves making enough time for yourself. Practicing self-care regularly is a great way to recharge your batteries and then be there fully for close family and friends.

Decluttering as a Self-Care Activity

There is more to organizing the home than simply clearing away messes. When you engage in the decluttering process, you are also taking positive steps for your mental health.

Firstly, you will be taking back control of your living space. It might feel like it has gotten away from you recently, especially if you experienced a major life change, such as having a baby or moving to a new house.

You will also likely find that the more clutter you clear away, the stronger sense of freedom you feel. Not only will you get better at it over time, but you will also feel a great sense of accomplishment in the results.

Finally, a clutter-free kitchen, bedroom, garage, or another part of the home is more peaceful for the mind than a chaotic space. When everything is in its place and is organized in a way that makes sense, without excess items that you no longer use, the home will feel orderly and tranquil.

This type of environment is preferable than one that makes you feel anxious because of the clutter. This point is especially true during the pandemic when so much of the day is indoors at home.

clutter and mental health

Starting the Journey

With decluttering being part of achieving better well-being, now is the time to take the initial step at home. If you’re not sure where to start, or struggle with what things to donate, sell, or keep, our friendly organizers are happy to provide tips to help make the decisions easier.

We are available remotely on Zoom or in-person, following the latest health regulations for everyone’s safety. Teaming up with a professional organizer can help you be more effective during your decluttering sessions, and we work with your schedule.

A Few Final Words

Bell Let’s Talk Day has a great message about the importance of mental illness. We encourage you to make it a priority to engage in self-care activities that benefit your mental health throughout the entire year, including creating a well-organized home that feels restful.

declutter home

How to Declutter Your Home Like a Professional

If the idea of decluttering one or more rooms in your house overwhelms you and you’re not sure where to begin, this guide is for you. Our professionals provide insights into how best to organize areas of the home that are prone to clutter, such as the pantry.

Sort the Pantry

When the kitchen pantry is well-organized, you can see right away what you have and what needs replenishing, from rice to pasta and cereal. That means you will be more likely to use everything and save money because you won’t buy duplicates.

When you start to put things away after a grocery trip, our experts encourage you to group similar items. For example, put the pasta into one basket or bin, and stack soups in another area of the pantry. That will make it easier to find what you’re looking for at mealtime.

decluttering home

Improve the Kitchen

One of the busiest rooms is the kitchen, which means it can get cluttered quickly. Sort your kitchen utensils drawer easily by using an expandable utensil holder. Create a long drawer organizer for a second drawer that holds serving utensils, can and wine openers, meat thermometers, and scissors.

Each drawer ought to serve a specific purpose and functionality, as per our organizational pros. So, one drawer could be for baking prep, another one for pots and pans, another for bowls and plates, etc.

We can also help you determine how best to use cabinets above the stove and other places that might be awkward to reach. Add storage space by making use of vertical space, such as a wall by the oven where you hang pots.

Tidy the Bedrooms

There are a lot of places to tackle in bedrooms, whether it is a child’s room or the master. There is the closet area to sort, as well as dresser drawers and beneath the bed. You might also need different zones within the bedroom, such as an office nook or kids’ play area.

In your closet, make it easier to find what you’re looking for in the mornings by colour-coding hanging items. For example, group yellow clothes together, red ones together, and so on.

Hang a dry-cleaning bag in the closet too that you can easily add items to as you wear them that need cleaning. Keep a donation bag in the closet too that you can fill over time with clothing you don’t wear anymore, rather than putting stress on yourself to do it all in one sitting.

decluttering home

Organize the Bathrooms

A great way to remove clutter from bathroom counters is using trays to group items while keeping them easily within reach. As for the under-the-sink area, use clear containers to sort things according to their purpose, such as “shaving” and “hair products.”

If there are no shelves in your bathroom, a tiered shower caddy provides an easy way to keep items organized. Keeping items there rather than at the side of the bathtub also prevents mildew from forming beneath bottles.

Create more usable room too with an over-the-toilet shelving unit. Add baskets to keep things tidy or conceal personal care items that you use regularly but don’t necessarily want guests to see, such as deodorant.

Reach out to us for help with your decluttering project, whether it is one of the areas described above or another part of your home. We offer in-person and virtual services for your convenience.

what not to do when decluttering

What NOT to Do When Decluttering Your Home

If your home feels chaotic, it could be because of clutter. By organizing the space, you can make better use of it and reduce your stress. With this goal in mind, it’s just as important to know what not to do as it is to know the best strategies. Below are top things to avoid, based on what our professional organizers have seen frequently, and how to fix them.

Mistake #1: Putting the Big Project First

When you try to do the biggest clear-outs first, you risk becoming so overwhelmed by the task that you only get partway through it before feeling defeated. Or, worse yet, you don’t start it at all because of the sheer magnitude of it.

Instead, begin with smaller projects to build up your self-confidence and get more familiar with how best to approach tasks. Depending on how much organizing a room needs, the ideal strategy could be focusing on different parts of the room at separate times. For instance, start with the bookcase, then move to the desk, then the closet.

Mistake #2: You Toss It All Out

Rather than taking the time to sort through the clutter, you might be tempted to trash it all. While it might be the easiest thing to do, it is not the best decision from a sustainability perspective.

As many of the possessions likely still have plenty of life left in them, you can give them a second home by giving items that are useful to friends and family. Alternatively, consider donating them to a non-profit organization. For those things that are beyond repair, recycle, or properly dispose of them.

what not to do when decluttering

Mistake #3: Touching Things Too Much

When you handle items a lot, they tend to have more emotional value. So, try only to have minimal interaction with belongings as you sort through them to decide what to keep or not.

You can still pick up the items, of course, but don’t get too touchy-feely with them. For example, hold up a sweater as you decide whether to donate it or put it back in your closet, but avoid feeling the fabric and reminiscing for several minutes. Otherwise, you risk having an emotional experience that prevents you from parting with anything.

Mistake #4: Overdoing It

You’re not a machine. Many homeowners find decluttering the home is tiring work, physically and mentally. That’s why it’s important to take breaks.

After an hour or so of sorting items, for instance, reward yourself with a 15-minute pause. Leave the room that you’ve been working in and refresh your mind, as well as resting the body. When you return to the project, you are more likely to feel in control and have the energy to reach the goal.

Mistake #5: Giving Things a Price Tag

When putting items into keep or discard piles, it’s easy to get caught up in thinking about each one’s price. However, assigning a monetary value to the possessions will only make it more difficult for you to part with them.

Instead, focus on their usefulness (or lack of). If the belongings are only taking up space and no longer use them, it is best to part with them now.

Now you know what to avoid and the more effective action to take instead. Find more helpful suggestions for your home by contacting us today!

guide to organizing the fridge

Your Guide to Organizing the Fridge

When you look in the refrigerator at home, do you sigh at how disorganized it looks? If so, you’re not alone. Many people are dissatisfied with clutter in their homes, including inside the fridge. While guests might not see it, you know it’s there, plus you want to see quickly what is on the shelves. To help you finally tackle this project, try the suggestions here.

Think about Food Safety

Have you ever thought about organizing the fridge according to how you cook different foods? If not, our professionals encourage you to do so. This approach puts food safety as the focus of where to put things within the refrigerator.

For example, group items together that do not require cooking at all. That includes leftovers and ready-to-eat foods like yogurt and cheese.

The no-cook dishes go at the top of the fridge, while those that need cooking to be safe to eat are at the fridge’s bottom part, such as raw chicken. This organizational approach helps prevent cross-contamination as foods high up dripping down to lower shelves won’t jeopardize your health.

What about the Fridge Door? guide to organizing your fridge

Compartmentalizing the door makes it easy to see where the item is that you want, which saves you time. To help you do so, put labels on the door by where you put each type of item, such as “salad dressings” on the first shelf.

Avoid storing items like milk that easily spoil on the door as it is a warm spot in the fridge. Instead, store the jug of milk in the middle of the fridge, which has the most stable temperature.

Add Storage Bins

Just as you would use storage containers on shelves elsewhere in the home to stay organized, you can do so inside of the fridge too. For example, try keeping fruit in bowls or eggs in a plastic container.

Clear bins make it easy to see what you have already in the fridge so you’re less likely to buy a duplicate next time you go grocery shopping. You can even have a container for snacks for the kids after school that holds yogurt, grapes, and mini cheeses.

Declutter the Freezer Too

When organizing the fridge, pay attention to the freezer section too. Create areas in it for certain foods, such as bread, leftovers, vegetables, and more.

Make it a habit to label and date everything that goes into the freezer. This way, you will know what everything is and what you’ve had in there a long time. Then decide what to use up first and avoid having mystery bags of foods that you cannot identify anymore.

Final Words on Organizing the Refrigerator Well

The tips above will not only save your sanity but also help reduce food waste. You may find that your grocery bill is lower than usual because you can eat more food before the expiry date, as you know what is in the fridge and freezer.

Get more creative tips for organizing your kitchen by reaching out to our professionals today. We can help you organize any area of the house to increase its functionality and so that you enjoy a decluttered space.

clutter and stress

How Clutter May Be Causing Your Anxiety

If you look around at piles of paper or a messy room and feel tired, cranky, or on edge, you are likely feeling anxious. Why? The clutter is the source of your discomfort. There are many ways that clutter causes anxiety and stress.

Feeling Sensory Overload

The body’s senses can be over-stimulated in certain environments. When this happens, it overwhelms the central nervous system and makes it difficult to process what is happening around you.

This issue could be what is happening as you look out on the clutter at home. It could be that there are too many visual stimuli for your brain to process, which leads you to feel drained.

Unsure Where to Start

If you know you want to clear out the clutter, that’s great, but what if you’re unsure how to start doing that? This uncertainty can bring about anxiety.

If you find yourself worrying, then you are likely experiencing the frustration of not having a set plan. Feeling helpless can intensify anxiety as you do not feel in control.

The Distraction of Clutter

Have you ever walked into a room that has excess stuff and forgotten why you went in there in the first place? It is probably because the clutter has distracted you.

This happens when the mess causes you to lose focus. Then you lose time and motivation for the original task, which only intensifies tension in the body and mind.

The Guilt

Another common reaction to seeing clutter is feeling guilty. The thought that you ought to be more organized might pass through your mind.

Or, you might feel like you are failing as a parent or spouse because the home is not clean and functional. Guilt is exhausting to live with regularly.

It’s the Reaction, Rather than the Clutter Itself

When you look at what’s happening, it’s your reaction to the clutter rather than the mess itself that is triggering the anxiety. If you walk into a messy area and think to yourself that you know where everything is and are going to have a productive day, then it’s not an issue.

But if you look around and feel like you cannot find what you need, then it’s likely to trigger anxiety. You might also worry about others judging you for having a messy home.

clutter causes anxiety

How Clutter can Accumulate

When thinking about the mess at home, are you reflecting on how the clutter happened in the first place? It likely built over time without your realizing it, or you underwent a major transition in life, such as having a baby or moving to a new house.

De-cluttering to Reduce Anxiety and Stress

Rather than waiting for the perfect time to come to clear away the clutter, start now to take small steps to alleviate the worry and stress that seems to follow you through the home. Even spending one hour a week tidying the house can make a difference to not only the aesthetic appeal of the place but your mind as well.

Our professional organizers can help you with the de-cluttering process. Whether it is a room, garage, closet, home office, or another area that is draining your energy, we are happy to provide effective ways to eliminate clutter.

decluttering mistakes

5 Decluttering Mistakes to Avoid in the Home

Rather than offering you a list of suggestions for how to declutter the house, we thought it would be more helpful to provide a list of what NOT to do during the decluttering process. These tips come from our professional organizers, and some of the decluttering mistakes they’ve seen might surprise you!

Decluttering Mistake #1: You Take on Too Much

While you’re raring to go, it’s important not to take on more than you can reasonably organize within a short time. If you plan to organize the whole house in a weekend, for example, that is a big project that is likely to overwhelm you and might not be done by Sunday night.

That sense of overwhelm might stop you from even starting the project. Or, you could get halfway done and then return to work Monday, coming home to piles of stuff everywhere. That’s sure to stress you out.

Instead, choose a smaller project that you are likely to finish soon, such as decluttering the bedroom closet or beneath the bed. Taking small steps will enable you to do more in the long-run, rather than getting exhausted.

Decluttering Mistake #2: Trying to be Perfect

Magazines are full of stunning home interiors. But your living room and closets do not need to be picture perfect.

Instead, what matters is that they are functional, look appealing to you, and are uncluttered. When you get them this way, know that they are good, and that is enough. Organizing is not about being perfect.

Decluttering Mistake #3: Start Another Project before Finishing the First

It’s tempting to start a few of these projects at once. While you have lots of ideas for bettering the homestead, be careful not to get ahead of yourself.

Instead, conquer a smaller project that fits in your schedule so that you can feel a sense of accomplishment before moving on to the next one. For example, tackle the cluttered bookshelf in the home office and then call it a day. After completing one task in full, you’ll feel empowered next week to conquer the next one!

Decluttering Mistake #4: Not Assessing Your Progress

Our experts also encourage you to take the time after completing a decluttering project to look back at the accomplishment. Be proud of what you’ve done, especially if you have been putting off the decluttering process for a long time.

Rather than looking at what still needs to be done, focus instead on how far you’ve come. Clearing away clutter takes time, and every step you take is a great benefit to you and others in the household.

decluttering mistakes

Decluttering Mistake #5: Buy Storage Containers Right Away

Don’t do it! Instead, declutter what you have first. While you have great intentions, getting storage bins to put everything into before decluttering anything is a misstep.

Only after you go through the clutter and make decisions about what to toss or keep can you know what storage containers are needed. You will likely have far fewer things than when you began. At this point, you can make accurate decisions about what sizes and shapes of storage baskets to get for the home.

Learning from These Decluttering Mistakes

When you’re decluttering an area of the house, try to keep these common errors in mind as they can derail your project. If you’d rather not do it alone, reach out to our professional organizers for helpful suggestions about how best to tackle disorganization in your unique home.

declutter like a pro

How to Declutter Your Home Like a Professional Organizer

Do you want to know how to declutter your home like a professional organizer? Great! You’ve come to the right place. Our experts weigh in today on how to organize a space so that it is clean and tidy. Why wait any longer? Let’s do this!

Choose an Area

A good place to start is by selecting a room or part of a room that you want to organize better than it is now. Even if you plan to declutter multiple areas of the home, it’s best to focus on just one to start with to avoid feeling overwhelmed.

A common room that our professional organizers help clients to declutter is the kitchen. It’s easy to accumulate appliances, dishes, mugs, and cookware over the years, adding new without removing older pieces you don’t use anymore.

Set Goals

The next step our experts help you with is setting a goal. You’ve already completed part of this stage by selecting an area.

Now, it’s time to set the date when you would like the room (or part of it) to be decluttered. Giving yourself a completion dates makes you more accountable to doing so and can be a way to challenge yourself, making it less likely to be something you avoid.

declutter like a professional organizer

Sort Items into Piles

Creating a system to sort items is the next phase. The ClutterBGone team generally recommends that you have three piles: Keep, Toss, and Donate.

The items you keep will go back into the decluttered room after it is emptied, while the “toss” pile will be recycled or put into the trash, depending on the item. The items for donation are ones you can take to a local charity or friends and family who can use them.

How to Make the Decisions Easier

You’re not alone if you feel uncomfortable about the prospect of giving away some of your material objects. Almost everyone has things in their home that have sentimental value. There are also those items that you think you might use one day, such as pants you wore a decade ago.

To help make this part of the process easier, our professionals help you make rational decisions about what to keep or toss. For example, we might help you test if a certain object works, discuss when was the last time you used it, or encourage you to keep track of how often you use something over the coming month that you’re reluctant to part with.

Our clients often tell us that having a night to think about what they’ve put in the toss and donate piles is also helpful. If you wake up the next day, realizing there is something in there that you can’t do without, then take it out of the pile and put it back in the room.

Making the Most of Your Home

If you are having trouble starting on your own, want to tackle multiple rooms, or reinvent a space, reach out to us! A professional organizer from our team can help you clear away clutter to start enjoying your home again.