By Elizabeth Scott, MS Elizabeth Scott, MS, is a wellness coach specializing in stress management and quality of life, and the author of “8 Keys to Stress Management.” Updated February 07, 2018
Most people don’t’ realize how much clutter causes stress, but it’s true that living in a mess can drain you of time, energy, and even money, creating significant amounts of additional stress. Unfortunately, a cluttered home is the norm. But while stressed, overscheduled people have little time to clean, given the value of having your home as a sanctuary from stress, as well as what you save by being organized, it makes sense to keep your house clean. The key is to be smart about cleaning, and clean in a way that causes little additional stress, or actually help you reduce stress while you clean. There are many specific tips on how to declutter a space or an entire home, but one important aspect of cleaning that shouldn’t be overlooked is keeping things low-stress and as enjoyable as possible so you don’t mind the chore. If you’re able to do this, you’ll be more likely to clean on a more regular basis and this can reduce the stress of cleaning as well. The following low-stress housekeeping tips can help you do all of this:
Put on Some Music
There are many proven benefits of music for stress relief, and music is even used to promote wellness in the form of music therapy. Music can actually calm you down or energize you, depending on what type of music you choose. You can harness the stress relieving and energy-inducing powers of music to help your cleaning efforts so that you’re actually less stressed (or at least no more stressed and tired) when you’re finished, plus you’ll get a boost from the great feelings you get from your cleaner space.
Pare Down and Organize
Toss or donate everything that you don’t need or love. Find a place for everything that’s left, so it’ll be easier to clean up. And don’t buy new things unless you absolutely need them. These simple guidelines will leave you with less stuff to clutter up your space and make cleaning quicker and easier.
Make Small, Consistent Goals
When creating new habits of any type, it’s good to make realistic goals, work toward them consistently and reward yourself for even the smallest progress. This is also true for cleaning. If you set small, doable cleaning goals, such as 30 Second Chores (a list of chores that can be done quickly so that you can knock a bunch out when you have a few free minutes), or a Daily Cleaning List (which is a group of lists that cover all chores so that you’ll keep your house clean over the course of a week or month if you just do a few a day), you won’t get overwhelmed by the work.
Enjoy Your Results
Clean a little bit every day, and you just may have the magic formula for a cleaner, stress-free living environment. Further your rewards and keep your motivation up by enjoying your home when your work is done! If you clean your bathroom, give yourself a regular home spa experience so you can really appreciate all of your hard work. Enjoy a candlelit dinner in your kitchen, burn essential oils to enjoy aromatherapy, and decorate in a way that really makes your heart smile. Once you get used to having your home as a sanctuary from stress instead of another cause of it, you’ll probably be hooked