Declutter for Mental Wellness!

Although it can't eliminate ALL your stress or make you magically more resilient, decluttering can be incredibly beneficial to your mental wellness.

Decreasing the amount of visual stimulation in your environment can calm your nervous system. Reducing the number of things you need to keep track of, maintain, clean around and put away can greatly reduce your daily stress levels.  This improves executive functioning and can improve your emotional regulation. In this case, less is most definitely more!
 

Reduce the amount of "stuff" holding you back from true wellness.

Here are two simple places you can start clearing:

In The Kitchen

With fewer items in the drawers and in cabinets, you create space to store larger items that might typically monopolize visual space on your counters.  

Gadgets Yes, gadgets are fun, especially for the avid home chef! They are easy to purchase as gifts and just as easy to receive! But unless your kitchen has endless cabinet space, at some point, you'll be looking for a place to store these single-purpose items.

An excellent set of knives can take the place of so many single-purpose gadgets. 

Sink Full of Dishes

Pans with Scratches in the Non-stick finish.  I don't typically prefer non-stick pans, but sometimes it's really helpful to have (hello egg white omelettes!) However, if the non-stick finish is scratched or compromised, it is allowing little particles of the non-stick material into your foods. Yuck. If you're ready to ditch all your non-stick,  and make an investment in an alternate cooking vessel, consider seasoned cast iron, or stainless steel. Start with one or two pans that are in sizes you commonly use.  If you are an avid home chef and often use more than 2 pans at once, you can always work your way up! 

Extra Water Bottles. How many times has that water bottle been in the way, knocked over something else, or fallen out of the cabinet? No? Just me?

Realistically, having 2 water bottles per person in your household is more than enough. One to use, and one to wash. Between the extras, if you have a guest that *needs* to drink from a water bottle, they can use one of the spares. Save yourself from the avalanche. 

Utensils How many spatulas, wooden spoons, turners and tongs do you really need? Probably only 1-2 of each for daily use. Do you have one or two tools that you use less often but definitely need? For me, it's the giant "turkey lifter forks." We use them only a few times per year, but they are necessary when we do! I store those in my roasting pan instead of taking up so much drawer real estate!  Move your less-often-used item out of the way (high cabinet, box in the pantry or on a high shelf, in another room) and make way for that feeling of "aaaahhhh!"

In the Closet

Clothes That No Longer Fit. Seriously. There are so many options to get these items out of your closet. Resale websites and even local services that will pick up your items and sell them for you, taking a portion of the sales for their time. Sounds like a win-win! You get to give new life to those clothes longing to see the light of day again, and make more space to breathe!  

Shoes that are worn out, hurt your feet, or are out of style. I just did this today. Got rid of a pair of running shoes that I REALLY wanted to love. (Not that I am a runner, but I hear that was their original intention!) But unfortunately, they just didn't fit comfortably, so I never chose them. Today, I let them go to a new home, basically new, and living their dreams of hitting the open road!  

Mis-matched or empty hangers. The next time most of your clothes are clean, andin the closet, take stock of how many hangers you have. Better yet, look at the ones that you do your best to avoid, and they sit in the back with your neglected clothes. Once you've moved some of those clothes on to new homes, send those hangers out too. We have a local Buy Nothing Group (shameless plug, because I'm the admin) and people LOVE to use hangers for consignment sales. Alternatively, many dry cleaners will accept wire hangers as returns. It might help to ask which types they will take before you lug over a whole bunch! Don't ask how I know.  

Dry Cleaner Bags They're no good for your clothes, and they make a space look cluttered. Bring them to plastic bag recycling at the local grocery store or big box store, and let them have a new life as outdoor furniture or more plastic bags - just what we need!

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