Mental health is partly controlled by our genetics and partly by our environment. While counseling can help you manage stress and anxiety, you can also take measures at home to keep things cool and calm so you have a place of respite from whatever ails you.
Here are a few tips to help you keep a clean house and create a calming space.
Cut the clutter. If your decorating style can best be described as “junk drawer chic,” you might want to reconsider the amount of stuff you keep in your home. As the Huffington Post explains, clutter can actually ruin your life. Not only can it increase your stress levels, but having a cluttered house can wreck your diet and make your home anything but a safe haven. Spend an afternoon purging your countertops and cabinets of things you really don’t need, and only keep those items you can’t live without.
Simplify your cleaning routine. After the clutter is under control, keep things clean by streamlining chores. Dust, mop, and vacuum all rooms at the same time to avoid having to get your cleaning tools in and out of the utility closet. And don’t forget neglected areas, such as the walls and baseboards, behind the appliances, and inside the kitchen cabinets. Angie’s List also suggests dusting the ceiling fan and above the kitchen cabinets, which will reduce allergens in the air.
Insist on assistance. If you live in a home with more than one person, more than one person should handle the cooking, cleaning, and home maintenance. Assign specific chores to each member of your household. Even something as simple as having your kids put the dishes away or fold the laundry will help keep your home clean and free up valuable time for you to focus your attention on self-care. Your family—or roommates—will no doubt offer up excuses as to why they can’t help out. Be ready with a counter argument and available to offer instructions on how to get things done. And remember, teaching your children how to care for a household puts them in greater position to manage their own homes as young adults.
Learn to love lists. The human brain is hardwired to like lists. Not only do lists help you keep track of what you have—and haven’t—done, keeping a list of daily, weekly, and monthly household chores can help you remain focused. Creating lists helps bring order to the chaos, and that can lower your stress levels. Keep separate lists for each room in the home and make sure they are visible. Another benefit of listmaking is that it gives you a mental boost when you see tasks being marked off.
Don’t forget the outdoors. You don’t want to relax inside all year, so it’s a good idea to focus on the exterior of your home as well. There are a few simple tricks to make sure your outdoor spaces remain maintained season to season. Start by clearing debris out of the yard at least once a week. Once leaves begin to fall, rake them onto tarps for mulching or composting instead of allowing them to pile up and mold throughout the winter. Bob Vila offers more tips on simple outdoor maintenance tasks. Don’t forget to set up a cozy spot with a hammock or lounge chair where you can relax and enjoy the outdoors.
Once you have your cleaning routine down, consider changing your spaces to best accommodate your interests. For instance, if you like to read, carve out a corner of a room where you can cozy up with a good book, or rearrange your kitchen to free up counter space for baking. Whatever you decide, make it something just for you, and keep it neat and tidy.
Guest Blog Written By Alice Robertson
Laura is the Owner of Clean & Clutter Free, professional organizing services.