Who wants a clean home faster?
While I love a clean home, I certainly don’t want it to take all day to clean. I mean, is there anyone who wants that?
Often our busy schedules leave us spending valuable evening and weekend time cleaning….dusting, vacuuming, picking up things left all over, etc. I’m pretty certain that’s not how anyone wants to spend their downtime.
I know that I’d rather be relaxing with a book, going for a walk, or spending time with my family.
Without downtime, stress can build in our bodies. We need that relaxation to let our bodies rest and have a time when cortisol is not flowing like crazy. Stress can come from having a busy life with no time to just relax, or it can also come in the form of the mental stress we get when we look at our home and see piles of things everywhere that we just don’t have the time to deal with. Clutter brings stress to our mind. You may not even realize it right now, but after doing some decluttering you may be surprised at the difference you feel when in your home.
One thing I’ve done that has really helped speed up cleaning is to reduce both shelf & floor clutter.
Dusting is a breeze when there are only a few things on a shelf instead of 20. Or better yet, you’ve minimized enough to get rid of that shelf completely! Additionally, when you have extra-large decor or furniture, it is one more thing to dust, vacuum around, and keep clear of things piling up on it. It is a common thought that we must have certain items in our home for decoration or that we must have art/decor on the wall or shelves on display with candles or fancy decorative items. I’m not saying that having decor is bad – I actually have a shelf that hangs in my office with a few decorative items and photos on it that I love. However, each item I have was chosen with purpose and because it brought me joy to see it. At this point, I’ve removed almost all decor in my home that was just there to be there. I removed things I wasn’t attached to in any way, or things that I hardly realized I had.
If you’re unsure about simplifying your decor, try this: Pick 1 bookshelf or flat surface in your home. Remove everything from that surface, put it in a box, and tuck the box away for a week or 2. As time passes, see how you feel when you observe that space…
Does the room feel more open & airy?
Is it faster to clean?
Is there anything you really miss seeing from that spot?
After that time, feel free to put back those things you missed that bring you joy. Then get rid of the rest! You might even find yourself unloading a whole piece of furniture once you see the room without it. We can get so used to our surroundings that we don’t even notice them (or appreciate them) anymore.
As I removed things from our home like this, the floors suddenly became more open. The walls became cleaner and lighter feeling. And my dusting and vacuuming time decreased greatly. Without extra shelves to dust or extra things to move on end tables and book shelves, dusting was a breeze. Vacuuming takes less time when there are less chairs, tables, or other furniture to maneuver around.
You may find that without the extra things there, a room feels more relaxing. I can totally feel the difference in a spacious vs. cluttered space. As I type this, my office is in need of reorganization after taking out boxes of school supplies for back to school (they needed to be gone through and weeded out) as well as being partway through a closet declutter in here. It’s not a relaxing environment right now and it shows in how much I [don’t] want to come in here to do work right now. But when it is clutter free and open, it’s such an inviting space for me.
Whole house decluttering can definitely be an overwhelming thing. I totally get that. I think baby steps can be a great way to start to reduce the clutter and stress in our homes. Start with one room (preferably one you use a lot since you’ll feel the results of it the most). Start with one wall or one corner of that room and try removing the excess from that area. Like I mentioned above, nothing is permanent! Just tuck it away for a couple of weeks and see how you feel. I bet you’ll be surprised!
2 thoughts on “Reducing Clutter to Lower Stress & Save Time”
Hi Stephanie, I agree with everything you wrote! Unfortunately my family is not on board. The kitchen and mudroom area is a drop zone for everything when we come in the door, and the only time things get out away is when I clear it or threaten to throw it out. Things like backpacks, shoes, soccer gear, books, water bottles, lunch bags, tools, broken household items, etc. I have given up trying to keep the space cleared every day and settle for a clear space when we have company. It’s interesting to observe that I try to keep clutter sparse for my daily enjoyment but my family freaks out to clear it only when we have company. It’s better to take 5 min every day than 2 hours once a month to clear off the surfaces! P.S. I love the photos on your blog, are they from your home?
Yes, I agree – doing a bit of tidying up daily is much easier than hours of it later. I find that having a place to put some of those things is helpful in keeping the areas picked up. Having hooks for backpacks, shelves or bins for shoes, a specific cabinet that stores lunch boxes & water bottles, etc. Now having teens myself I realize that this does not always mean that they will actually PUT them there. 😉 But with lots of reminders, it gets them more in the habit of it. I know I hate to nag on them to do it daily, though. I work hard to keep other areas of the home clear of clutter, simplified, and picked up. I think this helps them get the feel of how nice it feels vs. an area that is messy, hard to find things, and chaotic. It might help to start with one thing initally…like having them always hang their backpacks in a designated spot. And once that becomes more routine, add in putting lunch gear into its designated spot, and so on.
Oh, and no, those photos aren’t from my home – I wish! 🙂 They are some stock photos I have to use. The inspire me to keep at it because they make me feel so happy with their simplified look.