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We all have our reasons for hanging on to belongings – some sentimental and others practical. Maybe it’s not cleaning out the closet regularly or a collection is getting out of control; in either instance, living in a cluttered space can have a negative impact on your long-term health, especially as it relates to stress and happiness.

Reduces Stress

Clutter can invite chaos into your life by overwhelming your brain’s ability to focus. No matter your level of disciplined concentration, a large amount of clutter will reduce your ability to focus and your overall performance on daily tasks. Poor performance can result in added stress as you feel the burden of completing tasks, along with the distractions in your environment.

In a tech-heavy culture, clutter can also extend to your computer and smartphone. Excessive emails and unused apps on your smartphone can add to your stress. Consider unsubscribing from some of the emails that often go unopened and clean up your phone by deleting neglected apps.

Limiting the excess in your life will help you focus better and reduce your stress.

Increases Happiness

Which came first, the chicken or the egg? When it comes to clutter and its impact on happiness, personality traits may be the underlying cause. A recent study revealed “behavioral procrastination and indecision significantly increased clutter problems, which led to a significant decrease in satisfaction with life.”

Whether it’s behavioral procrastination or indecision, clutter proves to decrease overall happiness and well-being. While these personality traits may increase a tendency for clutter, they do not prevent individuals from reducing the amount of items in their lives. In fact, understanding the impact on happiness may be enough to inspire change.

Are you ready to remove unnecessary stress and increase your overall happiness? Follow these clever tricks to make decluttering simple:

  • Give away one item a day.
  • Fill one trash bag a week with items to donate or throw away.

Set a timer for five minutes each day to sort items into keep, trash or donate.