Decluttering: the Path to Less Stress and Happiness

3 Big Benefits of Decluttering to Transform Your Life, Your Community, and the World

Spring has arrived. At least according to the calendar. One of the spring rituals that fall in the not-really-fun-but-maybe-satisfying category is spring cleaning. But can you really spring clean without decluttering? The answer is no, not really. Sure, you can tidy and organize, but you’ll just be relocating the clutter to a new spot. That doesn’t cut it if the true essence of spring cleaning is to give your home a good, deep clean to keep your environment organized.

 

Declutter To Transform Your Life

Millions of people have bought decluttering evangelist Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, but she’s not the only one advocating for a tidier lifestyle. A quick internet search will reveal dozens of other books and decluttering tips and services. But can getting rid of the clutter truly make our lives better?

Scientific evidence suggests that living with clutter can negatively affect many areas of our lives. For example, one research team that clutter can reduce our ability to focus on a task. Being surrounded by clutter can make us feel anxious and stressed, with one study finding that mothers living in messy houses had higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol. 

According to one study, clutter can also make it harder to fall asleep and even make us more likely to reach for junk food, which found participants using a “chaotic kitchen” ate twice as many cookies as those in an organized kitchen.

 

Declutter and Donating to Transform Your Community

Now that you know the benefits of decluttering, you may be making a mental checklist of all the things to ditch. But, what can you do with all your stuff? The answer is simple: donate it! Every gently-used piece of furniture, small fixture, and appliance that you donate can directly or indirectly help someone in your community.

Instead of dragging your stuff to the curb for a trash pick-up or hiring a junk removal service to haul it away (not that we’re calling your stuff junk), why not donate it to your local thrift store?

First, your donations create affordable options for your neighbors to furnish a home and make inexpensive home repairs or improvements. Those donations can enhance lives.

Your donations also enable thrift stores, such as Re-Store Warehouse, to generate funds by re-selling your donations at reasonable prices. Local organizations that help at-risk kids, the poor, and Cumberland County’s homeless receive 100 percent of the net resale profits.

 

Declutter and Donate to Help the Environment

Donating gently-used furniture and appliances may be the easiest way to be a steward of the earth. The reality is that unless you donate those items, there’s a good chance that they’re destined for the landfill, and that’s not a good solution for anyone.

Landfills are detrimental to the environment, wreaking havoc on the land by causing land loss, spewing methane emissions (a greenhouse gas) into the atmosphere, and potentially leaching hazardous materials into groundwater. More than 12 million tons of furniture and furnishings are discarded each year in America, and 80 percent of it ends up in the landfill.

Sure, decluttering and organizing can be a daunting task but think of how much better you’ll feel in your new stress-free environment, knowing that your donations made a difference in your community and did your part to help the environment.

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