Guest Post: Mackenzie Fox
You've probably heard of the many benefits of decluttering your home including the one that says clear your space, clear your mind. However, do not confuse organizing with decluttering because there is a very clear distinction between the two. The first and the biggest difference is that organizing brings order into your possessions while decluttering is all about keeping only what you really and truly need. Another difference is that even if you perfectly organize your home, remember that you are still a human and that things will get messy again. That's the thing.. With organizing, you simply have to keep up with it.
Did you know that an average 3-bedroom-house has over 300,000 items in it? How many of them do you use on a regular basis? And how many of them you haven't used at all in the last, let's say, a year? This is where decluttering is king. Not only are you going to gain more space by throwing out, recycling or donating things that you really don't need but you are also going to save money on unnecessary purchases, you won't have to clean as much, you'll sleep and eat better, you'll definitely have more free time and be more productive. In terms of money, decluttering is an inexpensive way to add value to your home because prospective buyers can see the true potential of your home only when it is well-organized and clean. Most importantly, decluttered home will give you a feeling of calm and is generally a healthier environment to live in.
The most importantly, there are the little members of your family that you definitely want to see healthy and happy – your children. Believe it or not, they stand to gain even more from decluttering. First and foremost, there is the health aspect. Clutter is a germ haven. There are also dust mites, mold and other allergens that just love clinging onto clutter and that can cause severe health problems. Not to mention that clutter is a fire hazard and can also lead to accidents (tripping, slipping and similar).
By decluttering your home, you are also going to set a good example for your children and you know that children always learn better by example than through words. Having them involved in cleaning can be a bonding experience, particularly if you are decluttering their rooms. Furthermore, they will learn about discipline and responsibility. You can also instil a love of charity work in your children by urging them to donate toys and clothes that they no longer play with or wear.
Just like adults, children can also be affected psychologically by excessive clutter. They might get frustrated by not being able to find their favorite toy or a book or having to go through a pile of laundry to get to their gym clothes. Children thrive in a stress-free environment and a decluttered home is definitely that. Clutter overwhelms their little minds with a lot of stimuli, both visual and tactile, which can take a psychological toll on them.
Getting rid of clutter will help them focus and have better mental clarity which is especially important if they are of school age. Not only that, you are going to inspire your children to live more simply, effectively and healthy. On surface, decluttering might look as an exercise in throwing things away but it is actually a learning experience. It teaches children how take better care of their stuff and how to enjoy it more. It is important that you do it together because they are bound to get distracted halfway through (they are children, after all), and the cleaning process will strengthen your relationship with them. Believe it or not, children will be content with fewer toys too. Not having a mountain of toys will stimulate their imagination and send their creativity into overdrive.
So, these are the essential benefits of decluttering your home that will hopefully get you going in the right direction. If you have been procrastinating with this difficult but such a beneficial process, remember that there is always someone who is looking up to you to show them how things are done in life – your children.