Did you know that a cluttered home could actually contribute to a growing waistline and/or make it harder for you to lose weight?
Fact: A cluttered home can leave you feeling stressed.
Fact: Stress can make it harder for you to lose weight and it can help you pack on the pounds by encouraging poor food choices that are often fattening.
Think about it: facing a messy closet in the morning can make it harder for you to find the clothes you’re looking for, which can lead to you running late for work, causing you to skip breakfast. This chain reaction of events results in slowing down your metabolism and increases the amount of cortisol (stress hormone) in your body. The next thing you know, you’re at the office drinking down multiple cups of coffee and eating snacks from the local bakery or vending machine.
To support you in your efforts to battle the bulge and reduce stress, here are 7 ways to help start you on your journey to declutter your home:
- Fill a bag of trash – Take a trash bag and walk around your home, grab all the trash that you see on your journey and keep going. Do not let yourself get distracted. Only focus on removing the garbage and/or items that you can recycle and move on. Removing trash also means going through your bathroom and kitchen cupboards and discarding anything that’s passed its expiry date.
- Fill a bag/box of items you no longer want – Take a trash bag or a box and fill it up, this time with items that you no longer want but can donate to charity, such as clothing, toys, dishes, devices, books, etc. If you find this overwhelming, focus on filling only one bag or box per week. Once it’s full, drop it in the trunk of your car so that you can easily donate it whenever you’re out running errands.
- Get rid of your “skinny” clothes – Just like getting rid of the stuff you don’t want, it’s important to de-clutter by removing those items that are taking up space that you don’t need. This includes clothing that you’re keeping because you’re hoping to fit into again one day. Holding on to these items can be toxic to your psyche and can fill you with feelings of guilt and shame as these clothes can be a reminder of your weight gain and can make you feel like a failure. It’s time to donate!
- Do the hanger test – When it comes to getting rid of clothing in an overstuffed closet, a great way to find out what you do and do not wear is to do the hanger test. Essentially, you turn all the hangers in your wardrobe the wrong way around. Once you wear an item and return it to your closet, turn this hanger the right way around. After a few weeks, you’re likely to have a very good idea of what you do and do not wear, making it easier for you to donate what’s not being used.
- Go paperless whenever possible – If your home is drowning in papers, you can reduce the amount of bills, magazines, newspapers, etc. that are mailed to you by simply going paperless. Many companies have digital options now.
- Start simple – There’s no need to rush through the decluttering process. This can quickly become overwhelming. Instead, focus on filling one garbage bag and/or one donation box each week and spend five minutes of every day collecting items around your home to either trash or donate. As you get used to the process it will become easier over time. Likewise, start with the items that you know without a doubt that you don’t want in your home. Don’t begin with hard and emotional choices, such as debating on whether or not to get rid of sentimental items that you’ll never use again, like your wedding dress, etc. Save these harder decisions for a later time once you’ve found your decluttering groove.
- Be honest with yourself – when you’re working on clearing times out of your home, ask yourself three important questions: Do I honestly need this item? Do I love it? Does it have some sort of significance in my present life? If your answer is “no”, it’s time to pitch it and move on to the next item.