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Reduce Stress, Declutter Your Life

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April is Stress Awareness Month and highlights the impact that stress has on the British public. With the pandemic causing such a tumultuous year, mental health has suffered as a result. So much so, 65% of people in the UK admitted to feeling more stressed since the first lockdown in March 2020.

The well-known idiom ‘a tidy home is a tidy mind’ has some merit to it as packaging retailer, RAJA, discovered that 35% of Brits found decluttering their home to be a therapeutic experience. To help you declutter and de-stress in the areas of your life where you spend the most time, RAJA has offered tips to make your digital space and home life less stressful.

Tips to declutter your digital devices

With more time on our hands, our screen times will inevitably go up as we attempt to keep entertained. A recent study from Ofcom found that adults in the UK spend an average of 45 hours of screen time each week. With all this time spent online, it’s important to curate the ideal space on your devices to reduce stress and improve your experience.

Declutter your social media

The average Brit spends at least 49 minutes per day on social media apps such as Twitter, TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook. So, it’s essential you’re seeing a newsfeed that makes you feel good and inspires you, rather than bringing you down.

Delete unused apps

Purge your phone of apps that you no longer use. This will help keep your home screen clutter-free, allowing you to access the apps you love faster. Resist the ‘just in case’ mentality and delete the ones you know you won’t use.

Create folders

Once you’ve deleted all unnecessary apps, create folders for different genres of apps to keep your home screen clean and organised. These folders could be retail, fitness, social media, games, entertainment, or finance. The options can be tailored to work for you.

Turn off push notifications

Push notifications can be a massive distraction when trying to complete a task. Whether it be a text or email notification, or an alert for a sale, they constantly draw you in to spend more time on your phone. Ditch the notifications and see if your screen time goes down.

The benefits of a digital declutter

In any space where you spend a large amount of time, a regular clean can help keep you happy and organised. Your phone is no exception. Here are some of the benefits of decluttering your devices:

Improves your mindset

Being more mindful of what content you consume on your mobile phone can reduce stress and improve your mentality. Constant exposure to our friends’ and influencers’ social media feeds can form a comparative mindset to other people’s lives which can result in feelings of anxiety, loneliness, and inadequacy.

Makes your phone run faster

Having a clear out of old apps, unwanted photos, files, and tabs can help speed up your device. The less data you have stored on your device, the faster it will work. This will help improve the experience when using your phone, reducing frustration.

Helps you to be more efficient

Minimising digital clutter can help you feel more productive when trying to complete important tasks. Having an organised filing system can help streamline your work, ensuring you don’t get distracted by other projects. And not having to rummage through endless tabs or sort through mountains of files can help you concentrate and complete jobs on time, reducing daily pressure.  

Tips to declutter your home 

A cluttered home can wreak havoc on your mind, and having to navigate piles of clutter can overstimulate your brain. Donate, recycle, or sell items that you don’t need any more to make more room at home. Here are some tips on how to declutter your living space:

Take it one room at a time

It can be overwhelming to try and tackle the whole house in one go. Instead, pick a room and work through it until it’s clean. This way you reduce the risk of burnout by attempting to clear it all in one go. Start with the room you use the most, like the kitchen or living room, and work from there.

Use three piles

One way to make it easier to part with junk around your house is to divide your stuff into three piles: things you’ll keep, things you’ll throw away or recycle, and things to donate to charity or ‘freecycle’. This methodical approach allows you to see exactly where your items are going and make the whole process less stressful.

Be brutal

Take the time to ask yourself when was the last time you used a specific item or wore an outfit. If you haven’t used it in a while, it may be time to let go of it. A good rule of thumb is; if you haven’t used the item in the last six months – and you don’t envision using it in the next six months – then you may not need it in your life. You can donate it and give it a new life with someone else.

Make it a lifestyle change

Starting can be the hardest part when trying to declutter, so incorporating decluttering into just five minutes of your day can help you establish good habits without losing a full day to it. Keep a box next to your front door and place something in there every morning to donate. Once it’s full, take it to the charity shop.

The benefits of cleaning your home

Organising your home is about more than just making it aesthetically pleasing. A tidy living space can reduce stress and anxiety, leaving you feeling more energised and positive. Here are a few benefits of a tidy home:

It’s easier to maintain

One of the major benefits of cleaning your home is that it makes it easier to maintain. When your home is clean, you’ll be more likely to keep it that way. Once you’ve done all the hard work of getting rid of stuff you don’t use, keep the momentum going by decluttering as you go. Little and often helps prevent mess (and stress) from building up.

Makes you more productive

Clutter can impact anxiety levels and the ability to focus, making you less efficient in the long run. It can even trigger coping and avoidance strategies like excess snacking and binge-watching TV shows. Keeping a tidy space can help make you more productive, boost creativity, and keep stress levels under control. Dirty plates and even little keep-sakes can provide unwanted distractions from important tasks. If you work from home, keep workspaces clear and tidy of dirty plates, excess notes, and keep-sakes to maximise your productivity.

Improves sleep

A tidy, uncluttered room can help you get a better night’s sleep. Just because you close your eyes when you sleep, doesn’t mean the mess magically disappears. Trying to sleep in a messy room can impact your quality of sleep as it filters into your subconsciousness. It can leave you at a higher risk of developing various sleep problems, including issues with falling asleep and being disturbed during the night. A tidy room can help ensure you’re well-rested and ready to take on a new day.

A cluttered lifestyle can impact you more than you think. By taking the time to incorporate decluttering techniques into your daily life, you can help reduce and release any mental pressure that’s been created over lockdown. It will also set you up to be in a good position as restrictions ease by helping you feel more productive and healthier.

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