The Place


Why having a cluttered home is linked to depression

Posted at 1:05 PM, Mar 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-10 15:30:06-05

Therapist Anastasia Pollock, Clinical Director at Lifestone Counseling Center, explained why clutter makes us depressed and stressed and how we can go about Spring cleaning in a different way this year.

First, start small. Don’t try to tackle everything all at once. Decide on one small project you can handle and start there. This can be as small as organizing five pieces of paper in that pile of mail you’ve been meaning to get to for a long time. Once you start, it is interesting how energy can increase and you gain momentum. If it feels good to do more, great. If not, stop at the number you decided on.

 Bribery for yourself and your family! Rewarding yourself and others makes you and others more likely to succeed. Remember that the brain responds better to rewards than punishments so focus more on rewarding progress and less on punishing lack in progress or regression for yourself and your family members (no beating yourself up!).

Work as a team. Get the whole family involved. Be careful not to blame. Instead, have discussion about how everyone can help to declutter in small ways. Decide as a family how you will reward yourselves as you reach specific milestones in progress.

Take your time. This is not a race. The goal is to decrease clutter in order to improve mood and stress levels, not to create more stress. Give yourself as much time as you need. Stick to goals and be willing to redefine goals if you find they become overwhelming.

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