Spring-cleaning your home is rote for the turn of the season, but you might not realize that the physical clutter and dirt that accumulates in your living space also can sully your spirit. “We all have to manage some stress and anxiety in our lives, it’s a natural part of living,” says Jameson Mercier, Ph.D., a licensed clinical social worker. “However, being intentional about how much clutter you allow in your [physical] space minimizes the amount of stress and anxiety you have to deal with and allows you to prioritize what is important.”
Use these tips to clean and purify your spaces, and transform your home into an uplifting and clutter-free sanctuary.
Your bedroom should be full of things that help you feel cozy, comfortable and mellow. “Our brains and bodies are cleansed internally each night when we go to sleep,” says Corene Summers, reiki master, yoga teacher, and a meditation and mindfulness instructor at Meditation Live. “Creating a clean and sacred sleeping space invites restoration and will leave you feeling even more refreshed and energized when you awake.”
Trade your TV for a sound machine and listen to soothing music with delta waves or to the sounds of gentle rainfall, ocean waves, waterfalls, birds or other elements of nature. A bedtime ritual such as implementing a digital curfew on yourself, meditating or practicing yoga also can help promote relaxation and peace.
“The best thing I did was eliminate my nightstand,” says Mercier, noting that nightstands are notorious dumping grounds for clutter and are the typical resting place for cellphones, which often disturb sleep.
The Living Room
This room should embody the most positive aspects of your personality and emulate the lifestyle you want to create. “Purify your air by including elements such as plants, flowers, stones and Himalayan salt lamps,” Summers says. “Pull from your travels and favorite memories, using tokens or art purchased on trips, framed photos and other keepsakes as decor.”
Boost your mood with a well-lit space, candles, and cozy blankets and pillows. Keep games, puzzles, a book of conversation starters and a deck of cards on hand for entertainment other than TV. Mercier also recommends setting up a fish tank. “Being able to watch the fish and hear the soundtrack of the water helps me relax after a long day,” he says. “Plus, the aquarium acts as a live picture that we never tire of.”
Your kitchen should be efficient and tidy. Put away seldom-used small appliances, keep often-used dry items in easy-to-access jars, and purchase pre-cut or pre-washed produce if you know you don’t have a lot of time for meal prep to minimize stress.
Also, consider stocking your pantry like they do in the grocery store: Place the things you want to eat more of at eye level so they are more visible and accessible, and put junk food and treats out of direct sight on higher shelves, Mercier advises.