How Clutter Impacts Your Mental Health (and What to Do About It)

How Clutter Impacts Your Mental Health (and What to Do About It)

Imagine a messy room. Maybe there are dishes stacked in the sink or laundry sitting in the hamper on the bed, waiting to be folded? Or maybe it’s the living room where pillows and blankets are thrown askew. Either way, whatever you’re picturing, it’s probably making you cringe and maybe causing some anxiety. And according to recent data, that’s normal! Clutter not only impacts your physical space but also your mental health. Here’s why and how you can counteract it. 

What Is Clutter?

Clutter impedes your space physically and mentally. It stops you from moving in your body and your mind. Clutter doesn’t mean someone’s home looks like an episode of Hoarders. Clutter also means accumulating more possessions than there is space. And with less space, means the clutter is more noticeable and more damaging to your mental health. 

You can identify clutter in your home by asking yourself a few questions:

  1. Do you own anything that you don’t use or need?
  2. Do you have a “junk drawer/space/area” thinking you think you need, but don’t use?
  3. Do you buy new items to replace the ones you’ve lost in your home?
  4. Are you physically restricted by the clutter (you can’t open a door or park in the garage)?
  5. Are you afraid to have guests over because of the state of your home?

If you answered yes to any of those questions, you have some form of clutter in your home.

And clutter doesn’t just extend to physical objects. Clutter can be digital, too. Think about all the downloads and documents on your computer, your email, and the photos on your phone you keep meaning to go through.

Some reasons we keep clutter in our home (and often without realizing it):

  1. It’s overwhelming to sort through it all so people would rather keep it the same.
  2. Some objects are used to inspire motivation. It’s the reason many people keep clothes that don’t fit anymore. Instead of buying new clothes that do fit, they’d rather keep the old ones with the hope of fitting into them again.
  3. Some items have sentimental meaning. Common examples are keeping souvenirs from trips, clothes or items that have been passed down through the family, or items from childhood that bring up fond memories.
  4. It can be scary to throw things away. When it comes to throwing items away, it’s common to worry about that item being needed in the future, so you should keep it, right?
  5. Clutter can offer comfort. Having a home filled with objects can bring a sense of safety and security. It’s hard to part with items that provide those feelings. 

Why Does Clutter Negatively Impact Your Mental Health?

One study found that clutter may start off harmless as people may want to decorate and personalize their space, but it can quickly turn into clutter. They found that when it’s in excess, “it can threaten to physically and psychologically entrap a person” and it leads to personal distress and feelings of displacement and alienation. 

Psychology Today listed five reasons why clutter negatively impacts your life:

  1. Low subjective well-being 
  2. Unhealthier eating
  3. Poorer mental health
  4. Less efficient visual processing
  5. Less efficient thinking

When you have clutter in your home, you’re more stressed in your home. Your home is supposed to be your sanctuary, but instead, it’s turned into a cortisol-producing space. One study of women found a correlation between the amount of clutter in their home to high levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. 

Clutter takes up physical space that can restrict your movements and also distract you. Clutter on your desk or in your work area is causing your brain to focus on multiple things at once. This causes you to work harder to think more clearly and stay productive. 

Overall, clutter in your home, physically or digitally, is lowering your quality of life. You’re more stressed and experiencing poorer mental health. It’s also a frustrating use of your time if you’re constantly on the search for items lost in the clutter. 

How To Remove Clutter 

We mentioned earlier that it can be overwhelming and scary to throw things away. It’s why it’s important to declutter at your own pace since this process can be an emotional one. For some it’s as simple as throwing away old papers and trash, for others, it’s sorting through sentimental items that can bring up a lot of emotions. It’s important to remember you didn’t acquire all the clutter in one day, so it will take more than one day to remove it all. 

If you’re ready to remove some clutter from your life, here are a few tips.

Create a To-Do List

Creating a to-do list will not only bring satisfaction after completing each task, but it will also help guide you along the way. To-do lists also help to counteract the overwhelming feelings that clutter commonly brings. 

With our planners, you can create a daily, weekly, or monthly list to help keep you motivated. The rule of thumb is to do the hard things first when you have the motivation. Or if you’re needing motivation, do the small easier tasks first so you can cross them off the list. Check out our Notepads & Notebooks!

Schedule in the Time

In order to make a dent in the clutter, you need dedicated time to work on it. This is when your planner comes in handy! Instead of trying to declutter your whole house (again overwhelming!), try scheduling time to work on one room or section at a time. Maybe that’s an hour every day or a deep clean once a week in certain rooms. This can even be fun if you set daily, weekly, or monthly goals of when you want to accomplish it. It can be extra fun if you invite a friend or two to help! 

This is also an important step in maintaining a clutter-free home. Something as easy as 10 minutes a day can make such a difference! Whether that’s scheduling that out daily in your planner or once a week, we have the planners to help make decluttering fun! 

Reduce Your Items

Using your planner you can create lists to reduce the number of items you have. You should have 4 lists:

  1. Items you keep
  2. Items you sell or donate
  3. Items you throw away
  4. Items you’re unsure about and will come back to

Lists can help keep you on track and organized. And with the lined sections we have in our planners, we can help keep you on track! 

Organize the Items

Once you’ve reduced the number of things you have, it’s time to organize them! The items you use consistently on a daily basis should be kept close at hand. And for everything else, there should be a specific place for it so surfaces are clutter-free. You can organize by using boxes or containers to keep like items in the same space. 

If you need help keeping your space and life clutter-free, utilize one of our planners to help schedule the time you need and notebook and notepads to create to-do lists! 

How to Organize Your Side Hustle and Succeed

How to Organize Your Side Hustle and Succeed

If you’re like most people, you have something you’re passionate about. And if you’re motivated by it to make a living from it, you might start small with a side hustle. But running a side hustle is no easy feat, especially if you’re choosing to keep your day job for a reliable income. In this blog, we’ll share some tips about how you can keep your side hustle organized so you can succeed!

What Is a Side Hustle? 

A side hustle is another job people do to make money outside of their day job. This might be a passion people pursue but continue to want the safety their day job provides. Or maybe someone needs extra cash or saving for a rainy day. Side hustles can range from making a couple of extra hundreds of dollars to thousands of dollars a month. The 10 most popular side hustles are: 

  1. Selling products online
  2. Starting a wholesale business
  3. Freelancing
  4. Being an affiliate marketer
  5. Print on demand to sell custom artwork
  6. Run a blog
  7. Sell information products
  8. Be an Instagram Influencer
  9. Work as a virtual assistant
  10. Become a photographer

Whether you choose one of those side hustles or another, we have a few tips for how to keep your side hustler organized. 

Think Long-Term and Prepare for the Long Haul

Your side hustle won’t be successful if you don’t prepare for the long haul by planning long-term. Having a successful side hustle requires determination, persistence, and consistency. A side hustle is an investment not just in your wallet, but also in your time. Side hustles require hours that could be spent with friends and family, so it’s important to stay focused. 

This is where a planner can come in handy. With your planner, you can schedule out time for your side hustle every day, week, and month. The calendar feature will help you think long-term and prepare for the long haul. A yearly planner helps you plan long in advance, which is exactly what you need for a successful side hustle. Scheduling in advance requires less effort and instead reinforced positive triggers and routines to help you stay disciplined. It’s recommended to keep the same schedule so you know when to prepare to work on your side hustle. This can be in the morning before work (which makes it easier to be productive) or in the evening after work. Find what time works best for you and schedule it in your calendar!

Schedule your time for the rest of 2022 and for 2023 with our 2023 planners!

Define Your Goals

When planning out your side hustle, you need to have clearly defined goals. Goals will not only inspire you, but they’re also good metrics. Good clear goals help you measure your progress and success with your side hustle. But to go big, you need to start small. Having small, practical goals that you reach quickly will increase your motivation. Remember SMART goals from school? If not, we’ll remind you!

S - Specific

M - Measurable

A - Achievable

R - Relevant

T - Time-bound

Your handy dandy planner can help you track and keep your goals. With the calendar feature, you can set goals for the whole year. You can even set daily goals to boost your motivation. Some examples of daily goals include:

  • Send X many emails 
  • Write X amount of words
  • Talk to X amount of people 

Buy our Executive Bundle for a Weekly Mousepad, The Perfect Pouch, Make it Happen Notepad, Pen 3-Pack, Page Flags, Post It Notes, and Task Pad! 

Set Milestones To Force You to Succeed

If you’re someone who needs pressure in order to get things done, then this tip is for you! A good side hustle needs a plan, but the planning shouldn’t take all the time. You need to have a plan that will force you to launch. You don’t want to waste time and money by continuing to keep tweaking your plan to prevent you from launching. 

To avoid getting stuck in a constant editing cycle, set goals and milestones to guide you from start to finish. Sticking to your milestones will help your side hustle succeed while keeping your motivation high. Other ways to help you launch your side hustle is to tell friends and family to help keep you accountable. Your planner can also work in coordination to help keep you accountable. Like the calendar feature we’ve mentioned so many times, it’s great for tracking your goals and holding you accountable. 

2022-23 Paper Planner

Our 2022-2023 Paper Planes Planner Bundle will keep you accountable for the rest of the year and through 2023! The planner starts on July 1st, 2022 and goes until June 30th, 2023. The bundle also includes 3pack of pens, white jolts and jolts notebook, and balck magnetic bookmark. 

Delegate Work Not in Your Skillset

In order to truly succeed in any aspect of life, you need to know your strengths and weaknesses. Knowing your strengths means you can specialize in them and monetize them. Meanwhile, your weaknesses or things you don’t have time for like administrative work, should be outsourced. It will save you time and money since you’re not doing everything yourself. Outsourcing will let you use your time to focus on what you are good at, and get better at it. 

Utilizing your planner will help you keep in touch with your outsourcing partners. Your planner has a notes section that you can dedicate to keeping track of your contacts. Buy your planner today!

Don’t Lose Your Day Job

A side hustle is a side hustle because you still have your safe and reliable day job from 9 am to 5 pm. Until you have success with your side hustle and a consistent stream of customers, don’t leave your day job yet. Working on your side hustle is exciting and might take some hours away from your day job. But it’s important to maintain your integrity while still working your day job. This means not using company time to work on your side hustle or using company resources. Also don’t compromise your quality of work at your day job, causing you to get fired. 

Your planner can help you keep track of your day job and side hustle. From to-do lists to scheduling time in the day and setting goals for each job. If you’re the ultimate planner, it could be beneficial to have two planners: one for your day job and one for your side hustle. This way you can keep both jobs separate and it can be easier to manage. 

At Paper & Plan Co.,  we value personal accountability, having fun and thinking big, and promoting a culture of innovation and continuous improvement. We pride ourselves in creating products to help our customers live out those goals too. Buy your planner today to start your side hustle! 

8 Unique Ways to Use Your Planner

8 Unique Ways to Use Your Planner

A planner is more than just for housing and organizing your events, activities, and to-do lists. It can also be used in fun creative ways to add more value and organization to your life! Check out our favorite unique ways to utilize your Paper & Plan Co. planner!