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    Spring cleaning: Declutter your home, declutter your mind

With the arrival of spring comes spring cleaning. While decluttering your home may seem like an overwhelming task, it can significantly declutter your mind. According to a survey by the American Cleaning Institute, 72 percent of households spring clean every year.

“Spring is a great time to start fresh in your home and mentally,” says Heidi Stenerson, Mayo Clinic Health System nurse practitioner. “Creating a schedule of where and when you’ll clean can make staying on track much easier.”

Stenerson says spring cleaning can:

  • Improve mood and decrease stress.
    A study in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin found that women who felt their homes were restful and restorative had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol than women who described their homes as cluttered or full of unfinished projects. These women were more depressed and fatigued.
  • Foster creativity.
    It’s distracting trying to work in a space that’s unorganized and full of clutter. It can take your mind away from the task at hand. “When you clean up your work space, you’re able to focus better on what you have in front of you instead of what’s going on all around you,” explains Stenerson.
  • Provide a sense of accomplishment.
    When you are busy with work, family and friends, finding time to clean can be the biggest challenge. Taking as little as 10 minutes every day to tackle an area of a room will help you stay organized and lessen your to-do list.
  • Cleaning up your environment can provide physical benefits, as well. Once you have the cleaning under control, you may find yourself motivated to live a healthier lifestyle. “A clean environment can encourage healthy eating,” says Stenerson. “It can also provide you with more time for physical activity because you won’t be wasting time looking for items you’ve misplaced.”

“You don’t have to flawlessly polish your home to feel the effects of spring cleaning,” adds Stenerson. “It’s best to find the environment that you’re most comfortable in.”