July 28, 2013
Written by Kathryn Russell Selk for ParentMap Magazine
School is looming. The kids are cranky. You know you have to wean the minions from their summer
schedule and somehow keep your cool.
The last thing on your mind is dealing with your own clutter.
But taking a little time now to get your own things more in order may go a long way toward reducing your own anxiety level — and your kids’ stress as well.
Those piles of chick lit stacked next to the bed and the towers of paper you plan to deal with “soon” are not just unsightly, they’re downright unhealthy. A 2012 UCLA study finds that levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, are higher in the saliva of women whose homes were cluttered versus those whose homes were described as “restorative.”
Searching for your keys in the clutter? Researchers at the University of Washington have found a direct link between stress and cognitive problems such as issues with memory.
By Deanna Duff, Special to The Herald
Downsizing comes in many shapes and forms. For some, clutter accumulates in common spots such as the garage or guest bedroom. Sometimes personal transitions require a lifestyle change.
"There are lots of reasons to downsize," said Kammie Lisenby, owner of The Organizing Experts, which provides professional help managing personal and professional spaces in Snohomish and King counties.
"At some point, we all experience transitions. It's the cycle of life. The healthy thing is to also cycle through some of your belongings."
Lisenby encounters many needs: senior citizens needing less space; families moving to smaller, more affordable homes; or health diagnoses that demand better household management.
Life's constant busyness -- careers, working parents, frequent travel -- also requires efficient organization.
"Your environment should be a reflection that uplifts you and becomes a place you want to be," Lisenby said.
For do-it-yourself downsizing, the following tips will help clear the clutter.
Downsize or organize?
Evaluate whether an area contains too many...