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The Pot of Gold Under the Rainbow: Spring Cleaning and Wellbeing

Julie Muggli, MA

Now that the weather is beginning to get warmer and the days are getting longer it is a good time to start spring cleaning. According to the article “Home and the extended-self: Exploring associations between clutter and wellbeing” there is a connection between physical and mental health and the amount of clutter and decluttering habits (Rogers & Hart, 2021). When we look around the places we live at the clutter that has been accumulating over the winter months like neglected piles of paper, tables or counters that have become catchalls for various items and other areas in the home like closets, basements and storage rooms that have become overwhelmed with clutter it might seem like at unmanageable task that you don’t even feel like starting. Clutter can reduce the amount of satisfaction we feel in our homes and our lives. People think of the places they live as an environment where rest and comfort are provided. Clutter can reduce those feelings and make homes a source of stress.

               Starting to get your house to be a place where you can find comfort and rest begins with organizing and finding a place for items in your home that have found their way to countertops, closets or rooms where they don’t belong and reducing the amount of clutter. A first step in accomplishing this is to make a list. Start with a list of everything that needs to be cleaned in the home. Write out the cleaning tasks in order of priority. Next, break the list into smaller, manageable pieces that can be done over a set amount of time. If the entire basement needs to be cleaned and organized, make a list of each separate area to be cleaned one at a time. If the goal is to clean a large space in a few hours that might make it overwhelming to even get started. If the goal is to start cleaning three or four smaller areas over a weekend it becomes a list of manageable tasks.

               Susan Krauss Whitbourne Ph. D. suggests that clutter reduces the feeling that our homes are a place of pride and retreat from the outside world and that clutter results in poorer mental health (Whitbourne, 2017). A clean and organized home is beneficial for mental and physical health. When the clutter is put in its proper place and unnecessary items have been removed the gold under the rainbow will be a home where you can find comfort and rest.

References

Rogers, C. J., & Hart, R. (2021, February). Home and the extended-self: Exploring associations between clutter and wellbeing. Journal of Environmental Psychology, Volume 73. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvp.2021.101553

Whitbourne, S. K. (2017, May 13). 5 Reasons Why Clutter Disrupts Mental Health. Psychology Today. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/fulfillment-any-age/201705/5-reasons-why-clutter-disrupts-mental-health

I am currently a Master’s degree Intern from the Crown College counseling program and have  completed my Bachelor of Science in Psychology from St. Cloud State University. I am most influenced by mindfulness-based interventions and believe in utilizing an integrative approach to therapy, combining different therapeutic approaches to meet the unique needs of each client. I work from a collaborative approach assisting and supporting clients. I believe that the therapy process should help guide people to an increase self-awareness, gain new perspectives, decrease symptoms, and increase personal strengths. I enjoy helping people who seek counseling to have more meaningful experiences in life. My interests include working with adolescents  and adults age 15 and older who are experiencing:

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