Declutter and refresh your living spaces 

Wellness is not just about diet and exercise. It’s equally important to focus on the places where we spend the most of our time: at home, at work and in our cars. Most of us spend, on average:

  • At least half of our lives inside our homes.
  • Over 1,700 hours per year at work.
  • Nearly an hour per day commuting or running errands in our vehicles.

Having an untidy living space will undoubtedly inhibit our ability to concentrate, causing anxiety and stress. Decluttering these spaces can improve your mood, productivity, creativity and overall well-being, but it can be hard to know where to start. Here’s how you can organize your home, workspace and car.

Home

Clutter that accumulates on surfaces around our home can make rooms feel restricted and contribute to stress. Here are four quick-wins for a more organized home:

  • Make small, maintainable changes by organizing small areas, one at a time.
  • Start by decluttering surfaces you use daily, like counters, couches and tables, to help clear your mind and give you more space to live in.
  • Gather little-used items in a box. After six months, sell or donate anything from the box that you still haven’t used.
  • Go paperless, cut out excess mail by switching to paperless billing with as many service providers as possible.

Decluttering reduces areas where dust mites often gather. Here are some other tips to improve indoor air quality:

  • Set a recurring calendar reminder to change your furnace/AC filter as needed.
  • Keep indoor humidity below 50% to prevent mold and reduce germs. You can monitor your home’s humidity with an inexpensive hygrometer available online or in select stores.
  • Check that your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors are working and not expired.
  • Place indoor plants throughout your home.

Automobile – Keep your car clean

Modern vehicles have compartments, consoles, cup holders and other little nooks to store your things. Too often, these spaces become long-term storage for garbage and odds and ends. Aside from being an eyesore, it can also lead to distracted driving.

  • Keep a small garbage bag accessible for trash.
  • Vacuum seasonally to minimize allergies. Remove salt and gravel from floor mats.
  • Use a cloth and hot water to clean the dashboard and doors, rather than chemical cleaners.
  • Set the air conditioner to use recirculated air (if it doesn’t do so automatically).
  • Avoid air fresheners or deodorizers.
  • If you bought a new car in the last six months, occasionally open the windows, as this is when VOC* levels are highest.
  • Treat your car to detailing every so often.

At work

A cluttered workspace can increase stress on the job. Increase your productivity and help boost morale by keeping a tidy workspace:

  • Only keep items on your desk that you use daily (computer monitor, phone, keyboard, etc.).
  • Keep a recycling bin nearby and clear all unnecessary papers and Post-its off your desk at the end of each day.
  • Bind computer and phone cables neatly with twist ties.
  • Organize papers into file folders by project and keep them in a drawer nearby.
  • Avoid letting dirty dishes or food containers linger in your workspace.
  • Wipe your desk surface, phone, keyboard and monitor with disinfecting wipes weekly
  • Consider ergonomics:
    • Keep your monitor at eye level.
    • Use a keyboard with adjustable angles.
    • Try working at a standing desk or sitting on an exercise ball for part of the day. Or get up and stretch your legs every 45 minutes.

Happy Living

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