Information, Symptoms, Treatments and Resources


Declutter to De-stress


Get organized for a stress-free life


By Brittany Doohan


Being organized helps give you a sense of control. When your house, workstation or even email inbox is chaotic, your brain may interpret the mess as a demand for more energy than you have to give. This can trigger a stress response — which, overtime, can cause a host of health problems, like anxiety, headaches and a suppressed immune system. Here are a four ways you can de-clutter your space — and your mind!

Go paperless. Stacks of unwanted mail, bills and receipts can cause a heap of clutter and stress. Have all your billing statements sent to email, and scan important receipts and save them on your computer.

Make a “to-do” list — and ditch part of it. Prioritize your tasks by writing an A, B or C next to each one, A’s being the most important and C’s being the least. On hectic days, ditch the C’s!  

Set aside time each week to tidy up your surroundings. Setting aside some time, even if it’s just 10 to 20 minutes, to clean your room or your desk, can bring back that sense of control. And a weekly tidy means things don’t get so out of hand that you need an overhaul cleaning session later! 

But, if you do…

Tackle big tasks one step at a time. When your house or office needs a massive cleaning, start by organizing just one room or section of a room — like your desk, kitchen, closet, even just a cupboard or drawer. Schedule time to do one part per day. This way you won’t be so overwhelmed that it doesn’t get done at all.


Published on August 1, 2016.


Brittany is a San Francisco-based health and lifestyle writer and editor.  

Creatas Images/Creatas/ThinkStock
Reviewed by Shira Goldenholz, MD, MPH on June 16, 2016.
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