Spring cleaning season has begun! Just as clutter and messiness can trigger anxious feelings and even depression, clearing your space helps clear your mind, and gives you a mental boost in the process. Experts say that cleaning and organizing is likely to have benefits beyond tidier homes, with improved mental health topping the list.

Here’s how to make the most of spring cleaning:

1. Give yourself a goal and start small. Tackling one area, say a junk closet or a drawer, and moving slowly through your space will help you to finish something and appreciate what you accomplished, rather than do an entire day of decluttering and getting burnt out.

2. Make a plan and stick to it. When you’re organizing your home, prioritizing and setting aside time to actually perform the tasks are imperative parts of the process. These things take time, and if you don’t actually dedicate the time it takes (even 30 minutes to clear out your car or tidy up your laundry room!), you aren’t allowing yourself to succeed in checking that task off your list.

3. Part with items that no longer serve you. Letting go of excess is an essential step in actually decluttering your home. Organizing and making space for your things is one part; but getting rid of the items that are no longer useful or are just taking up space can bring you more clarity than you think. And the majority of people who get rid of stuff don’t regret it or wish for it back — they simply enjoy the freedom of letting go.

4. Get out the labelmaker. Getting organized and staying organized are two different things. Storing seasonal items and things you don’t use daily can be helpful — but if you don’t remember where you put them, the satisfaction of being organized will be short-lived.

The time and effort required to clean up and organize may be difficult at first, but a chronically cluttered home environment can be emotionally exhausting, whereas a clean, tidy home can bring with it a sense of calm and peace. And with that peace can come a welcomed mental health boost!

Give yourself a mental health boost by decluttering