Spring Cleaning: Reduce Stress and Increase Creativity

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Spring cleaning and decluttering your house always makes a body feel good, but what about your brain? If you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed try a few of these simple steps to free up some brain space and your creativity will flourish!

1. Create a Work Uniform That Works for You.

How ironic that the king of fashion, Giorgio Armani, wears the same thing every day – black trousers and a black cashmere t-shirt. Why? He says it frees up his brain space to think about his new fashion designs! He’s not the only famous person to wear a work uniform. Steve Jobs bought one hundred Issey Miyake black turtlenecks so he’d have enough to last a lifetime! (And here I thought I was going a bit crazy when I bought two of the same comfy black velvet flares).

If something really looks good, feels good and is a classic, why not make it your uniform? Not only will you save countless hours on shopping for clothes, but you’ll free up your brain for more creative thought. Every decision we make tires out our brain. So the more you automate mundane decisions, the more brain space you’ll have and the less stress. If we extended the life of our clothes from one year to two, we’d reduce the fashion industries CO2 emissions by 24%! Yet another reason to wear the same outfit as many times as you possibly can. 

2. Designate a Screen-Free Sunday.

We need to break the screen habit. Having a screen-free day makes it easy to cut down on your screen time. You’ll be forced to come up with alternative activities that are much more likely to be fulfilling and rewarding than scrolling through emails and social media. You might find that being present and undistracted improves your ability to communicate with your family and that your stress goes down instantly. 

3. Create Visual Clarity.

Start your spring cleaning by decluttering the area in your house that has the biggest visual impact. I discovered that the fridge gets instantly cluttered with all sorts of magnets and papers that no one actually looks at. So, what’s the point? If the fridge is free of papers, then the whole kitchen looks tidier and cleaner instantly. A three minute task with huge impact! Remove the magnets so people can’t stick stuff on the fridge.

The same goes for the bed. If you don’t make the bed, the whole room looks messy, even if it is tidy. If you spend three minutes making the bed, your room will look and feel tidier instantly. Big impact, little time.

Which room in your house tends to become cluttered the quickest? If paperwork ends up in the kitchen, then get a magazine file to corral the paperwork or consider setting up a desk or mini office space for handling bills and papers. One easy way to spot the clutter hotspots is to snap photos of your rooms. For some reason, it is easier to see the clutter in a photo. Aim for visual clarity, and you’ll get brain clarity, too! 

4. Give Your Brain a Break.

There are two halves to our brains. The right brain is your creative brain and the left brain is the more analytical, logical brain. If you are wrestling with a problem and trying to logic your way to an answer, it often works best if you stop and take a break. Go take a walk or a shower or play with the kids or dog. This gives a chance for your creative brain to work its magic.

I was once trying to work through a computer issue with my computer genius friend and neither of us was having any luck. Eventually I said, “Enough! Let’s go to a movie.” And so we took in an afternoon matinee. In the middle of the film, he nudged me and said he had the answer. We came back to the computer, and sure enough, it worked!

Sometimes, if you are super stressed or have a high-pressure job, you might need a longer break. A weekend away might not be enough. You might need to take a sabbatical in order to prevent burnout and come back refreshed and reinvigorated with a new perspective. 


Are you ready to embark on more spring cleaning? Read more on clearing clutter here.

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