As soon as the clocks move forward in the middle of March, the Lemon Verbena scent of Mrs. Meyer’s household products permeates the air! All across the country, busy homemakers declare that Spring Cleaning has officially begun!
I’m originally from a tropical climate, and experiencing seasons is still relatively new for me. This yearly undertaking, timed with the birth of life after the chill of winter, has quickly become one of my favorite American rituals. The annual tradition of purging, heavy duty cleaning and decluttering of our homes and workspaces appeals to me- an organizing junkie!
I love tidying up! It’s exhausting work - don’t get me wrong. But when the cleaning and sorting is complete, it’s the thrill of seeing the “before and after” transformations that truly motivates me. There is a healing power in realizing the fruits of your labor. Actually, the process of sorting and arranging has the potential to be meditative. Living in a well- ordered environment can yield significant health benefits including a change in brain chemistry for the better. Take a look:
A study conducted by researchers at the Princeton University Neuroscience Institute relates directly to uncluttered and organized living. Their report “Interactions of Top-Down and Bottom-Up Mechanisms in Human Visual Cortex”, states:
Multiple stimuli present in the visual field at the same time compete for neural representation by mutually suppressing their evoked activity throughout visual cortex, providing a neural correlate for the limited processing capacity of the visual system.
Erin Doland, author of Never Too Busy to Cure Clutter, paraphrased:
“When your environment is cluttered, the chaos restricts your ability to focus. The clutter also limits your brain’s ability to process information. Clutter makes you distracted and unable to process information as well as you do in an uncluttered, organized, and serene environment.” 2