Sure, getting rid of clutter is a great way to make your home feel fresh and give you a sense of accomplishment. But, it’s more than that. Those piles and closets full of junk aren’t doing good things to your mental health, either. It’s overwhelming and affects you more than you really even know. The thing is, it can be difficult to know exactly how and where to begin.

If clearing clutter from your home is on your spring cleaning checklist, but you’re having trouble getting started, these reasons are sure to motivate you.

1. You’ll have more free time.

A space that’s free of clutter makes it easier to find things and easier to clean. You’ll stop wasting time looking for lost things and cleaning will become surprisingly efficient. You’ll be shocked by how much extra time you have to enjoy.

2. You’ll feel less stressed.

Researchers found a link between stress hormones and a high density of household objects. In other words, having an overcrowded home is connected to increased anxiety levels. Clearing some stuff from your house can clear some space in your mind, resulting in a peaceful and serene environment where you can finally relax.

3. It improves your home value.

If you’re considering putting your house on the market, decluttering is a no-cost way of increasing it’s value. A clutter-free home looks fresh, airy and inviting, which helps to boost your asking price.

4. You’ll be more productive.

In a nutshell, clutter competes for your attention, making it harder to focus, harder to sleep and harder to relax. Decluttering has also been found to stimulate creativity and sharpen your mind. Productivity is at its highest when you feel creative and sharp.

5. It purifies the air around you.

The more clutter in your home, the more dust there is collecting on that clutter. That dust is affecting the air quality in your home, so getting rid of clutter this spring could actually help purify the air you breathe on a daily basis.

So, you have your motivation for decluttering, now what? First things first, you need to decide exactly what is worth keeping around, what’s worth storing away and what you should let go of once and for all.

Key Questions to Ask Yourself Before Putting Something in Storage

Storage areas everywhere, whether in a basement, attic, shed or rented unit, tend to be filled with unnecessary things. You probably throw in items without really thinking them through, creating more clutter and making it impossible to find anything ever again. Instead of immediately putting that unused exercise machine or old tablecloth in storage, stop and ask yourself these questions.

  • Is it necessary?

While it seems like a simple question, this tends to be the hardest one for most people to answer. If you have a similar item, do you really need another? Will you actually use it again? If you’re making an effort to cut back on clutter, you have to be honest with yourself about what is important to you.

  • Do you like it?

Just because you have saved that old tablecloth year after year doesn’t mean you must keep doing so. If you hate it and know it’s never actually going on a table in your home, ditch it. Tastes evolve and trends come and go. Really take the time to look at each item you consider storing and decide whether you like it enough to keep it around.

  • What shape is it in?

Don’t let your storage space become a graveyard of broken items. This happens all too often. Something breaks, or rips, or stains, and you tell yourself you’ll fix it one day. But, then one day gets pushed further and further into the future and the pile of broken things keeps growing. Here’s the thing: if you don’t care enough to fix it ASAP, it’s not worth keeping.

  • Is it yours?

If you’re storing something for someone else, like a friend or a child, set a limit and give it back so you can free up the space for your own stuff.

  • Why are you saving it?

This question goes along with “Is it necessary?” When you begin storing things away, ask yourself why you want to save it. Is it for your future grandchildren? Is it because you know you’ll use it again in a year or two? Make sure there’s a legitimate reason you’re keeping something before taking up the space in your storage place. Oh, and LABEL EVERYTHING so that you can find it when you need it again.

Spring cleaning is more than just dusting your home and hiring someone to clean your windows. It’s the perfect chance to clear the clutter and live a better life. There are so many reasons to declutter, from improving your health to improving your home value. Why not get started today?