Have you noticed how cleaning seems to put you in a better mood?  Well, there's a reason for that.

Mayo Clinic researchers say a messy house could actually be bad for your well-being because clutter can cause your stress levels to rise which negatively impacts your physical and mental health. Yahoo News just published an article that cites multiple studies that show cluttered houses result in elevated levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. The high-stress levels can create some major issues including high blood pressure and heart disease.

So you might want to spend some time throwing stuff out before Christmas and unwrapping more clutter on Christmas. Need help?  HGI of Bismarck offers these tips.

1. Make a Written Plan to Declutter Your Home

Your task will be easier if you create a written plan before you declutter your home. List the rooms in your home from most cluttered to least so you know where to start. Writing down when you’re going to work on these projects adds some accountability to the process. Organizing the most cluttered area first will motivate you to keep going.

2. Set-up Your Decluttering System

After making your plan to declutter your home, your next step is to set up your system. Use four bins, bags, or boxes you have on hand. Each container gets ones of these labels: keep, donate, recycle, or trash.

3. Start Small

Focus on small areas at a time. After you have sorted all the objects in one corner and organized everything you are going to keep, you can move to the next section. You’ll be able to complete small areas and feel a sense of accomplishment when you start crossing projects off your list.

4. Deal with What You’ve Sorted Right Away

Once you’ve finished decluttering for the day and dedicated a place for the things you have decided to keep, deal with the things you are getting rid of right away. Since the goal of decluttering is to remove stuff from your house, make sure you do so as soon as possible. Put donations in your vehicle to take to the appropriate place, place recyclables in the recycling bin, and throw away the trash.

5. Keep Your Home Decluttered

You may need to develop new routines and break old ones to keep your home decluttered. One example is having a routine for mail. You could either deal with mail as soon as you take it out of the box or designate a place to put mail until you can go through it.

Hopefully, decluttering will help you break routines like buying a new item because you can’t find the old one. The most important tip for keeping your home decluttered is to have a spot where everything belongs, and always put each item back after use.