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Making Space for a Healthy Home

We often have a large amount of clutter in our homes, and that can elevate our stress levels. A 10-year study, Life at Home in the Twenty-First Centuryby Jeanne E. Arnold, Anthony P. Graesch, Enzo Ragazzini and Elinor Ochs, a team of social scientists, has demonstrated that clutter in homes increases women’s stress hormone levels. 


Sometimes, just sitting down to work through a pile of papers or a mound of T-shirts feels stressful because we don’t realize how emotionally attached we have become to the items in our home. In evaluating the worthiness of objects ranging from refrigerator magnets to bottles of unused hair products, we aren’t just decluttering; we are confronting psychological aspects of our personality. 


There are a variety of helpful decluttering concepts, but the most effective ones create an intentional, thoughtful process that provides motivation and reinforces our purpose when we feel the subconscious burden of our possessions 


The first step is to explore what we want our home to look like. It is helpful to share the same goal with others in the home to create a space that brings joy to every occupant of the space 


Secondly, choose what to keep. When our decluttering process is focused on what we want in life, it’s easier to see what we will gain when we are done sorting through our stuff. After clear goals and intentions have been set, remember to be patient. It took time to gather all these things; we should let them go with patience and gratitude for the pleasure they once brought. 



Yuriko Beaman, MS, is the owner of Joy & Space, LLC and a certified KonMari consultant and yoga teacher located in Reading. For more information, email her at or visit 

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