Spring Cleaning: Organizing home known to help improve mental and physical health

Spring Cleaning: Organizing home known to help improve mental and physical health

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Daffodils are blooming, trees are budding and the grass is greening up. Spring represents a fresh start for many, even more so this year as we slowly emerge from the pandemic. 

An annual rite of this season of renewal is spring cleaning but it’s also a chance to reorganize our surroundings.

On CBS 58 Sunday Morning, Kim Shine met professional organizer Ashley Hines who finds tidying up the surroundings of her clients to be good for home and health. 

“Typically I’m greeted with, ‘you’re gonna make me get rid of everything.’ That’s the first thing people feel.”

But in all honesty, that’s not the Hines' goal.

“I’m like, no, I want you to keep the things that serve you. You have to flip the script and you can see people starting to get it like, ‘I don’t even know why I had that,’” said Hines.

Hines is an organization guru based in Milwaukee.

Since childhood, she’s always preferred order and cleanliness.

And now, she’s the person many turn to when they need help decluttering their lives.

“So I purposely have these items at the kids’ height so that they can access these. These are some of the options that we don’t mind them having whenever they’d like to," said Hines.

Research has shown having too much stuff is both distracting and stressful.

And through her experiences, Hines says clutter can impact a person’s mental health, overall wellness and lead to isolation.

“I would say my clients too have shared, some of them, unwillingness to have people over, and I know it’s COVID now, but even prior to that there could be a sense of embarrassment," said Hines.

But Hines wants to empower her clients and create a lifestyle they can sustain.

She aptly calls her organizational business – Thee Tailored Life.

“And one of the things I’m very mindful of is, it didn’t happen overnight, right? Space is getting overwhelmed, having too much stuff, didn’t happen overnight. We accumulate it. It’s this iterative process. And so, I’m very conscious about going slowly with my clients going at their speed," she explained.

The first step in her process is decluttering.

And this includes putting items into piles – separating what’s serving a purpose and what’s not.

“And I’ll often ask them questions about why they’re keeping things and honestly, just them voicing it, helps them become more confident," said Hines.

Ashley Broadway is one of Hines’ clients.

“So this is one thing I will say we argued about," laughed Broadway as she pointed to a box of greeting cards. "She (Hines) was like ‘you don’t need all of these cards’. ‘But I love my cards!’ So we agreed on one box of so many cards but this was very much condensed down.”

Hines helped Broadway and her husband arrange several spaces in their home – from the laundry room to storage and upstairs.

“So, we all have our own little bins for things that are personally for us. The goal is not to, per Ash, keep things in here long term," said Broadway.

Once her family adjusted to the new routine, she said it’s brought more peace to their home.

“So, for me I have high anxiety so if my house isn’t clean in the first place it just throws my all off so, that’s the first place, so having that organization just helps you keep that feng shui of your home and then it makes you do the same throughout your life," said Broadway.

Hines believes most people don’t realize how much junk they actually have.

“Out of sight, out of mind, right?”

But while functionality is key, she said she’d never ask someone to part ways with something special.

At the end of the day, Hines is there for support.

And as she coaches her clients on organization, she’s helping them regain control over their lives.

“And what many of my clients have told me is they just needed a start, you know? For some folks they just need to know where to begin, they’ve just gotten so overwhelmed and frozen in it. And once they have this system, that is tailored to them, they feel like ‘okay, I can do this’," said Hines.

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