Spring cleaning boosts brain

When the daffodils and tulips start to poke their way through the soft spring earth, all we want to do

When the daffodils and tulips start to poke their way through the soft spring earth, all we want to do as Canadians is GET OUTSIDE! But not so fast: it may be best to spend a bit more time indoors getting your house in order.

According to the New England Hoarding Consortium (NEHC)—a group of clinicians and researchers at the Institute of Living in Connecticut, Smith College in Massachusetts and Boston University —a cluttered home not only looks bad, it may hurt your mental health.

David Tolin, PhD, is principal investigator of the ongoing NEHC study called “Neural Mechanisms of Compulsive Hoarding,” in which people are put into an MRI scanner so their brain activity can be observed. While in the scanner, participants are asked to make the decision to discard possessions such as junk mail. Hoarders were reportedly found to have increased activity in the orbitofrontal cortex, a section of the brain involved with cognitive processes such as decision-making. Their brains showed signs of stress and impairment.

So, before you come out of hibernation, start by decluttering your home in order to declutter your brain. (We’ve got tips to get you started, as well as a quiz to ascertain your clutterbug status.)

I know what I’m doing next weekend…

What about you? Have you already started (or finished!) your spring cleaning?

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