Decluttering, Tips and tricks, Wellbeing

The Mental Health Benefits of Decluttering

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Did you know that clutter and mental health are closely linked? When clutter begins to interfere with your everyday life and you experience feelings of dread, anxiety and heightened stress due to the junk in your home, it might be time to take a step back and evaluate how your cluttered home is impacting your mental health. 

aesthetic living room cosy chair in tidy house benefits of decluttering

When clutter takes over, the sense of overwhelm that comes with it can be incredibly debilitating. This is when decluttering comes in. 

Whether your bedroom is piled high with clothes and knick-knacks, or the cupboard under the stairs is fit to burst with items you can’t even recall, by taking control of the clutter in your home, you can lead a happier and healthier lifestyle and revel in lower levels of anxiety and stress. Does this resonate with you? Read on to discover more about the mental health benefits of decluttering - and how you can get started.

How can Decluttering Improve my Mental Health and Well Being?

happy woman on bed drinking hot drink coffee tea

There have been multiple studies that confirm that decluttering our homes can greatly reduce the stress that is created by masses of junk and mess. And stripping our homes of this clutter can improve our mood, reduce anxiety and make us happier. 

The joy that comes with having a well-organised and clean living space should never be underestimated, especially when it comes to the mental health benefits!  If you choose to declutter your home, it won’t just benefit aesthetically, but mentally and physically too. Consider the following mental benefits.

(i) Anxiety Relief

One of the most common mental health conditions that many of us deal with throughout our daily lives is anxiety and sadly, clutter often exacerbates this issue. Interestingly, decluttering has a way of banishing those feelings of stress, anxiety and worry. Allowing you to feel more relaxed in your home keeping those anxiety levels low.

(ii) Improved Mood

Clutter at home brings down your mood. It makes us miserable, stressed and generally unhappy. By choosing to declutter thoroughly and regularly, you can enjoy an improved mood as you’re less stressed, tired and overwhelmed. Additionally, when we sort through junk and become more organised, we can find this process cathartic, enjoy physical health benefits and enjoy a sense of pride and accomplishment, which in turn makes us happier.   

(iii) Better Focus

When our minds are no longer focused on the clutter we have sitting in corners, piled high on cabinets or stuffed into drawers, we can focus on other important things. Reduced productivity can lead to other issues in other areas of your life. But by decluttering your home, you make more room to focus your attention elsewhere, which means those goals you’ve been struggling to focus on will now be front and centre in your mind. And this doesn’t only apply to you - but also to children, and/or other people living with you, creating a better living environment.

(iv) You’ll Sleep Better

Our bedrooms are usually one of the worst places for clutter at home. Whether that’s clothes spilling out of your closet, junk on every surface and piles of clutter on the floor, clutter makes getting a good night’s sleep, incredibly difficult. Sleeping with all that junk around you does not make for a peaceful and relaxing space to unwind and recharge. By decluttering your bedroom, you can improve the quality of your sleep and in turn, improve your general health!  

Clutter doesn’t just occupy the house in which you live it occupies your mind”

Avina Celeste

How Does Clutter Impact Our Mental Health?

woman tidying home plumping cushions

When we consider the physical impact that clutter has, we understand that it takes up excessive amounts of space, is intrusive, makes straightforward tasks incredibly difficult to navigate and prevents us from leading normal lives. Interestingly, the impact that clutter has on our mental well being is almost exactly the same. 

Recognising that there is excessive amounts of clutter in your home and its impact on you mentally, is a positive step towards freedom from junk and improving your mental well-being. Consider these common repercussions from too much clutter and ask yourself if these sound familiar:

(i) Increased Stress Levels

Do you feel constantly stressed? Increased levels of stress and clutter go hand in hand. Our homes are supposed to be places where we can relax and unwind, but if you’re coming home to a house where all the surfaces are covered in junk, where locating one specific item is a nightmare and where chaos reigns supreme, it’s hardly surprising that your levels of cortisol will be through the roof.  

(ii) High Levels of Anxiety

Clutter makes even the easiest of tasks seem like hard work. Whether you’re inviting someone over, trying to get the kids ready for school or you’re trying to cook a meal surrounded by items that don’t belong. Anxiety and clutter feed off one another, creating a toxic living environment that is unpleasant to live in.

(iii) Relationship Issues

When your house is in chaos and it’s taking its toll on you mentally as a result, it can put a strain on the relationships in your home. When another family member is constantly frustrated with the state of your home, you’re struggling to parent without losing your cool or you don't feel comfortable inviting friends over, it's important to understand that it is clutter that creates negative emotions that are often inflicted on the ones you love the most.  

(iv) Finally Let Go

One of the main reasons that are homes become overwhelmed with clutter, is the way we associate certain objects with memories and emotions. Unfortunately, these seemingly healthy habits are anything but. It’s these affiliations that make it difficult to let go and throw things away, which leads to clutter. By choosing to declutter your home, you can finally let go of the past, release some of that emotional weight that’s been weighing on your mind and benefit from a higher self esteem.

Decluttering Tips

Do you want to declutter your home and your mind? To reap the mental benefits of decluttering, it’s important to make a start as soon as possible. However, having the right approach to creating a clean and tidy home is key to your success, so consider these helpful decluttering tips to get you started.

  • Make A Plan: While going all-in is commendable, it won’t take long for you to become fatigued with the process and frustrated at your lack of progress. When it comes to decluttering your home and getting rid of unwanted items, making a plan to approach one room at a time is always the best option

  • Have A Sorting System: Sorting your items and recognising which of them can be kept, thrown away or donated/sold can help streamline the decluttering

  • Get Someone to Help You: Having another person or family members support you through this decluttering process can be cathartic and make you more efficient. Additionally, if you feel overwhelmed then having someone to support you can help you feel calmer as well as keep control of those messy environments

  • Don’t Put Things Down, Put Them Away: Get into the habit of when you pick something up, or take something out, you put it back in its place, rather than leaving it somewhere else and causing more clutter. Putting things away is easy when you get into the habit

  • Aim to Evaluate Your Home Every Month: To support your mental wellbeing, consider evaluating the clutter in your home every month and set time aside to keep on top of this task. Create a to do list of the areas you need to tackle

Consider Your Mental Health And Declutter Your Home

Life could be a little less stressful and a lot more enjoyable when you start controlling clutter. Remember to start small and have a plan before you begin - you don’t have to spend hours struggling through a seemingly overwhelming task. Consider the mental health benefits of decluttering as a strong motivation to start your decluttering journey today.

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