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How does clutter in your home make you feel?
When clutter starts to gather in my home, I begin to feel agitated. My mind feels scattered and I can feel stress and anxiety start to creep in. Is it the same for you?
The way we feel about our living space has a big impact on our state of mind, so I guess it’s no big surprise that when our home feels cluttered and chaotic we feel the same.
Decluttering is a positive, actionable step we can take toward improving our well-being.
Below I’ve listed 7 reasons to declutter your home – and every one of them will improve your wellbeing, not just your home.
But, first things first…
What exactly IS clutter?
Clutter is anything that is no longer useful in your life.
It’s the things that are
- worn out
- don’t fit
- aren’t used
- no longer loved
- aren’t played with, or
- don’t suit your lifestyle anymore
Decluttering is different from tidying. When you tidy, you put things away that are out of place. When you declutter you remove things from your house, and from your life.
Tidying is still important in creating a calm and organized home. But decluttering is the first, and most important, step. Because you can’t tidy or organize effectively when your living space is cluttered.
7 Reasons to declutter your home
1. You’ll reduce your stress and anxiety
A study from UCLA’s Center on Everyday Lives of Families (CELF) found that
“Managing the volume of possessions was such a crushing problem in many homes that it actually elevated levels of stress hormones for mothers.”
As Barbara Hemphill of the Productive Environment Institute states “clutter is postponed decisions”. All those piles and all that stuff can make you feel stressed or anxious because you know subconsciously that you’ll need to deal with it eventually.
More and more studies are showing that a clean, organized living space is an important factor in our wellbeing. Clearing clutter from our homes is an important step towards creating that clean organized space.
There’s no doubt about it – once you deal with your clutter you’ll feel more relaxed and in control.
Decluttering will also help relieve the negative emotions you might feel about your clutter such as guilt and embarrassment. Feelings that prevent you from living the life you want to live.
Perhaps you want to have family and friends to stay, or entertain more? But clutter makes you feel uncomfortable inviting people over or you feel overwhelmed at what’s involved in getting your house ready for guests.
Decluttering will help relieve the stress and anxiety around those negative emotions, and help you move intentionally toward the life you want.
2. You’ll boost your mood
The feeling of lightness you’ll get from removing the things your life that are no longer serving you is wonderful.
Not to mention the feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment of setting and achieving a cluster-busting goal.
Progress, any progress, big or small, toward the life you want, is a great mood booster.
3. You’ll save time & energy
Managing your clutter day-to-day takes time and energy. You have to store it, move it, dust it, and clean it.
Then there’s all that time spent trying to find things. How frustrating is it when you know that thing is somewhere, but you just can’t lay your hands on it!
Once you’ve decluttered, and everything is in its place, you’ll be able to find what you are looking for so much more quickly and easily. And you’ll be less likely to lose things.
You’ll also be able to make quicker and easier decisions. You’ll save time in the morning getting dressed because you can see all the clothes in your closest – and you know everything fits you and makes you feel good wearing it.
4. You’ll save money
When your home is cluttered, and you can’t find the things you need, you end up having to replace them. This costs you in both time (having to source and purchase new items) and of course money.
When you live in an uncluttered space, you’ll find yourself thinking carefully about what you buy and what you bring into your home. You’ll love your uncluttered space so much you’ll be more mindful about making purchases, which is great for your bank balance.
5. You’ll be more productive & creative
Distraction is one of the biggest obstacles to being productive. And clutter is a visual form of distraction. It draws your attention away from what you really should be focusing on. It impacts on your ability to make decisions, and it makes it harder to focus and process information.
The more things you can see in your field of vision, the harder you’ll find it to concentrate on what’s in front of you.
When you feel more in control of your surroundings you’ll feel calmer and more confident, and you won’t be tempted to procrastinate by tidying.
So if you want to get more done and be more productive in your day, get rid of clutter.
The calmness and focus that comes from a decluttered space will also help boost your creativity. Freeing your mind from the distraction and stress of clutter gives you both the time and mental energy to be creative.
And it’s not just you – kids benefit from having a decluttered space too. Having fewer toys helps children be more creative.
An uncluttered space helps children develop their imagination, cultivate longer attention plans, and be more resourceful. Check out this article from Joshua Becker at Becoming Minimalist for more information on why fewer toys will benefit your kids.
6. You’ll sleep better
Studies show that removing the visual distraction of clutter to create a calm, uncluttered bedroom will help you sleep better.
Not only that, it’s clear that when you live in an uncluttered environment you’ll feel calmer, and one of the great benefits of feeling less stressed or anxious, is better sleep.
7. You’ll live more intentionally
Decluttering will help you live more intentionally.
When you have a decluttered home, you can live a more intentional life. You can spend your time, energy, money and focus on the things that are important to you.
You’ll create the space in your life to live the life you want to live.
Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful – William Morris