Read about why decluttering is important when it comes to your overall happiness and well-being.
From TV programmes to films, blogs, vlogs and podcasts, it feels like we are constantly being told to declutter. Declutter for joy, declutter for a better aesthetic, declutter for more space, declutter to save money – the benefits are supposed to be endless. But how much does decluttering really benefit your mental health? Does it really matter if your home is cluttered or not?
Let’s take a closer look: What Exactly Is Decluttering?
Decluttering generally means removing what we have in the house that we don’t need. However, it actually runs a lot deeper than that. Decluttering is just one part of a bigger movement that is anti-consumerist, a movement that is by rights made to be environmentally friendly, stripped back and better for your overall wellbeing. A minimalist life takes away the focus on the ‘stuff’ and instead puts a focus on the people in your life, the things you love to do, the things that make you healthier overall. So, by rights, decluttering in itself as part of a minimalist perspective means doing better by your mental health and overall wellness. This is important to think about if you would like deeper reasons to not only declutter, but to work towards a life of less stuff and more living.
Why Is Decluttering Good For Our Mental Health?
As well as the principles of decluttering and its link to minimalism as a whole, the act of decluttering itself has multiple benefits. If you need a bit of a push to get some decluttering done, checkout these reasons that decluttering is good for your mental health:
Letting Go Of What We Have & What We Think Matters
Decluttering certainly helps us learn to let things go. This is important because we can put emotions into things, and that can be a real issue when you then can’t let go of anything because even rubbish ends up having some sort of meaning.
For your mental health, this regular cleansing and recognition that there is more to life than ‘stuff’ is so important. Moving forward, this acknowledgement will actually save you money, time and space. If you really let go of the idea that belongings mean anything more than their practical purpose (apart from very, very sentimental pieces) then you won’t yearn for an endless influx of more and more things. You won’t desire more clutter.
You Will Have Better Focus Overall
Clutter makes it hard to be organised and find what you need which can be quite stressful. Additionally, it can be really hard to concentrate when you are surrounded by lots of different things. Every item can suggest memories, or encourage you to think about things other than what you are trying to focus on. They say a tidy home is a tidy mind and it’s true – the more stuff around you, the less able you are to focus.
By putting unwanted things into a budget self storage unit, or selling them, you can focus better at home because you’ll have less distractions and your home will be more organised because of extra storage in the house opening up, as other items are placed into self storage.
You Can Feel Better About Yourself
Those who have a messy house may be less likely to have people around because they feel ashamed of their home. You might feel so ashamed you don’t have the curtains open, or let somebody in off the doorstep even just to wait for you before you go out together. You might get anxiety about somebody having to come around if there is an emergency, and worry about people being able to see in and discover your ‘secret’.
Even beyond that, having a messy home can affect your self esteem overall, especially if you find your clothes are crinkled or smell sour, Perhaps you find it hard to maintain your image outside of the house because of all the clutter, and you’re not fully able to express yourself and present yourself in the way you want to. Improving how your home looks and feels can boost your self pride, self esteem and your overall self-presentation and confidence.
Tidiness Creates Stronger Relationships
It can be tricky not to argue when a home environment is really messy and chaotic. This is especially true if one person is more messy than another. By keeping a home more tidy you have a better relationship overall. You can also be more social and have your friends and family around more often, helping to prevent loneliness, something 33% of people experience worldwide.
More Space Means Better Family Time
When you have more space in your home, and less clutter, there is more room to play and have fun as a family. A picnic on the living room floor, or a weekend camp out in the dining room – the possibilities are endless. As the guys from Step Brothers put it when they attempted to turn their beds into bunk beds – “there’s so much room for activities!”.
Avoiding A House Move
Many people strive for more space because they think that their home is not big enough for the way they want to use it. Decluttering is an amazing way to create more space so that you don’t have to move house. If you love your home and the only thing making you want to move is space, creating more space within that home is an amazing way to avoid the stress and heartbreak of moving house.
The Therapy Of Letting Go
Sometimes we hang onto things because we have an emotional attachment. There is nothing wrong with sentimentality, but occasionally we hang on to items rather than deal with the emotions they relate to. For example: a bag of clothes from a passed loved one can just sit in the wardrobe never being loved, or touched. You can turn those items into a teddy you can cuddle and display, clearing space in the wardrobe and repurposing those meaningful items.
Maybe you have clothes you used to wear at a different weight and you find it hard to sort them out because you feel upset about what was. Selling them on is incredibly therapeutic, and helps you to love who you are now, rather than hanging on to the way your body was. There is therapy in letting go of items. Keep some, of course, but don’t hold onto everything because you’re too afraid to feel the feelings. Keep items with purpose, and everything else, move on to new loving homes where they will have a new use, and be loved by someone else.
A Decluttered Home Is A Healthier Home
A decluttered home is a healthier home because it is easier to clean and you are less likely to suffer a trip or a fall. Those with allergies will benefit greatly as it is easier to vacuum and remove dust and debris when you have less clutter. If you’re at any increased risk of falling, it’s also incredibly important for you to have less clutter as a fall could be incredibly serious for you.
Lastly, when you use London storage to declutter, the feeling of safety and better physical wellbeing can only contribute to better mental health overall.
The Way You Work As A Human
Various studies and clinical psychologists suggest that as humans we do work better in a more predictable environment. A chaotic environment can be really chaotic in the brain, which can lead to us feeling more anxious and less able to relax and focus in our home environment.
A clean environment may not be the key to curing a deep depression, or terrible anxiety disorder. However, it can give you a more comfortable environment to recover in. At the very least, it’s a much more calm and organised space to be in, which is especially important if you work from home.
How To Declutter
Realistically, there’s a lot to say decluttering is a good idea. It may not have all the benefits that it is claimed to have, at least not for every individual. However, it could have specific benefits for you that are worth the effort you put in. The easiest way to find out how decluttering can help you is to go to your shed, affordable self storage unit or spare room and give it a go.
Be ruthless, chuck out or sell what you don’t need, and organise the rest. In the end, does your home, shed, or cheap self storage unit feel different? Does it feel better? Notice how it feels in the future, if it is more functional to you, or more calm. Over time you’ll see exactly how decluttering has affected you, and whether or not it really is worth all the hype. You really have nothing to lose by trying.
Declutter, It Might Just Help
Decluttering is not going to solve every problem any person has (unless your only problem is a messy house!). However, for the overwhelming evidence it could benefit you in some way, for such a small exchange of effort, it’s definitely worth a shot.