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 overall. 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.
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. Even beyond that, having a messy home can affect your self esteem overall. Improving how your home looks and feels can boost your self pride.
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.
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!”.
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. This 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.