How Decluttering Benefits Your Health
Updated: Nov 13, 2021
Decluttering, aka, removing unnecessary items from a space, has more benefits than aesthetic alone. Once you've decluttered your home, your life seems decluttered as well, which impacts your mental and physical health.
More clutter, more stress
It makes sense that when you have a lot of extra things around, it can cause additional stress. Not only are you surrounded by items that you don't use frequently, but once you need to find a specific thing, it's nowhere to be found. Then you're running around looking for it, wasting time and energy. In general, stress follows clutter, even if you're not aware of it.
According to the Mayo Clinic, "when working couples gave tours of their homes, women who used more words describing clutter and disorganization also tended to show levels of the stress hormone cortisol, suggesting chronic stress...those who described their homes as being restful...were less stressed as the day went on."
Natural forms of organization also take place with a decluttered home. You start to remember exactly where certain tools, papers, and supplies are in your space, and become intentional over time about where you place them originally.
Start small: take 10 to 15 minutes each day to declutter. You can also pick a particular spot for the day like an end table or a kitchen counter. Before you know it, it'll become a habit and things won't accumulate in the first place!
A cluttered space means more distractions and information for your brain to process. This can lead to frustration and an overall sense of overwhelm.
Improve your focus and mental clarity by tidying up your desk each day before you sign off of work. When you get back to it the next day, you'll have a fresh start with no distractions. This can also apply to other spaces like your car. Once you bring something in it, take it with you when you get home and find a proper spot for it.
More things does not equate to happiness
Owning a lot of things has no correlation to how happy you are, despite what the media tries to tell you. Studies show that people are less happy, despite the amount of things we own.
And the more things you own, the more you have to take care of! Before you bring an item into your home and life, think about the required maintenance and if it still appeals to you. Better yet, if it's something you only need to use once or twice, why not borrow it from a friend instead?
Another way to decrease clutter is by boxing up items to place in storage, like kids toys or clothes and shoes. Then when the kids need a refresh, swap out the bins and they've got "new" toys to play with. I do this with clothes. I love opening the bin up and realizing I forgot about that chunky sweater or fall jacket. Sometimes it works in the opposite way, and I realize I can sell or donate it now.
A newfound appreciation
Decluttering can seem like you are losing out on your belongings. But really, you're adding an appreciation for the things you choose to keep!
Gratitude for the things you do have easily shines through when you eliminate the clutter surrounding them. It can be so simple. Those socks you love but forgot about in that bin in the back of your closet become like new when you have less items getting in the way. Your favorite things will have a new sense of sparkle, because they will be able to enjoyed without the extra distractions.
It can be all too easy to online shop and have every "need" met in an instant. Rather than mindlessly adding items to your cart (online or not), be intentional with your purchases.
Focusing on what you lack will create more lack. Focusing on an abundance mindset by appreciating what you already own, will bring abundance to your life in the form of happiness! Gratitude is strongly associated with greater happiness. Remember what you have to be grateful for!
No more being buried and burdened by your belongings. Time to declutter!