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Clear Space, Clear Mind: The Massive Well-being Benefits of Decluttering

woman holding clothes looking fed up. text says declutter for your mind with a brain in the middle

In a world where our lives are busier than ever, the spaces we inhabit often become cluttered reflections of our hectic routines. Yet, what if I told you that clearing out the physical clutter in your home could significantly enhance your mental and emotional well-being? Decluttering isn’t just about creating a more aesthetically pleasing environment—it’s about creating a calmness within you.

Naturally, I'm a messy person... I have to force myself to stay on top of the clutter, but one thing that's made it easier is adopting a minimal lifestyle. I have to admit, I have enough stuff to overwhelm a true minimalist but living life on the go means I can't own more than a car full of stuff. I still get overwhelmed with the things I do have, even when I'm travelling in other countries with just one bag. Left untamed the clutter grows along with overwhelm.

The Psychological Weight of Clutter

Clutter is more than just physical stuff—it’s a visual manifestation of unfinished business. Psychologists assert that clutter constantly signals to our brains that our work is never done. This relentless reminder can lead to increased anxiety, stress, and an overwhelming sense of being emotionally burdened. A cluttered environment can distract us and reduce our ability to focus, affecting our productivity and mental clarity. Meaning that thing that you really need to get done today becomes even harder when you're surrounded by clutter. I was a messy child with a messy bedroom, then a messy teen with an even messier bedroom, then, yep you guessed it I was messy in my uni days and even in my late 20s and even now in my 30s if I have a few really busy days in a row my space can get cluttered. Although, one thing I have now (or don't have in my case) is way less stuff!

The Benefits of Decluttering Your Space

You may have noticed in the past, that after a cleaning spree, you feel better. But if that's not enough to persuade you, here are 5 science-backed reasons you should start decluttering today.

woman with head down looking stressed

1.Reduced Anxiety and Stress: One of the immediate benefits of decluttering is a reduction in stress and anxiety levels. A clean and organized space can feel like a sanctuary from the chaos of the outside world. When our surroundings are serene, our minds can relax, leading to lower cortisol levels and a more peaceful state of mind. Would you rather relax in a cluttered space or a clear one?

woman using hands to make a frame to increase focus

2. Enhanced Focus and Productivity: Without the distraction of excess items, it becomes easier to focus on the tasks at hand. Whether you're working from home or pursuing a hobby, decluttering can pave the way for greater efficiency and productivity. An organized space can streamline processes, save time, and foster a productive workflow.

That desk that you're working from... is it cluttered or clear? Even decluttering a small space like this can impact how you show up.

woman in bed sleeping

3. Improved Sleep: A clutter-free bedroom can significantly impact your quality of sleep. Studies suggest that people who sleep in cluttered rooms are more likely to suffer from sleep disturbances, including difficulty falling asleep and nighttime awakenings. By creating a calm and orderly environment, you encourage a restful night’s sleep... maybe that's why you're struggling to sleep at night. When I was young I NEVER made my bed. I didn't see the point when I was just going to crawl back into it at the end of the day. How good does it feel to get into a made bed? Especially if the sheets have been washed. I now make my bed (most of the time) and realise that it's actually a form of self-care as it's something that is going to make me feel better.

woman with face and hands painted

4. Boosted Creativity: Clearing out clutter can also open up mental space for creativity. With fewer distractions and more room to breathe, your brain can think more creatively, solve problems more effectively, and generate new ideas with greater ease. Imagine that, more physical space equals more brain space! Maybe thats why I love high ceilings.

Woman drawing a love heart on a mirror

5. Increased Self-Esteem and Personal Efficacy: Completing a decluttering project can provide a sense of accomplishment. This boost in morale and self-esteem can have ripple effects, improving your overall mood and outlook. Moreover, maintaining a decluttered home can foster a sense of personal efficacy and renewed control over your environment.

When I feel out of control in my life one of the things I will do is declutter. I will get everything out of the drawers or my suitcase if I'm on the road and re organise it, remove any clutter, and get rid of things I no longer need. It gives me a sense of control (even though we don't really have control but let's save that topic for another blog post).

Getting Started with Decluttering

When you're faced with a full house or a cupboard busting at the hinges (like my brothers doom cupboard) it can feel all too much. Begin by setting small, manageable goals. You might start with one room, or even one drawer, and expand from there. Use the "keep, donate, sell, discard" system to sort items, and try to be ruthless with items you haven’t used in over a year.

Start with something small like this makeup bag for example. If you want to watch something and declutter along with me here is a YouTube video I created while I was decluttering EVERYTHING I owned to prepare for a nomadic lifestyle. This video blog goes thought ways you can declutter.

How much of your makeup do you really wear? do you actually use 6 different lipsticks? Do you need more than one mascara?

Remember, decluttering is not a race. Take your time, and understand that it’s okay to let go of things that no longer serve your life’s purpose or bring you joy. The goal is to create a space that reflects your best self—a sanctuary that supports not just your physical health, but your mental and emotional wellbeing, too.

Heres another video I created during my decluttering and downsizing. This time tackling the clothes. If you need some motivation watch this while tacking your own wardrobe.

The benefits of decluttering extend far beyond an organized home (or suitcase/ backpack in my case). They weave into the very fabric of your well-being, influencing your mental health, emotional resilience, and overall quality of life. As you embark on your decluttering journey, keep in mind that every piece you remove is not just clearing physical space—it’s opening up a new space in your life for peace, creativity, and happiness.

Stay happy and healthy x

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