Declutter Your Life and Mind: Benefits of Decluttering

decluttering life

How to declutter your life?

Anything that doesn’t make you happy or isn’t absolutely necessary should be thanked and sent on its way, says bestselling Japanese author Marie Kondo. Kondo’s process, called the “KonMari Method,” has six rules of tidying:

  • Commit yourself to tidying up. Know that it will take time and be willing to stick to it.
  • Imagine your ideal lifestyle, including the kind of house you want to live in and how you want to live in it. You can write down this description or collect photos.
  • Finish discarding first. Instead of running out to the Container Store and buying storage bins, plan where to store your items once you’ve decided what to keep.
  • Tidy by category, not location. Gathering all like items in the house, such as books or shoes, helps you make better decisions because you know what you have.
  • Follow the right order. Kondo has a category-sorting plan that you must follow, because it helps you gradually hone your ability to identify what sparks joy.
  • Ask yourself if it sparks joy. Hold every one of your possessions in your hands and ask, “Does this spark joy?” If it does, you keep it.

One of my favourite things to do when I’m bored is to de-clutter. It makes me happy to see open spaces and everything in good order. While Kondo doesn’t mention this in her book, there’s science behind the anxiety you feel when you’re surrounded by clutter. 

Grieving a loss..

And why should we limit de-cluttering to your own things, lets apply it to our personal lives like for example relationships. Whenever we lose someone we love, we tend to hold on to their stuff. And while this serves an important purpose in the grieving process for a while, it’s not entirely healthy to hang on to it forever, as this can block the final act of letting go.

Choosing one or two items of theirs to treasure and display is a nice way to honour their importance in your life, but you may feel burdened by any more than that. De-cluttering can be a very emotional process, and sifting through a loved one’s things is an opportunity to work through and release parts of your grief that you’ve been holding on to.

Benefits of Decluttering

Improves Concentration

Excessive items in your surroundings can negatively impact your ability to focus and process information. Astudy in Princeton Universityfound that physical clutter in the surroundings can be distracting for the brain, making it multi-task resulting in decreased performance and increased stress. Filing cabinets full of unorganised documents or stacked up boxes in your workspace adds to your overall sense of frustration. With improved focus, you will be able to tackle big and small jobs with less stress and better efficiency. Decluttering your home and surroundings can improve the quality of your life. It becomes so much easier to find and access your items much more quickly and with little stress.

Lowers Stress Levels

Anything from going to work, getting stuck in traffic or waiting in a queue are just some of the things in our daily life that generally cause stress. Despite stress being a part of life, you can still find ways to reduce your stress. One such step is to declutter your workspace and your home. Clutter can get in your way and make tasks more difficult, which then triggers a stress response. Keeping old items around can often be stressful when they are tied to unpleasant bad memories. Dump whatever drags you down, especially if it messes you up emotionally. Stop holding on to old things and declutter because it a great stress reliever. You can immediately begin to feel better by organising items in your home and workplace.

Boosts Your Mood

depression

Clutter can make you feel irritated because it sends signals to your brain that you don’t have your life together. Living in a messy environment can be depressing. Some people even feel like a failure because of clutter when by contrast, decluttering can give us a real sense of accomplishment. A study in UCLA showed that relationships in families living in cluttered homes suffered because of all the objects in their homes.

There is an intense relationship between clutter and our mood and self-esteem. There is a link between an increase in cortisol levels among female home owners and a high number of household objects. The more stuff, the more stress women experience. In contrast, there is a lot of positivity attached to organised space because it does make you feel so much better. When you donate, recycle or organise your things you are likely to feel good about it. Everyone loves organised living and workspaces. Organisation improves your personality too and improves relationships with friends, family, co-workers, and even strangers.

Get Creative

clutter desk

The messy desk or studio does not equate to creativity. A research study in Princeton shows that a minimalist environment can help the creative process. Having too many items around can make your brain drift from one thing to the next, leading to increased stress and less creativity. An organized work space boosts creativity. Working in an environment that is neat, clean and organized can help your brain focus and get your creative juices flowing.

Living and working in an organized space improves skills related to art, writing, music, creative thinking or even out-of-the-box thinking. Being comfortable in your home can create the space in your mind to help you come up with your next big idea. If you want to get things done, get decluttering.

Sleep Better

People who sleep in a cluttered room often suffer from hoarding disorder and are more likely to have sleeping problems too. If you sleep in a messy room, then you are likely to be lying in bed and staring at the ceiling. People have trouble falling asleep at night and experience disturbed sleep when sleeping in a cluttered room.

clutter room

Letting go of clutter can be difficult, but the advantages of organising your home or workplace far outweigh any negatives. It isn’t a waste of your time. The next time you want to give your mood a lift, try getting rid of unnecessary items.

Decluttering your physical space can help you declutter your mind. You’ll feel better from embracing decluttering!

Luckily, more and more people are decluttering their lives, getting more organised, and understanding that we need less of the material things in order to have more freedom. Check out our article: 4 Steps to Declutter your Mind for Happiness

Here is some food for thought. When you’re so stressed you can’t think straight, take a quick look around. See lots of clutter? Consider it a sign.

Live simply,

Shahina Saeed