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Decluttering

When You Clear Your Clutter You Clear Your Mind

Why you clear your mind when you clear your clutter.

The clutter in our homes and in our minds are often bound together, and one directly affects the other. So when you clear your clutter, you clear the clutter in your mind as well. As a result, you will have more energy to pursue the things that are important to you.

Clearing your clutter from your physical space has a direct effect on your mental and emotional state of mind.

From overflowing closets to cluttered countertops, many of us find ourselves grappling with an excess of stuff in our homes. Yet, beyond the physical inconvenience, there lies a deeper, more profound connection between the clutter in our living spaces and the clutter in our minds.

Psychologists and organizational experts have long recognized the symbiotic relationship between our external environment and our internal state. It’s not just about having a tidy home for aesthetic reasons; rather, the state of our surroundings can significantly impact our mental well-being. 

Declutter Your House and Mind

There are lots of reasons why clearing your clutter is good for you.

WebMD states that “For most people, decluttering can promote productivity and improvements in overall mental and physical health. The benefits of decluttering include, better focus, improved relationships, decrease in allergies and asthma, higher self-esteem, and improved lifestyle and well-being”. For these reasons it is important to make decluttering your home a priority.

Studies also show that individuals with cluttered homes were more likely to experience feelings of depression and anxiety compared to those with tidy living spaces.

The problem with visual clutter. 

Every item of clothing on the floor is a tiny taskmaster reminding you of everything you still need to accomplish. Seeing clutter around you can be mentally draining.

When we allow physical objects to accumulate haphazardly in our living spaces, we’re essentially creating visual reminders of our mental burdens. Each pile of papers, stack of clothes, or miscellaneous items left scattered around becomes a constant source of distraction and overwhelm, subtly feeding into our sense of unease and anxiety.

Living in a cluttered space can disrupt our sense of tranquility and undermine our ability to relax and unwind, creating a cycle of stress and discontentment.

Additionally, if you have ADHD. visual clutter can be even more distracting. That is because it is common for those with ADHD have a lower threshold for dealing with clutter in the first place. Visual clutter competes for your attention, making it harder to focus on the task at hand. 

When you clear your clutter, this gives you a sense of control.

Having our environment decluttered and organized helps us to feel more in control. The more control you have at home, the more satisfied and less stressed you feel. We all know that feeling of finally accomplishing organizing or decluttering tasks that we have been putting off for months. Taking time to complete these projects, and simplify your home, can give you some much-needed mental peace and a sense of control. 

If you can’t find something when you need it, it causes frustration and anxiety. 

We have all experienced the frustration of frantically looking for a lost item. Time is wasted looking for things and if we give up and decide to purchase what we were looking for instead. Then money is wasted too.   

The insidious costs of not clearing your clutter:

Perhaps the the largest cost of clutter is that it can serve as a barrier to our own introspection and self-awareness. In a cluttered environment, it’s easy to become disconnected from our thoughts and emotions, as the external chaos mirrors our internal turmoil.

Without the physical space to engage in reflection and contemplation, we may find ourselves perpetually caught up in the busyness of our lives, unable to gain clarity or perspective on our priorities and values.

Declutter Your House

The following is a list of tips to help you clear your clutter and create a more peaceful environment for yourself:

Your home should be a peaceful, welcoming place to retreat to at the end of each day. It should NOT be a place of chaos and frustration. When my house is cluttered, I feel out of control and my mind feels chaotic and foggy. It likely is the same for you.  Here are 14 tips to help you create a more clutter-free and welcoming home for yourself and all those who enter:

1. Begin by clearing your clutter one area at a time.

Take stock of your belongings and ask yourself whether each item serves a purpose or brings you joy. Be ruthless in letting go of things that no longer serve you, whether it’s clothes you haven’t worn in years or knick-knacks collecting dust on your shelves. Embrace the principles of minimalism, focusing on quality over quantity and prioritizing experiences over possessions.

2. Establish a donation box.

Keep a donation box in an out-of-the-way but assessable location in your home year-round. This will allow your family to toss no longer used items in the box as they come across them. This is a simple trick that encourages automatic decluttering. You will be surprised at how fast these donate boxes fill up automatically. Then all you have to do is drop it off at a charity.

3. Take a critical eye to everything in your home.

Evaluate everything you have in your home and only keep the things you truly love or that are useful to you. Do you have duplicate items in your home that are used for the same task? If so ask yourself how many you really need to keep. Do you really need 4 can openers, 15 koozies, and 6 rubber spatulas?

As you declutter your home, pay attention to the emotional attachments and psychological barriers that may arise. Acknowledge the feelings of guilt, nostalgia, or anxiety that may surface as you part with certain items, but remind yourself that letting go is an act of self-care. Surround yourself with objects that uplift and inspire you, create a living space for yourself that reflects your values and aspirations.

4. The empty spaces in your home are important too. 

Having some empty space allows energy into your home and creates a peaceful, Zen-like environment. Like everything else in life, your home needs to maintain a balance of both empty space and stuff. Look around your home for some empty spaces, and examine your walls, shelves, corners, and surfaces. If every nook and cranny is filled to the brim, consider making some space.  

5. Look around your home and consider how it makes you feel. 

Do you feel comfortable and at peace when you look around your home? Is it possible that having less in your home will make it look larger and feel more welcoming and spacious? If your home feels suffocating, maybe it’s time to subtract a few things by decluttering your home.

6. Create clutter clearing routines.

Establishing daily 10-minute family tidy sessions will help clear your mind and space. Make this a fun task by setting a timer or playing music. You will be surprised at how much your family can get done in just 10 minutes if everyone tidies up together. Helpful family organizing routines go a long way in keeping your home clutter free as the busy weeks roll by. 

You want to be able to see the tangible results of your efforts because this will motivate you to keep going. If feels so good at the end of the day to be able to open your hall closet and see an organized space looking back at you. If you have a large room to declutter, break it down into small chunks. In a kitchen, tackle the surfaces first, then the pantry, then the upper cabinets etc. 

7. Every house has a clutter threshold.

Once your home has exceeded its clutter threshold and its storage spaces are overfilled, things start to go awry. Clutter starts to accumulate in visual places and clutter and disorganization follow. Take a look at your home’s closets and storage spaces if they are all filled to the brim, it might be time to do a deep dive into your cabinets, closets and drawers and declutter your whole house. 

8. The more stuff you have in your home, the harder it is to keep it all organized. 

Less is more, comes into play here. Keep in mind that it is harder to organize and maintain a large inventory than a smaller one. If you have a surplus of items that you have not used and/or they no longer inspire you, consider letting them go for the sake of simplicity. The less stuff you have in your home, the easier it will be to keep it organized long-term. 

9. Don’t put off putting things away. 

Practice the 2-minute rule, if it will take less than 2 minutes to put something away, do it immediately. Don’t set it down on the dining room table and leave it there for later. It will be easier to do now than to wait until you have an overwhelming pile of clutter to tackle.  As a bonus, your home will always be ready for company if someone should show up unexpectedly. 

10. Clutter attracts clutter.  

It is helpful to keep in mind the mysterious phenomena that clutter tends to attract more clutter.  Once you leave a few items sitting around in a given spot, clutter has a sneaky way of accumulating quickly. Much like a weed in the garden, clutter grows rapidly once it gets started. So don’t let it take root in the first place. Resist the urge to set something down, thinking you will put it away later.

Declutter Your House

 

“Simplify your material world to create space not just around you but inside you” 

-Shauna Niequist

11. Do not wait, donate.

Do you have things you are holding onto because you want to have a garage sale or sell them? Evaluate whether or not the money you will make selling these items is really worth the time and effort. A garage sale takes a lot of time and planning. By choosing to donate, you immediately free up precious space in your home and save yourself the headache of selling the items. You also come away knowing that you made a difference by helping those in need. 

12. Avoid shuffling instead of decluttering.

If you catch yourself filling up a different room each time you declutter the one you are working in, you may be caught in the shuffling trap. Be careful not to make the mistake of moving things from room to room instead of letting go of them or finding a home for them. If you do this, you will never finish decluttering your home! 

13. Focus on your successes, not your failures if you need to declutter your whole house.

If you are facing a big decluttering job, focus on what you have completed as you go, rather than on the sometimes-overwhelming amount of work that lies ahead. By staying focused on your progress, you will give yourself the motivation and determination to keep going one step at a time.  

14. Cultivate Mindfulness.

Commit to decluttering your mind through mindfulness practices such as meditation, journaling, or simply taking moments of quiet reflection. Cultivate awareness of your thoughts and emotions, allowing them to arise and pass without judgment or attachment.

Practice self-compassion and forgiveness, recognizing that mental clutter is a natural part of the human experience and that you have the power to release it.

 

Conclusion:

By taking proactive steps to declutter both your physical space and your mental landscape, you’ll create a harmonious environment that nurtures your well-being and fosters inner peace.

Remember that the journey toward simplicity and clarity is ongoing, requiring patience, persistence, and a willingness to let go of the old to make room for the new. As you free yourself from the burdens of clutter, you’ll discover a newfound sense of lightness and clarity, empowering you to live with greater purpose and presence.

Schedule a coaching call, virtual organizing session, or a home assessment with me, and get the support and encouragement you need to move forward.
Girl on chair in front of computer.

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