The Benefits of Decluttering Your Home
With the popularity of Marie Kondo and the home cleaning and organising influencers all over social media, decluttering has become the 'in thing' to be doing lately.
But, if the decluttering phase has passed you by and you haven't given it a go yet or don't know how it may help you, here's a post to explain some of the many benefits of decluttering and simplifying your home.
SIMPLIFY YOUR HOME AND YOUR LIFE
I believe that simplifying your life by decluttering everything that doesn't add value, embracing and enjoying the stuff that does, and feeling at home in your home is the key to a calmer, happier and healthier life.
"Too many material possessions complicate our lives to a greater degree than we ever give them credit. They drain our bank account, our energy, and our attention. They keep us from the ones we love and from living a life based on our values. If you invest the time to remove the non-essential possessions from your life, you will never regret it" - Joshua Becker
Decluttering is a positive, actionable step that we can take to not only improve our home, but our wellbeing as well.
When we start to declutter, each of the following benefits has a knock-on effect on each other, and in time allows us to break any negative habits or cycles that have formed in our lives.
An obvious benefit, but getting rid of your unwanted clutter and only keeping what you need, love and adds value creates more physical space.
Decluttering is the cheapest way to maximise the space you have in your home.
ENJOY BEING IN YOUR HOME
Our home should be a place of comfort and relaxation. But if all we see around us is clutter and chaos, it's hard to relax - both physically and mentally. Our homes should help us to de-stress, not be the cause of any stress.
When your home is cluttered, it's not often used in the ways that it should be. (A bedroom that you can't relax in at the end of a long day, or a kitchen that you don't have the space to enjoy preparing meals in).
With less clutter, you can start to reclaim these spaces for their intended purposes - e.g. being able to enjoy a meal at the dining table instead of it being used a storage facility.
Without the clutter, your home will feel more open and organised. Leading to a greater sense of calmness within the home. You'll much more relaxed and in control.
There is a link between time and material possessions. Managing clutter day-to-day takes up a lot of time and energy. You have to look for things, move things, organise things, store things, maintain things, clean and worry about things.
By reducing the number of unnecessary things you own, you reduce the time needed to manage them.
Decluttering takes time, but in the long run, it saves a lot of time. If you invest the time to remove the non-essential possessions from your life, you will never regret it. You will have more time to do the things you want to do.
THINGS ARE EASIER TO FIND
It's so frustrating and stressful when you can't find something that you need. With less clutter to sift through, you'll be able to quickly and easily find what you need when you need it.
As part of the process of decluttering and deciding what to keep and what to let go of, you'll probably be re-organising and moving things to the right place within your home anyway, so you'll know where most, if not everything is and be less likely to lose things in future.
There's peace of mind in knowing that treasured items, such as photographs and other sentimental memories and keepsakes, are not lost amongst the clutter.
Owning less means maintaining a clean and tidy home becomes an easier habit to keep. After a thorough declutter, your space becomes far quicker to tidy and means a matter of minutes at the end of each day instead of entire weekends trying to tidy up.
Clutter often poses a challenge to keeping a house clean, so very cluttered homes can often not be a healthy environment to live in.
When our home is a space that we feel comfortable and content in, our mental wellbeing can dramatically improve.
REDUCES STRESS AND ANXIETY
Studies have identified a direct link between the stress hormone cortisone and clutter.
Clutter bombards our minds with messages and visual distractions that aren't necessary or important, causing our brains to work overtime and contributing to mental stress. It's lots of things that you have to do but are procrastinating on - clothes to put away, papers to action or file, things that you need to get rid of...
While you may not want to think about it, your mind subconsciously knows that they are there and that you'll need to deal with them eventually - making you feel stressed and anxious.
Less clutter and mess means less stress. So, if you want to reduce your stress levels and regain clarity of mind, ditching some of the clutter is a great place to start.
"Clearing your external environment of unused and unwanted clutter, and sorting through the accumulated mess around you, will psychologically help you attain a healthier lifestyle and happier life" ~ Dr David Kantra
YOU WILL FEEL LIGHTER AND HAPPIER
Our environment plays a huge role in how we feel each day. Decluttering our homes is hugely important for our overall happiness.
There's a fantastic feeling of lightness that you get from removing the things in your life that are no longer adding any value to your life.
Every item we own holds energy. The more you free up space from the things that are unused, disliked or unnecessary, the more space and energy you have for what matters.
Research has found that we derive greater happiness from experiences rather than material possessions. The more stuff that we own, the less time and resources we have to devote to creating experiences.
Decluttering is a freeing process. It allows us to remove all the old stuff and stuck energy, holding us back.
We no longer feel so controlled by our stuff. When you feel in control of your surroundings, you'll feel calmer and more confident.
Living with, and having to avoid, clutter slows us down, drains us of energy (sometimes without you even realising it) and contributes to burnout.
Clutter prevents energy from flowing freely in our homes. Often when you sweep away the clutter, you help to sweep away some of the other issues blocking you in life.
Decluttering teaches us to be more conscious about what we bring into our lives and encourages gratitude. When we are used to being overwhelmed with stuff, we forget to appreciate what we already have.
HELPS TO RELIEVE NEGATIVE EMOTIONS
Our possessions may hold feelings of love, joy and comfort, but they can also hold negative emotions.
Decluttering can help to relieve the negative emotions you might feel about your clutter, such as guilt, shame, embarrassment or fear. The feelings that prevent you from having friends over and from living the life you want to live. Decluttering your space helps to process these feelings and relieve the stress and anxiety around those negative emotions.
Decluttering and detoxing the home helps to lighten the emotional toll that clutter causes and can help us understand what's weighing us down, our attachments, and identifying what is truly valuable in our lives.
Decluttering is a powerful process because it helps us to challenge or limiting beliefs.
MOVE ON FROM THE PAST
Material possessions can make us feel burdened, overwhelmed, pulled into the past and unable to enjoy the present or the future.
Clutter lends itself to old habits, lifestyles and possessions. It's hard to let go of the past when unwanted objects or sentimental belongings surround you. This, in turn, suffocates creativity, inspiration and new ways of thinking and being. No wonder we get stuck in a rut and frustrated when we are surrounded by so much stuff.
Clutter comes with a price tag too - you need a bigger home and more storage for all that clutter. We tend to fill out the space that we have, and when that space is full - we want more, and that comes at a cost.
We buy more when we are not clear on what we already have. When your home is cluttered; and you can't find things, you buy unnecessary items and duplicates.
Once you've decluttered and you can see your home with more clarity, the next time you indulge in a bit of retail therapy, you'll have a much better idea of what you really need.
Plus, once you start feeling the freedom that comes with simplifying, it will start to become addictive, and your entire perspective will begin to change. You'll find yourself thinking more carefully about what you bring into your home. You'll love your uncluttered space so much and be more mindful about making purchases - great for your bank balance - and the environment.
Clutter and disorganisation may not only cost you money, but it adds to financial stress, which may ultimately affect your relationships.
IMPROVED HEALTH AND WELLBEING
You're less likely to exercise when your clothing or equipment is not easily accessible. Packing a gym bag in the morning (or the night before), or even just getting out your trainers to go for a walk or run, prevents you from making excuses about exercising.
You're more likely to eat impulsively and unhealthily in a cluttered kitchen.
You will sleep better! Studies show that removing the visual distraction of clutter will help you create a calm bedroom that will help you sleep better, which will also have a beneficial impact on your energy levels and overall health.
As mentioned above, one of the great benefits of decluttering is feeling less stressed and anxious, and the benefit of this benefit is better sleep!
When our homes are calm and happy, we want to spend time in them with our friends and families.
We don't have to worry about inviting them over because of the state of the house. We're (nearly) always ready for someone to drop by unannounced - it's a great feeling!. Not having to quickly shove stuff in a cupboard or out of the way into the bedroom, and the overwhelming sense of what's involved in getting the house ready for guests.
Unfortunately, when our homes are cluttered and disorganised, this generally extends to and affects household members adversely - discouraging time together and creating a stressful environment and strained relationships.
One of my biggest regrets at not having started on my simple living journey earlier was that I spent far too much time trying to organise all of our clutter when the children were small. Looking back, I could have just ditched most of it (it wasn't important) and used that time and energy intentionally just to play and give them my full attention. Clutter takes us away from quality time with the ones we love.
Clutter is a visual distraction and one of the biggest obstacles to being productive. The more things that you can see in your field of vision, the harder it is to concentrate on what you should be focusing on.
Clutter fills the open spaces in our mind that allow most people to think clearly and problem solve. With less stress about what needs to be done in the house, you are less likely to procrastinate.
Because clutter makes it harder to focus, it impacts your ability to process information and make decisions. With less clutter, you will be able to think clearer and therefore better deal with any stressful situations that come up.
Once you make progress in decluttering, you will gain confidence. Achieving a sense of pride at having stuck to a decluttering project; giving rise to feeling more energised and positive about other projects. Seeing them through to the end and gaining a fresh and continued determination to keep on top of the hard work that you have completed.
When you are organised both physically and mentally, you can achieve more daily, which leads to accomplishing more long term goals.
Removing the excess from our homes naturally encourages us to look at the more challenging, often hidden things that can also complicate our lives; debt, busyness and mental clutter to name a few.
This means being able to live the life you want and increase your happiness.
Perhaps the best 'MORE' that you'll get from simplifying is more life.
We can improve our lives by decluttering and removing the things that do not add value or bring joy by making room for the things that do.
When you have a decluttered home, it helps you to live a more intentional life. You can spend your time, energy, money and focus on the things that are truly important to you.
You'll create space to live the life you want to live.