Clutter…it may seem like a small thing at first, but have you ever noticed how it grows and spreads? Before you know it, clutter has taken root and taken over your home. Taking some steps now will help you reap the benefits of decluttering.
The best time to get rid of clutter is to tackle it before it takes over your home. The next best time to get of clutter is right now. And once you’ve gotten control of your clutter, it will only require small time investments into maintaining the clutter-free home you’ve created.
Here are some ways that decluttering will improve your life:
Better health is a benefit of decluttering
I doubt there’s anyone out there who wouldn’t mind being in better health…even if you’re already uber-healthy. But these health benefits of decluttering may prove as just the motivation you need to get started.
1 – Alleviate stress: Let’s face it…clutter is stressful. It’s like those piles and out-of-place objects are just sitting there screaming at you all day. You feel stress looking at the mess, and you feel stress just thinking about all the work it’s going to take to get the mess picked up.
All that stress isn’t good for you. It affects the quality of your sleep (those messy piles can scream at you even at night) which will eventually disrupt the quality of your days too.
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We don’t operate at our best when we’re stressed and sleep-deprived.
So to start just tackle one thing. Taking steps to get one area under control will start to reduce the stress you feel…which is going to motivate you to move on to the next clutter-filled area.
2 – Better sleep: Most adults need 7 to 10 hours of sleep. And there’s a good chance that you’re not getting the shut-eye that you need (I’ll admit that I’m not).
Part of the problem may be that our bedrooms aren’t conducive to a restful, relaxing night.
Instead, we look around and see piles of clothes and items that got dropped here because they don’t have a place they belong.
Our bedrooms should be a place that we feel relaxed and calm the moment we walk in. So let’s work on getting rid of the piles, junk, and other stuff that’s preventing our bedroom from feeling like an oasis of calm.
To do this, make sure that laundry gets folded and put away. Clear out anything that doesn’t (and shouldn’t) belong in the bedroom. And clear off the tops of horizontal spaces.
You know that “aaahh” feeling you get when you walk into a hotel room. It’s because there’s not all that day-to-day junk staring at you. We can create the same feeling at home with a little work.
3 – Reduce allergens: Let’s just get real here for a minute, shall we? Messy rooms are traps for dust, dirt, and cobwebs. And who wants to spend their days breathing those nasty things in?
Having too much stuff and clutter makes it hard to get your house really clean. Clutter is the perfect camouflage for how dirty a house might be because you can’t see the dirt because of all the stuff.
Clutter makes it easy to ignore the mess underneath!
And that mess underneath can contribute to allergies, hay fever, skin rashes, and more.
So take a look at your clutter and ask if you love it enough to be miserable in order to keep it.
Another benefit of decluttering is improving your confidence
Clutter takes a toll on our confidence. It’s hard to feel good about an unwanted visitor when the house is messy and dirty. It keeps us from inviting people over and it may make family go to great lengths to avoid having anyone get a peek inside the house.
While it’s true that people react to clutter in different ways, most people don’t feel like a cluttered house reflects well on them…so they avoid showing it to the world.
4 – Increased productivity: Simply taking steps to get rid of clutter is productive. Making decluttering a regular habit will make you feel productive every time you do it.
And let’s be clear…decluttering is not just moving the mess from one location to another. Decluttering isn’t just organizing the stuff so that you can store it more easily.
Yes, while you’re decluttering (which means getting RID of things) you will find items that must be kept that now need a permanent home. But the goal of decluttering is to clear out the stuff so that there isn’t so much of it.
Clearing out space improves your mood and boosts your confidence in ways you may not even have thought about.
5 – Recover lost items: Here’s the thing with “organizing” your clutter…you still don’t really know what you’ve got or where it is.
Now there are people who will tell you that they know the location of every item they own. They’ll point to boxes and bins and proclaim that the contents are extremely important and they know precisely what’s in each one.
They probably don’t.
And further more, how special or important can something really be if it’s just stuck down in a box or plastic bin?
Because those items that are to special…they’re degrading as they sit in the box. Time and the elements are taking their toll on them.
If something is truly important and special, get it out! Put it on display. Find a home (inside your home) where it can be seen and respected.
Items that are just shoved into boxes and bins aren’t really that special…that’s just sentiment and delayed decisions trying to convince you that they are.
Trust me, if Granny’s christening gown is that special, then how are you going to feel one day when you pull it out of the box and find that it’s yellowed with age and has moth holes?
So either get those things out of storage, pass them along to a family member who will treasure and display them, or dispose of or sell them.
6 – Make intentional choices: Every day we make all kinds of choices without really thinking about them. Once we start the process of decluttering, though, we’re forced to be intentional as we consciously decide what to keep, donate, or get rid of.
The reason for this is simple if you think about it. As you pick up each object, you literally have to ask yourself what to do with the item now. If you don’t ask yourself this question then you end up just putting the item someplace else…without making a conscious decision about it…and end up just moving your clutter from one space to another.
That is a waste of your time and accomplishes nothing.
Improving your outlook on life is a major benefit of decluttering!
Your mental health is as important as your physical health. Once you start decluttering you’ll see a connection between the mind and your environment.
Once you start really paying attention, you’ll notice that cluttered, messy spaces make you tense up. They make you feel anxious.
Spaces that are too cluttered and messy even make me begin to feel claustrophobic
Instead, we feel much better when our surroundings look and feel nice.
7 – Improved energy flow in the home: Whether or not you believe that there’s anything at all to Feng Shui, it is possible to feel the difference in mood and energy between a messy, cluttered space and one that’s clean and tidy.
The improved mood and energy can have positive effects for you and everyone in your home. You’ll feel calmer, more peaceful, and more confident. Who knows what benefits might come from those feelings?
8 – You’ll save money: When you start decluttering and letting go of things, you’ll likely find yourself being more mindful of the things you bring into your home. You’ll find yourself pausing before you make purchases because you know that those purchases have to go somewhere once you get them home.
That means that you’re more likely to decide not to buy something…which saves you money.
After all, you’ve just gone through and disposed of items. Why mess it up now by bringing something in to replace what you just got rid of?
Think of it like this: If I’ve just cleaned out my closet and donated three black sweaters, am I going to think twice before plunking out the cash to purchase a new one?
9 – Increased gratitude: There’s something about having lots of stuff around…we tend to take it for granted. But once we start disposing of the excess, we’re then able to feel grateful for the things we’ve decided to keep.
Now that they’re not part of a jumbled mess, the items we’ve kept really are special. They’re the things we’ve consciously and deliberately chosen to keep.
As you can see, getting rid of clutter has some obvious…and some not-so-obvious…benefits.
And fortunately there’s no rule that you have to declutter everything at once. But making time to regularly go through items and conquer your clutter will definitely pay off that you…and others…will notice.
Need more help decluttering?
While I won’t be coming to your house to actually do the decluttering for you, I can provide tips and motivation. Just join the 5 Day Conquer Your Clutter Challenge.
More to help you deal with clutter:
The Most Important Question To Help You Get Rid Of Clutter is a must read if you struggle with too much stuff. This questions will really help you put things in perspective.
It’s hard to get rid of our stuff when we suffer from these 6 Mindsets That Keep Us Buried in Stuff.