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Cluttered House, Cluttered Mind: 11 Ways Decluttering Can Improve Your Mental Health

Cluttered House, Cluttered Mind: 11 Ways Decluttering Can Improve Your Mental Health

Cluttered house, cluttered mind? Have you ever noticed a connection between the state of your home (and the amount of clutter in it!) and how you feel in your home?

Today’s post is all about the link between decluttering and mental health. And how you can improve and take care of your mental health by clearing the clutter and embracing a simpler home and life!

Cluttered house, cluttered mind

Clutter in your home can have a direct impact on how you feel in your home. And can also have an impact on your mental health too.

A cluttered house can lead to feeling cluttered in your mind!

But the good news is, there’s something you can do about it. Decluttering can not only make your home easier to keep tidy. It can actually help improve your mental health too!

Decluttering is about more than just having a tidy home and not losing your keys. (Although those are great benefits of decluttering!)

Decluttering is also a way you can take care of yourself. As much as a way to take care of your home. Helping to clear the clutter from your home, and clear the clutter from your mind.

It’s about removing unnecessary stress, distractions and frustration from your life. And giving yourself more time, space and freedom instead!

Getting started decluttering

If you’re looking to get started decluttering your home, check out this post to help you dive in and get started.

Or better yet, check out Your Clutter-Free Home. A complete self-paced decluttering guide to help you clear the clutter from your home, one small, manageable step at a time.

Inside Your Clutter-Free Home, you’ll learn the tips, tools and strategies you need to declutter with confidence and clarity.

As well as get detailed, room-by-room decluttering checklists to guide you through the process of decluttering. Breaking the work down into small, stress-free steps you can take one at a time to clear the clutter for good!

Use coupon code WELCOME to save 25% off Your Clutter-Free Home!

Your Clutter-Free Home: decluttering guide & checklists

11 ways decluttering can improve your mental health

Now that you have some great resources to help you with the “how” of decluttering, let’s get to the “why”! Here are 11 reasons why decluttering can help improve your mental health.

1. Reduces stress

Studies have shown a direct link between clutter in your home and increased cortisol levels in your body. Particularly in women.

Cortisol is a stress hormone. Meaning the more cluttered your house, the more stress you feel in your body.

So of course, reducing the amount of clutter and stuff in your home is one way to reduce the amount of stress in your life.

And it makes sense.

It’s stressful to be in your home when you’re surrounded by clutter, mess and “stuff” that needs to be dealt with. It’s all reminding you of things you need to do, put away, tidy up and take care of. Making you feel like there’s always more to do. More you should be doing. There’s always more that needs your time, energy and attention.

Maybe even making you feel behind. It can feel like you spend all your time just trying to keep up. But never feeling fully caught up. Let alone feeling like you have time for guilt-free rest or fun.

But when you clear the clutter, your home becomes easier to manage and keep up with. Taking care of your home doesn’t feel totally overwhelming or never-ending. Simply because there’s less stuff in it to manage and take care of.

2. Your home feels less overwhelming

Your home is a place you live in. A place where you actually use the stuff in your home. Which means your home is bound to get messy at times.

When you have a lot of stuff, it takes a lot of time and energy to clean up the messes that happen, simply because there is a lot of stuff to clean up.

It might even feel too overwhelming to tackle, so the messes don’t get cleaned up and get bigger and feel even more overwhelming.

The great thing about decluttering your home is when things do get messy, it doesn’t feel like an overwhelming task to clean it up. Simply because there’s less stuff that needs to be picked up, cleaned and put away.

Less overstimulation

Another way clutter can be overwhelming is the visual clutter it creates.

Too much clutter is a lot of “stuff” for your brain to take in and process. Which can easily feel overstimulating and overwhelming. Especially if you are a Highly Sensitive Person or someone who is particularly prone to becoming overstimulated by external stimuli.

This overstimulation can prevent you from truly being able to rest and relax in your home. Your mind is always taking in, processing and noticing all the “stuff” around you.

In comparison, a clutter-free space can often feel calmer, more peaceful and more soothing. Helping you be able to rest and relax in your home.

A clutter-free bedroom can even help you sleep better! Making it easier for your brain to shift into relaxation mode.

3. More time and energy

When you need to spend less time and energy taking care of your home and the stuff in it (because there’s less stuff to take care of!), you gain more time and energy.

And there are so many ways you can use that time and energy for all kinds of different things.

You might have more time for the things, activities and people you love and are most important to you. You might be able to take better care of yourself and do things that help refresh, refuel and recharge you.

Even something as simple as not spending so much time looking for things lost amongst the clutter gives you more time and energy. That might mean you can start the day in a slower, more nourishing way. Instead of rushing around frantically looking for the things you need in the morning!

Choosing to declutter and embrace a life with less “stuff” might even mean you can work less because you’re buying less and don’t need the extra income!

4. Less decision fatigue

Decision fatigue is a really interesting concept. It basically says everyone can make a limited number of decisions each day before the quality of their decisions starts declining. The more decisions you make, the closer you get to the point where your brain is no longer able to make high-quality decisions. It becomes fatigued!

We all have to make thousands of decisions each day. Some are small and relatively insignificant. Others are bigger and more important.

When you have a lot of stuff, it forces you to make more decisions each day. Even when you don’t realize it! And all those extra decisions can cause more decision fatigue during your day.

Not to mention, sometimes having too many options to choose between can start feeling overwhelming.

Removing the clutter is an easy and effective way to reduce decision fatigue in your life. Giving you fewer decisions to make about your “stuff” each day.

And often, having fewer options to choose between, can not only help reduce decision fatigue but can also make life easier too!

5. More clarity and alignment with your values

Decluttering is a great way to get clear about your values, your priorities and what is most important to you.

Decluttering the things that you don’t use, need or love, removes the distractions that can often make it hard to find clarity about your values and priorities. It’s easier to get to know who you are and what you value most when there isn’t a bunch of clutter and “stuff” to distract you!

Over time, as you get rid of the things that aren’t important to you, you gain clarity about exactly who you are and what you value most. Then, you can start making choices to live in a way that prioritizes and lets you live in alignment with your values.

Giving you the freedom to live life on your own terms and intentionally create the kind of life you want to live.

6. Reduces mental clutter

A cluttered house can definitely make you feel like you have a cluttered mind.

The stuff you own isn’t passive. It is constantly vying for your time and attention. Pulling your attention in a bunch of different directions, which can be really distracting!

Too much clutter also increases your mental load by giving you more and more to keep track of, remember, manage, etc.

And clutter can also distract you to the point where you start losing focus and stop functioning at your best.

Reducing the physical clutter in your home is a great way to start reducing mental clutter. As well as reducing the mental load you’re carrying in order to remember everything you need to do to take care of all your stuff!

And even beyond that, reducing the physical clutter in your home also frees up mental space to start noticing what else is causing mental clutter in your mind. Giving you the time and space to start noticing what thoughts, reminders, ideas, beliefs, etc. you’re holding onto that aren’t serving you or adding value to your life.

7. Less financial stress

Decluttering and choosing to live a more simplified life are also great ways to reduce financial stress and strain.

When you make the choice to clear the clutter and own less, you will likely find yourself buying less and making more intentional purchases. Spending less, taking control of your finances and spending more intentionally are great ways to reduce financial stress and strain.

You can also gain more financial security by becoming more intentional about what you buy and how much you spend. A great way to reduce stress and improve your mental health.

8. Increases contentment and happiness

As you declutter your home and simplify your life, it’s easy to start noticing how little you need to be happy and content. You start appreciating what you have and notice what enough feels like, rather than always striving for more, newer, better, etc.

As you find this new feeling of contentment and gratitude, it’s easy to stop basing your worth on what you own. And instead start feeling defined by who you are as a person, rather than by what you own.

You might even notice you stop comparing yourself to others based on the things you own. Realizing how many times you update your décor or wardrobe has no bearing on who you are as a person.

And definitely recognizing that spending more than you can afford to buy things that will eventually end up adding clutter – and stress! – to your life is not worth it!

Less guilt and shame

Not only is decluttering a great way to find more contentment and gratitude for what you own. It’s also a great way to reduce feelings of guilt and/or shame centred around your abilities to manage and keep up with your home.

A cluttered home is difficult to manage and keep up with. Simply because there’s a lot of stuff to manage! But it’s easy to set unrealistic expectations for yourself that you should be able to keep up with it better. Then feel guilt or shame when you fall short of those expectations.

A great way to reduce feelings of shame and increase feelings of self-worth is by setting yourself up for success when it comes to taking care of your home. Get rid of the clutter and create a home that is realistic and a lot easier to keep up with and manage.

9. More mindfulness

Clutter is distracting. Not only sucking up your time and energy, all while adding mental clutter and stress to your life. But it also distracts you from the present moment. Pulling your attention to what you could or should be doing to take care of the clutter.

When you clear the clutter and choose less, there is less stuff distracting you and stealing your attention. Which gives you more opportunities to live mindfully and stay in the present moment.

As well as more time and space in your life for you to slow down and stop rushing from one thing to the next. Giving you the opportunity to notice and appreciate the simple pleasures and delightful little moments in life. Moments you might have been too busy or distracted to notice before.

Decluttering and mindfulness often have a lovely relationship with each other.

Mindfulness helps you start noticing where your time and attention are going. Which is a great way to start noticing what clutter is distracting you or taking more time and attention than you want to give. As you remove that clutter, you can continue to live more mindfully.  

10. Improved relationships

Having more time and energy also means you have more time and energy for the people in your life who you love. The more time and energy you invest in the relationships that are most important to you, the deeper they can grow. And the more they can flourish!

Having a home you are proud of and comfortable inviting guests into is another way decluttering can impact your relationships. When you feel comfortable inviting guests into your home, rather than feeling embarrassed or stressed by the clutter and mess, you have more opportunities to grow and deepen your relationships.

11. Home becomes a place you love

Decluttering your home and removing the things you don’t use, need or love, is a great way to transform your home into a place you love spending time in. A place that feels like your own personal sanctuary. A place where you can rest, relax and enjoy your time. Not a place that adds to your stress!

Which is a wonderful reason to declutter in itself!

Cluttered house, cluttered mind: the link between decluttering and mental health

Decluttering can impact your life on many levels. And the impact decluttering can have on mental health is definitely one that shouldn’t be overlooked!

Your home can impact your mental health in positive or negative ways. And taking the time to clear the clutter and simplify is a great way to benefit your mental health and create a home you love!

Go from a cluttered house and cluttered mind to an uncluttered house and mind!

Can you relate to the idea of a cluttered house, cluttered mind? Have you noticed the impact clutter in your home can have on your mental health? Leave a comment and share your experience!

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Denise McAndrews

Sunday 12th of September 2021

This is a beautiful post, Melissa. I have noticed and felt every one of these points as I’ve started the decluttering process. I had no idea what a journey of self discovery going through my things and ‘de-owning’ much of my stuff would be. I’m starting to be able to live in the moment more and I definitely feel more attuned to everything about myself which leads right into what’s most important - the people I love and care about and the things I want to do for them, myself, and others. Thank you for an incredibly well thought out and inspiring post!

Simple Lionheart Life

Wednesday 15th of September 2021

Thank you so much, Denise! I had no idea where this journey would lead me either - but I'm so grateful for where it's taken me too! Thanks for reading and sharing your experience!

Jessalynn Jones

Sunday 12th of September 2021

This was a great article Melissa. I really liked where you said you might stop comparing yourself to others and buying new stuff because you will realize that that stuff has no bearing on who you are as a person! That’s great! I really appreciate a decluttered space because it makes me feel good that I am able to keep it tidy even tho it’s very easy to do. It also makes me feel calm and creative. The open space gives me mental space to create and that is super important to me.

Simple Lionheart Life

Wednesday 15th of September 2021

Thanks, Jessalynn! I totally agree - being able to keep our home tidy-ish (and not needing to spend all my time keeping it that way!) is so nice! Thanks for reading!

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