Why Decluttering is Important for Self-Care: Choosing less to improve your well-being

Why decluttering is important for self-care: choosing less to improve your well-being

At first, it might not seem like decluttering your house has much to do with self-care. But I’ve realized that not only is decluttering your home a way to practice self-care. But decluttering is important for self-care. Really important in fact!

Today I’m sharing why clearing the clutter and choosing to own less can help you take better care of yourself – physically, mentally and emotionally!

Why decluttering is important for self-care: choosing less to improve your well-being
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

What is self-care?

Self-care is actions we take to protect and improve our own health, well-being and happiness.

While many of us think of bubble baths, manicures and massages as acts of self-care, it actually involves much more than that.

In fact, self-care isn’t just fun things like bubble baths and manicures (although those are definitely ways you can care for yourself!). Self-care also includes doing things (sometimes hard things or things you don’t really want to do) that improve your life, well-being, health and/or happiness.

For example, self-care can also mean getting an annual check up with your doctor. Or flossing your teeth every night, exercising even on the days you don’t feel like it, or going to bed instead of staying up to watch one more episode.

And sometimes self-care involves things you don’t even think of as self-care at all, like decluttering! But not only is decluttering a way to practice self-care, but decluttering is important for self-care.

The negative impact clutter has on your life

While we may not always realize it when we’re in the midst of it, clutter can have a really negative impact on your life.

How much is the clutter in your home stealing from you? Definitely your time, space and energy. But it can also steal your peace as well.

Clutter and stress

Too much “stuff” and clutter can cause a significant amount of stress in your life in a variety of ways. Here are a few examples:

  • Keeping up with housework takes much more time, work and effort in a cluttered home
  • More stuff means more stuff to make a mess with and more time and energy required to tidy those messes up
  • It’s hard to keep track of what you own, causing you to spend a lot of time looking for things, or even rebuying items because you can’t find them!
  • Feeling discontent with the state of your home can make hosting guests stressful and even embarrassing

Clutter and your well-being

Not only that but too much clutter can also change the way you feel in your home and the effect your home has on your well-being.

Clutter can often cause you to feel discontent and generally unhappy with your home.

Most of us want our home to be a sanctuary we can retreat to and relax in. But a cluttered home makes rest and relaxation difficult.

Not only are you bombarded by visual clutter, distractions and “stuff” all the time. Which never gives your mind and your eyes white spaces to rest on.

But too much stuff to deal with can also make you feel like your to-do list is never-ending. Or as though there’s always more to do to maintain your home, and you can’t keep up or catch up.

When a space is full of clutter and “stuff” it often doesn’t feel calm, relaxing or peaceful. And can even go as far as to add significant amounts of anxiety to your life.

Decluttering is important for self-care

On the other hand, clearing the clutter and removing the excess and the distractions from your home can have a really positive impact on your life and your well-being.

Decluttering is freeing in so many ways. Letting go of the excess “stuff” that fills your home often feels like a weight is lifted from your life.

Sometimes we don’t even realize how heavy and burdened our stuff makes us feel until we start letting it go! And once you start letting go, it can feel like such a big relief as you feel lighter and happier and begin experiencing the benefits of less.

There many practical benefits of decluttering. For example, you’ll spend less time and energy cleaning and maintaining a tidy home. And you’ll likely lose your keys less!

But decluttering is important for self-care because there are many intangible benefits as well. Clearing the clutter can have such a positive impact on your overall health, happiness and well-being.

Why decluttering is important for self-care: choosing less to improve your well-being
Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

Self-care benefits of decluttering

Here are a few examples of the ways decluttering is important for self-care by improving your overall well-being and quality of life:

More space

Clearing the clutter means you literally give yourself more space in your home. And more space means you create breathing room and white space in your home. Making rest and relaxation easier.

Not to mention, more space in your home can make you happier with your home.

Instead of feeling discontent with your home and wishing you had a bigger home, owning less may make you realize you don’t need a bigger home, just less stuff in it!

More time

When you own less, you have less “stuff” to manage. You spend less time cleaning, tidying and taking care of the things you own, simply because there’s less of it.

Then as a result, you have more time for what matters most to you. It could be spending more time with the people you love. Having more time for an activity you love. Or more time for anything that’s important to you!

Whatever it is, once your home and the things you own require less of your time to maintain them, you have more time to spend on what you value most.

More energy

Just like less stuff means less time spent managing it. Less stuff also means less energy is required to manage it. Then you have more energy and attention to devote to what matters most to you.

More presence

When you have less stuff stealing your time, energy and attention, it’s easier to be more present and less distracted.

More money

When you work hard to declutter your home, the last thing you want to do is fill it back up with more stuff. Choosing to own less often leads to choosing to buy less, which can save you money!

And anything we can do to alleviate stress around money is a great thing for our self-care.

More focus

Clearing the clutter means less of your mental capacity is taken up managing the “stuff” you own. You have less decision fatigue, simply because you own fewer things and have fewer things to decide about.

When your brain isn’t constantly being distracted by all of the “stuff” and clutter surrounding you, you have more ability to focus and concentrate.

Removing the physical clutter from your home can help clear the mental clutter as well, as your to-do list shrinks and the distractions lessen.

More peace

When your home requires less of your time and energy, maintaining your home is less stressful. Not only that, but your home is easier to keep tidy so you can rest, relax and enjoy your home more.

All of this leads to more feelings of happiness and peace. Along with feeling more content with your home.

More freedom

When you have more time, space and energy, you give yourself the freedom to build a life you love.

You are no longer weighed down and burdened by so much “stuff”. Instead, you have the opportunity to fill your life with what matters most to you.

Owning less is not about deprivation

We often buy things to make life easier or more enjoyable. But too much of a good thing can become a bad thing.

Too much stuff stops making life easier and begins to add a burden to our lives. The more we own, the more we have to work to pay for, pick up, clean, maintain, organize, look for, repair, etc.

Decluttering and simplifying are not about depriving yourself of things you love or things that make life easier. Just the opposite in fact!

Decluttering and simplifying are about getting rid of the clutter, the excess and the distractions so you have more time, space, energy and freedom for what matters most to you in your life.

Why decluttering is important for self-care: choosing less to improve your well-being
Photo by Carolyn V on Unsplash

Do good moms have dirty floors?

Have you ever heard the saying “good moms have sticky floors, dirty ovens and happy kids”?

It’s always bugged me, because for me, it’s just not true! I find it really hard to be fully present with my kids when the house is a mess. Being surrounded by mess and clutter makes me feel cranky and distracted.

In order to be at my best, I need a tidy, clean home so I can relax and be present with my family. It’s just the way I am – mess stresses me out!

But I don’t want to spend all my time and energy keeping my home tidy and clean, then have nothing left for my family.

So the only option for me is to do what I can to make it easier to keep things (relatively) clean and tidy so I can spend more of my time and energy on what matters most to me.

By choosing to own less and developing a few simple habits to keep our home tidy and clutter-free, I don’t need to spend so much of my time and energy on housework and managing “stuff”. Instead, I can use that time and energy to connect with my family.

This is one example of how decluttering is important for self-care for me. Owning less gives me the time, space, energy and freedom to feel better in my home while still showing up for myself and my family in the ways I want to.

Take care of yourself to be at your best

This may not be the case for you. You may be able to ignore messes and clutter and stay present with your family.

But if clutter and messes cause you to feel stressed, cranky or unable to feel present, maybe decluttering is important for self-care for you too!

The point is, how good of a mom you are, or how happy your kids are has nothing to do with how clean your floors and oven are or aren’t.

And everything to do with how well you take care of yourself as a person so you can be at your best for yourself and your family.

And it just so happens that decluttering is one way that I am able to simplify my life to take care of myself and be a better mom.

Decluttering for self-care

I hope this post has shown you that decluttering is about more than just keeping your home tidy.

The benefits of decluttering go beyond just the tangible benefits of a clutter-free, tidy home.

Decluttering can become an important way to practice self-care because it helps you take control of your home, your life and your “stuff” to improve your overall well-being.

These are a few of the reasons why decluttering is important for self-care. If you’re struggling to get motivated to declutter, try reminding yourself that clearing the clutter is about so much more than a clean home.

It’s also about creating a home to fill you up rather than deplete you. Creating a home that can give you the time, space, energy and clarity to improve your health, happiness and overall well-being!

Do you find decluttering is important for self-care for you? Have you ever thought of decluttering as self-care before? Let me know in the comments below!

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6 Comments

  1. Hi Melissa,
    I must say your blog is very interesting reading. I always learn something new. I have never thought of de-cluttering as self care before, but I do now. We can care for ourselves in so many ways as you have pointed out. We often do this spontaneously. I will now think of simplifying my life in terms of diet also. I often think. How can I put this food in my body? Is it doing me any good or just force of habit. Am I caring for myself by filling my life with that which does not benefit my life or the lives of those who are in my care? It can follow in to reading material or even watching T.V. Even having a Mental Spring Clean can bring us benefit and give us a better quality of life. That is it. BETTER QUALITY OF LIFE!!!

  2. I believe your article is so true! I want to have my home totally clutter free. When I’m all ready for a party, I love my home because there are no stacks of paperwork or any piles of anything! It makes me so happy. I want to live that way every day, but I’m not there yet. I love all the stuff you write. I’ve heard self discipline is freedom, and I believe living clutter free takes discipline that leads to freedom to enjoy life more.

    1. Thank you so much, Lori! I love that you have a goal for how you want your home to look and feel – knowing what you want to achieve is such an important piece of the puzzle! I completely agree with you about self-discipline leading to freedom. Staying on top of clutter in your home is an ongoing process (although the more you declutter, the less stuff there is to manage and the easier staying on top of your home becomes!) that does require some effort and discipline. But you’re exactly right, putting in that effort and discipline is what gives you the time, space and freedom to enjoy your life more! Thanks for reading and sharing your insights 🙂

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