How decluttering your home can help your mental health

Are you frustrated by the amount of mess in your home? Find out how decluttering it can help your mental health.

Modern women lead hectic lives. They run households, manage careers, and care for their families. And while trying to divide time between home life and work responsibilities, it can be difficult to keep things from piling up around the house. From junk mail on the dining room table to heaps of laundry on the bedroom floor, clutter can quickly get out of hand.

Worse than the mess, clutter can add to your mental load, leading you to feel overwhelmed and stressed. This is especially true for women with high functioning anxiety who have a constant need to stay busy. Read on for some tips to help you create a plan to declutter your life and home.

How does clutter affect your mental health?

Your home should be a safe space with an atmosphere that encourages a sense of balance and comfort. By decluttering, you can improve your mental healthand relax your mind. Taking action can help remove distractions while also reducing or preventing stress, depression, and anxiety.

According to psychologist Jennifer Guttman, the sensory overload caused by a disorderly environment can cause irritability and frustration, adding strain to everyday life.

From arguing with your children about picking up their toys to misplacing important documents in a pile of papers, the mental weight of clutter can feel overwhelming. 

Five benefits of a clutter-free home

Just like the burden of clutter takes its toll on your mental health, decluttering your home can do wonders for your state of mind. Here are a few perks that come with cleaning up.

1) Improved focus

Unfinished chores can be upsetting, especially if you work from home. Women often multitask to get everything done, but this can result in a less-than-satisfactory performance all around.

Set aside some time specifically for housework to avoid that nagging feeling that you should be doing something else. This way, you can keep your focus on your family, work, or relaxation without disruption.

2) Fewer distractions

The brain processes clutter two ways: it either filters out distractions to maintain focus or redirects all attention toward messes at the expense of productivity. More disorder requires more energy to ignore. By tidying up, you can free your mind to concentrate on the tasks at hand rather than working overtime to tune out that sink full of dishes.  

3) It’s easier to relax

How can you possibly unwind when you’re preoccupied with clutter? It can be difficult to engage in some critical self-care when you can’t help but notice the stacks of old magazines on the coffee table or the kids’ toys strewn about the floor. It’s much easier to enjoy your downtime to the fullest when you rid your environment of unneeded junk. 

4) Increased productivity

As your focus increases with the benefit of fewer distractions, you may notice that your productivity improves as well. When you have an organised household, you can find important papers or work outfits much faster than before, allowing you to get on with your day and get things done.

5) You’ll save time

By reducing clutter, you’ll spend less time worrying about it and cleaning it up. This frees up space in your daily schedule to do the things you want to do, like reading or watching a movie. Moreover, you can trade the time you spent on stress and wasted energy for healthier activities, like catching up on sleep and exercise.

How to declutter your life

When it comes to developing a plan to organise your home, there are plenty of options you can explore. Whether you need a little extra help or you’re ready to tackle this project on your own, developing some key organisation skills is the first step toward improving your living space and wellbeing.

In an interview with clutter therapist Julieanne Steel, she suggests beginning the process slowly and deliberately so you can avoid feeling overwhelmed. Think of your daily routine and what you do that causes clutter to build up.

A big step in improving your well-being is understanding the meaning behind the items in your home and making conscious decisions about maintaining them. 

Everybody is unique, so you’ll likely find some home decluttering methods work better for you than others. For instance, try tackling smaller tasks, like sorting the mail, first. This way you’ll see results quickly, which can encourage you to move on to the next area.

Four decluttering methods to try

However you choose to address the mess, have a plan and stick to it. Here are four tried-and-true ways to declutter your home.

1) Room-by-room

One good method for organising your home is to manage one room at a time using a streamlined process. Whether you’re tackling the bedroom, living room, tidying up your home office, or donating your furniture through a Salvation Army Donation Pickup, you can apply the same strategy. Decluttering will feel far more attainable when you stop trying to take on your entire home at once. 

2) Yes or no

Sometimes, organising a pile of clutter means separating it into two. Make one “yes” pile for keeping things and a “no” pile for everything else, leaving no room for “maybe.” This can be easier said than done, but making these clear-cut decisions is a good challenge, and it creates a sense of self-efficacy. 

3) Invest in storage

When the time comes to put away that “yes” pile, you might find that you lack the storage. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to throw out items you’d rather keep.

Instead, invest in adequate storage. Shoe and garment organisers are ideal for decluttering clothes, while storage ottomans look stylish and help contain spare throw blankets or pillows.

4) Book a professional decluttering service

Sometimes the kindest thing you can do for your mental health is to ask for help. If you’re feeling overwhelmed and unsure where to begin, consider hiring a professional organiser.

These experts can jumpstart your decluttering process and provide you with some much-needed guidance, removing some of the initial stress and intimidation you may feel.

Lighten the load with less clutter

While busy women are on the move day in and day out, they often forget that their mental health matters just as much as their work and family. By decluttering your home, you can have a little less weight on your mind and feel more relaxed.

Use these tips to help you promote cleanliness in your household and get back to being more productive and healthier.