How Decluttering Will Reduce Your Stress

by Journals to Freedom August 10, 2021 5 min read

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my full disclosure for more info. All printables are for personal use only.

We tend to think of clutter as too much physical stuff around us. Clutter isn't just the amount of things we have though. Our minds, our phones and our computers can be cluttered too.

The problem with too much clutter - whether physical, digital or mental - is that it can cause stress when it builds up too much. Don't just take my word for it -studies have shown this to be true

Do you feel like life is starting to get a little too hectic? Are your thoughts and habits beginning to consume you? Are your cupboards overflowing? Do you scrabble around, looking for something you know you have, but you just can't find it...?

These are all common symptoms of too much clutter, and they will add to your stress levels.

Stress is an inevitable part of life. The problem is too much of it leads to anxiety, depression, and other health problems. We all have different ways of coping with stress, but decluttering is a quick and easy win to reduce stress levels. 

How Decluttering Will Reduce Your Stress

Why Clutter Causes Stress

A messy environment, stacked high with things, can feel overwhelming. How do you feel when faced with an enormous mountain of dirty laundry? Does it make you want to run in the opposite direction?

Allowing our 'stuff' to build up creates a sense of pressure, a visual reminder of everything that needs to be done. Being in a clutter-free environment does the same for us as turning off our phones when we need to concentrate on something else. It's harder to focus with distractions around us, and clutter is a distraction.

Clutter can make you feel that you're not in control. Instead, you're surrounded by chaos and confusion.

If you don't have things well organized, it's hard to find something when you need it too. How much time have you lost, looking for your car keys, a list you wrote, or something the kids needed for school? Inevitably, we end up frantic, at the last minute, searching around. 

In some cases, clutter can also cause problems with relationships. Being untidy and hoarding are two of the main complaints that partners make about each other. If you don't encourage your kids to keep their environment tidy and organized, the everyday build-up of kiddy stuff can soon feel overwhelming too. 

Looking for a system that will walk you through how removing clutter & tidying up just a little bit every day adds up to big results? This printable Decluttering Binder is exactly what you need!

The Benefits of Decluttering

Here are five ways decluttering will reduce your stress levels: 

  1. It is time-saving. Living in a cluttered environment makes your daily tasks more time-consuming and wastes valuable energy that could be put to better use elsewhere.
  2. It helps with decision making and improves productivity. Decluttering clears the way for creativity by helping you focus on what is important. Instead of trying to navigate through the mess, you can get straight on with the priorities.
  3. It's calming. Having piles of stuff around you can feel overwhelming so less stuff means more room to breathe – no more feeling like there isn’t enough space! Getting rid of the clutter in your house, office, phone and computer will make you feel more clear-headed and relaxed.
  4. It's good for everyone's physical health. Mountains of stuff make it much harder to keep a clean home. Dust, hair and mold can all cause allergies in some people and complicate conditions for asthma sufferers. Cutting back on the clutter allows you to clean faster, and more effectively. Less time spent cleaning means more time doing what matters most to you! 
  5. You get back control of your space. The benefits of decluttering go far beyond just tidiness. By physically decluttering your home, garage or office you not only reduce your physical clutter but it will also allow you to feel that you're in charge of your surroundings, not the other way around.

How to Declutter Your Life

Here are some actionable tips for decluttering your spaces.

Avoid overwhelm and focus on one room at a time

Start decluttering with the space that's causing you the most stress. Focus on one area of that space - for instance, begin by sorting through clothes in your bedroom.

Throw away items you no longer need and have been storing for years yet never use. Offer them to friends and charity shops or sell them.

Once you've finished with the clothes, start on your shoes, or your bags. When you've finished the bedroom, move on to the next room.

Keep on top of general clutter: Do a little bit each day

It's easy for clutter to pile on top of us if we don't actively keep it under control. Try these ideas for keeping clutter to a minimum:

Get the kids to tidy up toys every night before they go to bed.

Wash the dishes and wipe down the counter tops every night so you don't wake up to a messy kitchen.

Make your bed every morning and throw dirty laundry in the laundry basket - not on the floor. It will make your sleep much more restful to go to a tidy, organized bedroom each night.

Pro-tip: My friend, Julie, at All About Tidy has great tips for specifically decluttering and tidying small spaces like RVs and tiny homes! 

Create a decluttering checklist

Checklists are a fantastic way to declutter. Set out a list of tasks for each room in your home. If you're not sure where to start, let us help you. Our printable Decluttering Binder has 46 pages to help you work through different spaces in your life, cleaning up a little bit each day as you go!

Our checklists will make it easy to work through each room and make sure you have a clear direction to follow. Before you know it, your environment will be clutter-free and you'll feel calm and back in control!

Printable Decluttering Binder

Build it into your routine

Set a time each week to clean the house, and a monthly cleaning session to do a deeper clean.

Don't forget that clutter applies to things you can't see as well: at the end of each month, go through your monthly banking and receipts and keep on top of financial matters.

Declutter your digital life

Unsubscribe from groups and mailing lists that really aren't that meaningful to you. If you're not reading their emails when you get them, you can live without them. 

Clean out apps that you're not using on your phone and laptop too, they're just taking up space unnecessarily. 

Don't forget to delete photos that you've taken that you don't need too - you know, the ones where someone's head is chopped off or they're blurry. If you don't, before long you won't be able to find the photos that you DO want to keep.

Conclusion

Step away from the chaos and get organized with our decluttering tips. We all know that life can be hectic, but there are ways to take control of your space again! Declutter your home by following these simple steps and don't forget to check out our Printable Decluttering Binder - it will take you from Chaos to Calm in our easy-to-follow checklists!

Related Posts:

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How Decluttering Will Reduce Your Stress

Journals to Freedom
Journals to Freedom


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