Decluttering your home from time to time has obvious organizational benefits. The less stuff you have, the more practical your living space becomes. Reducing the number of belongings you have is also one step toward improving your home’s furniture placement and functionality, which may lead to a big payoff when you decide to sell your home. But aside from these considerations, there are several health benefits of decluttering that the general public should be more aware of.
Generally speaking, decluttering has sort of a cathartic effect on your thoughts and emotions. When you sort through your belongings, you are finally coming to grips with the loads and loads of clothing, decoration, and other trinkets that have piled up over the years. Some people declutter on a seasonal or yearly basis precisely because of this. So, let’s take a closer look at which health benefits decluttering may have in store for you.
Improved sleep quality
It is widely known that cutting clutter and staying (relatively) cool during the night helps you sleep more firmly and comfortably. This might seem counterintuitive at first. How can clutter ruin your sleep when your eyes are closed and your mind unconscious? Nevertheless, the brain is still affected by its surroundings.
The ‘visual noise’ you expose yourself to in a messy, cluttered room creates the feeling of chaos, tension, and uncertainty. In this environment, the brain may find it harder to ‘shut down’ as it is constantly stimulated. So, if you feel you are not getting a good night’s sleep, you might want to consider doing some decluttering.
Decluttering keeps allergies at bay
Furthermore, certain indoor allergies provoked by allergens that reside in the things around us may also impact your health and quality of sleep. So, even if your sleeping space is not all that cluttered in the true sense of the word, you might want to reduce the number of decorative items in your bedroom.
Hence, be sure to remove all plush toys, doilies, and other items that easily collect dust and debris. Not only will your bedroom look bigger, but dusting and vacuuming will also be much easier.
Lower Levels of Anxiety
The benefits decluttering can bring to your mental health cannot be stressed enough. Just think about it. It is no coincidence that people prefer tidiness, harmony, and symmetry.
For the mind to work efficiently, your surroundings have to be clean and balanced, without too many things and distractions. In a decluttered space, your anxiety levels are more likely to be under control. Remember – order appeases the mind. This is why decluttering is highly beneficial for people who suffer from anxiety and depression.
Decluttering activates your mind
It is not only your emotional life that benefits from an orderly environment. It is also your cognitive and problem-solving skills that are activated in the process of decluttering. After you declutter, your brain has to figure out how to place an X number of things into a Y amount of space.
First of all, the easiest way to solve such organizational problems is to reduce the number of things. In that way, you will make use of the space at your disposal without unnecessarily clumping things together. If you do not have enough room for the number of things you own, then you might consider renting a storage unit. Although renting storage may seem like a financial burden at first, splitting the bill with a friend is an option you may want to consider. Sharing the unit with someone is a great way to reduce expenses.
Secondly, you have to activate your decision-making skills and decide on the spot which belongings may be of use and which ones you keep holding onto without a legitimate reason. In this sense, decluttering is an activity that does not only improve your quality of life but also your decision-making and problem-solving skills.
Decluttering is energizing
This health benefit of decluttering is related to the previous point we discussed. When you declutter, you have to activate your brain and your body; you have to think logically about what you will keep and how to store, place ,or clean something. This puts your mind and body into that familiar ‘getting-things-done’ mode. Hence, some people engage in decluttering to activate their bodies and get through the day.
Decluttering can help you relax and rest your mind
Also, large-scale decluttering can be a demanding physical activity, especially if you aim to declutter before a significant home renovation project, such as turning an attic into a luxury hangout. Engaging in this kind of activity helps people who do a lot of mental work in their jobs. The physical movements combined with focused planning and decision-making usually help the mind steer away from the usual, more challenging, or even troubling thought processes.
Decluttering reduces stress
Know that nasty feeling when you cannot find something even though you know it is somewhere within your reach? As a result, you might be unnecessarily creating stress-inducing situations throughout your day.
There is a good, practical reason why decluttering improves your daily life. Simply put, no matter how simple or complex they may be, any daily activity is easier to execute and finalize when you have a clear layout and overview of the things surrounding you.
Take cooking, for instance. If you declutter and organize your kitchen, it will stimulate you to cook at home. The same goes for dusting, cleaning, vacuuming, you name it. Hence, be sure to make your living space conducive to cooking and cleaning since it will automatically bring about other health benefits of decluttering.
Isabella Martin is a licenced interior designer. Her working experiences mostly include major home renovation projects in direct collaboration with the homeowners and portable storage companies such as PortaBox Storage. Her designs take into account the variety of human needs and the most optimal design solutions to satisfy those needs. Hence, she believes interior design should aim to be humanistic, functional, and most of all – healthy.