Today I want to share with you how decluttering helps relieve stress, mainly because I am in the depths of yet another declutter and also because I always hear how stressed my clients and friends are only to uncover that they are holding on to stuff that is not benefiting them.
So many of us move a lot these days (and those of us who don’t are equally as disorganised) when it comes to clearing things out when we move*. I know from being a bit of an eco warrior (and a recovering emotional keeper) that it can be hard to get rid of things. There always seems to be more life left in it or it could be fixed (when I get around to it) and things start to pile up.
*Shhh, I still had unopened moving boxes 6 years into living in our new home!
That is when, without even realising it, the clutter and stuff start to affect your stress levels.
Recently I have been feeling this myself, which is why I am in yet another declutter mode. I find that my studio and desk get packed with papers, notes, idea scribbles and other bits that come in and never seem to leave again. I find that my work becomes sluggish and I don’t feel energised to do what I need to be doing – procrastination kicks in and I find myself doing everything under the sun other than the things I need to be doing at my desk in my work-space.
It is really incredible the things that you find when you are going through a decluttering (and the emotions that come up too) but it is really important to keep focused on the task and the end result of feeling a whole lot less stressed.
The thing about clutter and stuff is that we have some sort of attachment to it whether we realise it or not. Partly because it is taking up space in our homes which means that we see it regularly and probably have pangs of guilt about the mess and the fact that we are yet to tackle it. It is these connections and feelings that create the stress in us. Not to sound woo-woo, but the energy in our homes and spaces is used up by the stuff that is in there – especially when it has relation to things that make us feel sad e.g. cards or presents from ex-partners etc.
So if you’re feeling stressed, it might be time that you had a good old clear out too.
Here’s how decluttering helps relieve stress:
Decluttering helps to create space in your home, on your computer desktop, your phone and makes things easier to navigate – you’re not tripping over the pile of unread magazines or the piles of clothes that won’t fit in the wardrobe. You have space to think because you aren’t holding onto the guilt of the things that you should have done or the things you feel bad for buying because they are in the spaces that they need to be and in an orderly fashion.
Everything is in its place and there is a place for everything. You don’t have a load of things that you don’t use that take up space e.g. that juicer that hasn’t seen the light of day for over a year! When things are ordered, you don’t have the stressful feelings of not being able to find things (think your online login details for HMRC on the 31st January…yes, this happened to me!!)
Decluttering frees you from the things that you are holding onto physically that affect you mentally. The things that hold you back. SO much of the stuff that I cleared out reminded me of another version of myself and I was kind of keeping them to remind myself of that time. I know that I am no longer that person and I am happy with who I am so keeping things for the sake of it just held me back and filled space with things that I love and use now (oh and dusting becomes easier too!)
Clean and Tidy
Going on from the idea of being able to dust more quickly, the whole of cleaning becomes easier and you are able to fee up your time for other things that you enjoy much more. When you end up cleaning things that don’t bring you joy, are beautiful and fit who you are right now, it drains your energy and adds to your stress levels.
Yes, clearing out can really pull all sorts of emotional tricks on you and it can be a very trying time, but the benefits you get far outweigh that temporary discomfort (take it from me, I’ve been there!) Being able to reduce stress by keeping your things down to a manageable level really does reduce stress and helps you to free your mind to concentrate on other things.
So this is a quick one on how decluttering reduces stress.
What is your clutter story? I’d love to hear if you’re a recovering hoarder, a minimalist master or somewhere in between.
Share in the comments.
PS: I am working on a 21 day declutter challenge? Fancy taking part? To find out about it, sign up to join my private Facebook group to find out more
Right, back to my clearing!