Every month or so, I will look around and see drawers overflowing with old bits of paper, shelves with various piles of stuff on top of the books, a kitchen table we can’t eat at because things have accumulated on there and realise, I need to declutter. I’m not a neat freak or a minimalist; I like my home to feel homely and I want people to relax in it. I also live with a hoarder and the word ‘declutter’ sends him into a tailspin. However, I know that an accumulation of clutter has a negative impact on my state of mind. It affects my self-esteem lowering my opinion of myself, as well as making me feel like I can’t fully relax. The benefits of decluttering for me are all about improving my mental health and nothing to do with having a perfect house.
Benefits of decluttering
We all have different mess thresholds and it’s all relative. For me though, there are a number of benefits to decluttering.
Decluttering puts me back in control of my life. I really believe how you live in your space has a lot to do with how you feel internally. A messy cluttered home is often an indication that I’ve not been prioritising myself or is symptomatic of a deeper issue.
Space to think. Too much clutter makes me feel claustrophobic and it affects my ability to think clearly. Space around me frees up space in my brain and gives me clarity.
It lifts my energy levels. I feel much more energised after I’ve decluttered. In part, it gives me a sense of achievement but it also frees up time to focus on other things. It often puts a spring in my step and I feel inspired to get more done.
It boosts my confidence. Feeling much more on top of things has a massive impact on my self-esteem. In days of juggling work around my child and often feeling like I’m doing both badly, decluttering makes me feel like I’ve got at least one thing right.
Trying to buy less
We all know that possessions don’t make us happy. However, it is hard to buy less. I often buy a storage solution as a way to declutter, instead of examining why I have so much around me. I have a tendency to keep on to things in case it becomes useful again. It very rarely does.
My recent blast of decluttering made me realise I have multiples of things from jars of Marmite to similar pairs of shoes. I’m buying mindlessly without thinking about what I have already.
I’m trying to put checks in place before I buy. I want to question what purpose it will serve and how long it will be useful for.
It’s time to be comfortable with less.