Have you ever heard the phrase, “Your room is a reflection of your life”? There might be some truth to that. From what décor choices we make, to what colors we gravitate toward, to how organized we keep our spaces – it all says something about who we are and what part of our lives we are in.
Many people have trouble parting with their belongings. Some people assign sentimental value to items. Others just fear they might need the item again, though deep down they may know that isn’t true.
There are lots of people out there who would consider themselves pack rats. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. However, there’s a chance a cluttered space has a negative impact on your mental health.
Clutter and Mental Health
Being exposed to an untidy space can increase stress levels in most people. In one study, women who had tidy homes were compared to women who described their homes as cluttered or unfinished. The women who described their homes in positive terms had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol, as compared to the women who described their homes as untidy.
In most people, decluttering their space aids in better mental health. Decluttering your space can have many benefits, including:
- An increased sense of self-worth and confidence. There is a sense of accomplishment that comes with decluttering your space, which would release dopamine, a neurotransmitter in the brain responsible for feeling the pleasure of a reward.
- Improved focus. Being unable to find the items you need can detract from your focus in the home. This is especially important if you perform any aspect of your job from your home.
- Improves relationships. For those who live with others such as a roommate, family, or romantic partner, organization skills can be a point of disagreement. When you can keep a space tidy, there are less likely to be clashes in the home over cleaning standards.
- Improved lifestyle. It’s easier to cook in a clean kitchen, just as it’s easier to find clothing in a neat closet. Tidying up can make your life easier and more productive.
- Decreased allergens in the home. Although a disorganized house is much different from a dirty house, cluttered homes can build up allergens, like dust, much easier than tidy homes. It’s hard to clean if there is always clutter in the way.
Tips for Decluttering Your Space
The bottom line is that decluttering your space is good for your health. If you need some helpful hints on where to start, consider the following decluttering tips:
- Start small. Instead of trying to declutter an entire room, start by trying to declutter a single cabinet or closet.
- Set timelines. You can try the Pomodoro method or other techniques, which use time-sensitive deadlines to motivate you to complete cleaning tasks around the house.
- Make others hold you accountable. Hosting a dinner or family get-together will motivate you to have your home looking tidy by a certain date and time.
Clutter happens to the best of us. However, it’s important to stay on top of your clutter and manage it. Decluttering your space can make you feel better, make it easier to be productive, and strengthen relationships with housemates.