I was recently asked to chat about decluttering in a Facebook group: Clutter Wars. Sure! I could talk about that all day long. My friend and fellow professional organizer hit me with her first question: Why should people even bother to declutter? Excellent question. Not everyone aspires to live in the tidy environment most professional organizers do. And yet…Here are my top 8 reasons decluttering is important.
8 Reasons Why Decluttering is Important
- Clutter causes stress. Studies have shown that when women, in particular, walk into a cluttered environment their cortisol (stress hormone) levels skyrocket. So even if you don’t consciously realize it, clutter is causing anxiety.
- A cluttered environment signals your brain that your work is never done. When you see clutter, your mind is (again, often unconsciously) making a huge to-do list. The brain is an amazing but in this case annoying organ. It keeps playing that list over and over again in your mind like a broken record. So clutter is screaming to your brain “WORK, WORK, WORK.” Exhausting.
- Clutter is paralyzing. Looking at piles of paper or a messy pantry can often stop people in their tracks. They have no idea what to do next. So often, they do nothing. The brain has a hard time differentiating between what is clutter and what is important, according to the Princeton Institute of Neuroscience. Basically, clutter impedes your ability to focus.
- Clutter wastes your time. According to the National Soap and Detergent Association, eliminating clutter would reduce household cleaning by 40%. Sign me up.
- Decluttering exercises your decision-making muscle. Once you begin deciding, over and over again, which items to remove from your home, you become better at making decisions all around.
- Decluttering makes you more efficient. Knowing where to find everything will allow you to move about your day, attending to what needs to be done in a much faster, efficient way. For example, if you have a decluttered desk, filing and paying bills will take much less time. Decluttering = More Time.Decluttering = More Time Click To Tweet
- Clutter is unhealthy. Old clothes stuffed at the back of the closet. Unwanted toys in the corner of a garage. These items collect dust, dirt, and sometimes mildew. Removing these items leaves your home-and you-healthier.
- Clutter in the home is clutter in the mind. Time and time again I’ve seen how physically decluttering a person’s environment also declutters their mind. My clients realize what they truly want in their life once they’ve identified what can be let go. This clarity is so powerful.
So, yes, decluttering is important.
I recommend setting aside a few hours a week to work on decluttering. Decluttering is important for a healthy life. Put it on the calendar so other activities won’t automatically take over. (I mean, c’mon, I bet decluttering isn’t fun for most people like it is for me.) Don’t think about what you’ll be losing. Think about what you’ll be gaining.
If you want more information and tips on decluttering, check out my post “What you MUST Do before organizing anything.”
Also, sometimes it’s easier to start small. Getting rid of items that are easy to let go of feels so good you’ll be eater to do more. Check out my article “12 Unbelievably Easy Items to Declutter NOW!”
I’d love to hear what area you plan to declutter first. Want to show off your before and after photos? Post them on my Facebook page!
You can do this!!