5 Mental Health Benefits of Decluttering   

5 Mental Health Benefits of Decluttering

Woman decluttering her home and organizing clothes into boxes, one labeled "donating" and the other "keep".
Clinical Contributors to this story:
Robert S. Petercsak, LCSW

Have you ever gotten that good feeling after cleaning out a closet or decluttering a junk drawer in your home? Decluttering your living space or organizing your home can provide a number of mental health benefits. 

“By removing unnecessary items and creating a sense of order, you can create a more peaceful living space,” says licensed clinical social worker, Robert S. Petercsak from Old Bridge Medical Center

Here are five ways that decluttering your living space can have a positive impact on your mental health:

  1. Decrease stress and anxiety. Clutter can cause stress and anxiety. By decluttering your space, you create a more calming environment that can improve your overall mood.
  2. Increase focus. It can be difficult to focus when clutter is all around you. By decluttering and organizing your space, you create a more peaceful environment that helps you stay focused and productive.
  3. Boost creativity. When you have too much stuff, it can be overwhelming and stifle your creativity. By decluttering, you can open up space for new ideas and creative expression.
  4. Improve sleep quality. A bedroom that is cluttered with clothes and objects can be disorienting and negatively impact your ability to relax and get quality sleep. 
  5. Enhance self-esteem. When you declutter your living space, you can gain a sense of accomplishment and control over your environment, which can positively impact your self-esteem.

“To some extent, we all hold on to keepsakes and other items we assign emotional value to. That’s generally harmless,” Robert says. “But taken to an extreme, it can be a sign of mental health issues to have a home filled up with piles of things there is no real reason to keep. For most of us, it’s not that serious, but it can still be helpful to remember that memories and emotions don’t reside in objects.”

How to Get Started With Decluttering 

Even if your clutter is not emotional, but rather organizational, it can feel like a daunting task to even begin decluttering. A few simple steps can make it easier.

  1. Start small. Instead of trying to tackle your entire home at once, start with one room or area. This will prevent you from feeling overwhelmed and help you see progress more clearly.
  2. Create a plan. Decide on a method of decluttering that works best for you, whether it be sorting items into categories or tackling one area at a time.
  3. Be mindful. As you go through your belongings, ask yourself if each item still brings value to your life. If not, consider letting it go.
  4. Set aside time. Decluttering can be a time-consuming process, so make sure to set aside dedicated blocks of time to work on it.
  5. Get rid of clutter responsibly. Consider donating or recycling items that are still in good condition.

Next Steps & Resources:

  • Meet our source: Robert S. Petercsak, LCSW
  • To make an appointment with a physician near you, call 800-822-8905 or visit our website.

The material provided through HealthU is intended to be used as general information only and should not replace the advice of your physician. Always consult your physician for individual care.


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