10 REASONS TO DECLUTTER YOUR HOME
Clearing clutter is a great way to bring peace, calm and space to your home. In this article we’re looking at 10 reasons to declutter your home and discover some of the benefits of clutter-free living for yourself.
DECLUTTERING YOUR HOME AND LIFE
Decluttering your home and life is one of the best ways of creating more space. That’s space in your home but also your schedule, heart and mind.
Clearing the clutter, the ‘stuff’ in your life that removes you from living your best life, is becoming more and more popular. Perhaps this is a reaction to our busy world or that we’re now beginning to realise that ‘having it all’ and feeling happy and fulfilled don’t always go hand-in-hand.
I know in my own life that doing, achieving and chasing – the career, the holidays, the house – came with a price. That price was that I was living a cluttered life, in a cluttered home with a cluttered diary that squeezed me out.
“Clutter is not just the stuff on your floor, it’s anything that stands between you and the life you want to be living.” (Peter Walsh)
In this article I’m sharing 10 reasons to declutter your home. There are many other ways you can declutter your life but home is where the heart is and for many of us, it’s one of the biggest sucks on our time and energy.
There may be other reasons to declutter your home that could apply to you, but the following list is a summary of the reasons that motivated me to grab a box and fill it with stuff!
10 REASONS TO DECLUTTER YOUR HOME
Here are 10 reasons to declutter your home and swap stuff for space and clutter for calm. Take a look and see if they resonate with you.
1. Less stress
Our outer environments (our homes, workplaces and surroundings) affect our inner environments (our bodies and brains). Scientific studies have shown that clutter affects our ability to focus and concentrate and too much clutter has also been shown to increase our stress levels. Check out this post for more on the research but, in summary, if you want to cut down your stress levels, a good place to start is by ditching some of your clutter!
2. More space
This is perhaps an obvious one, but getting rid of your unwanted clutter creates more physical space. You’re only keeping what you need, love, appreciate and adds value to your life. So there’s less random clutter taking up space in your cupboards, garage, shed, drawers, on table tops, shelves, work surfaces and of course, stacked on the floor and stairs!
3. More peace
Your home will be calmer and more peaceful because too much stuff not only clutters your space but it becomes visually distracting and clutters the mind. Check out this post to read more about how to create a calm, peaceful family home that supports you and your family.
4. Easier to find things
It’s less likely that you’ll lose something (and therefore, it’s easier to find things) if you’ve generally got less stuff. There’s less clutter to sift through so even if you’re not the most neat and organised person, you’ll still be able to find things quicker. Generally, as part of the process of decluttering and deciding what to keep and what to get rid of, you’ll probably be reorganising things anyway and setting up proper filing systems, storage or places to keep things so you’ll know where most, if not everything, is.
5. Increases productivity and efficiency
Building on the point before, you’ll be more productive and efficient because you won’t waste time trying to find things! For other tips on how to be super-productive, check out this post on how to be more productive at home and in life.
6. Easier to look after
A decluttered home is SO much easier to look after and maintain. If there’s less stuff then it’s quicker to tidy up, clear things away, clean and generally keep on top of. Less time cleaning and looking after your home means more time (and energy) to do other things. You can make it even quicker and easier to look after your home if you put in place some simple routines for your housework and regular chores. Check out this post on 10 routines to keep your home clean and tidy.
7. Ready for visitors
If your home is easier to look after and has less clutter, then it’s easier to keep it looking neat, tidy and ready for visitors (pretty much) at all times. Yes, you might need to do a quick run-around picking up a few things, but nothing that will take longer than a few minutes or that your guests will really notice!
8. You’ll spend less
When you get used to living with less clutter and learning to be intentional and mindful about what you let into your home, then you’ll probably find that you’ll spend less on stuff that you don’t really need or want. You’ll begin to find other ways to make yourself happy instead of a trip to the shops. Your bank balance will thank you for it too! Check out this post on how to shop with intention if you love shopping but hate clutter.
9. Encourages gratitude
Being grateful for what you have and focusing on what’s important to you and your family is so important but easily forgotten in today’s consumerist world. When we’re used to having lots of stuff then we often don’t fully appreciate what we already have. The same is true for both us adults and for kids when they have so many toys they don’t know what to play with first! Try this Gratitude Challenge to explore and journal your thoughts on gratitude.
10. More time and energy for other things
A decluttered home is not the end goal. Although it’s lovely to have an uncluttered, organised, family-friendly, welcoming home (i.e. a decluttered home), it’s WHAT this decluttered home will give you that’s the real magic. You’ll have time, space, energy, freedom and possibly more money. Just think what all this could mean for you and your family? It’s a question of defining your priorities and finding the balance between looking after your stuff and looking outward to creating your best life.
If you’d like to start decluttering your home but it feels daunting or you’re not sure where to start, here are some quick decluttering tips to help you begin:
1. Declutter in waves
Don’t feel you have to tackle every room in great detail. Take a look at each room, slowly and objectively. Remove the things that you can see immediately that you don’t want to keep. Put them in a box to donate or recycle. Re-visit that room when you’re feeling fresh and take another look. Remove anything that you notice this second time around. Decluttering in waves means that with each successive sweep, you’ll notice a little bit more each time you do it. Nothing scary and nothing too daunting.
2. Start somewhere easy
Don’t head straight into the attic or garage. Test and hone your decluttering skills before you approach a big project. Start with the bathroom and sift through the cupboards. Remove items you don’t or won’t use. Clear the surfaces, organise what’s left and practice keeping just what you need and use, no excess.
3. Use your spare minutes
Lack of time is a common obstacle but don’t let this put you off. You can declutter a kitchen drawer in a few spare minutes whilst dinner is cooking. Try decluttering one book shelf at a time, or your underwear drawer as you’re putting the clean laundry away. Get creative with how you spend those odd minutes and they’ll soon amount to big progress!
Further reading: 14 tiny decluttering projects
DECLUTTERING BEYOND JUST YOUR HOME
Decluttering your home is an obvious place to start, but there are many other aspects of life that you can declutter too. You can declutter your time, your digital life, your mind and your clothes, to name a few.
Decluttering is about asking yourself some simple questions:
- Do I need this?
- Do I use this?
- Does this add value to my life?
- Do I appreciate having this in my life?
‘This’ could be a physical item taking up space on your shelves or counters, but it could also be a negative mindset, an unhealthy habit, too much debt, a difficult relationship.
Clutter is really the excess and unwanted things in your life that take you away from what’s important to you.
Decluttering your life is thinking differently about your life, what you let in and what you keep out. It’s about being mindful of the decisions you make and asking yourself the questions I mentioned above.
Decluttering doesn’t mean you never go shopping, your home is always clean, tidy and clutter-free (let’s be real here!) or you don’t allow yourself to enjoy a wardrobe full of clothes or one too many pairs of shoes in your closet.
Clutter-free living is about removing the excess, but it’s up to you how you define that excess!
Further reading: What is clutter – 7 ways to think about your stuff
RESOURCES ON DECLUTTERING
Here are some helpful resources on decluttering your home and life.
- How to declutter when you feel stuck
- How to declutter when you don’t have time
- 10 things to declutter that aren’t things
- Simplify Your Home – a complete guide and workbook to decluttering your home, room by room and setting up systems and routines to make it easier to manage, with less stress and more space. Calm instead of chaos.
- Declutter Starter Kit – my popular free toolkit packed with helpful tips and projects to help you begin clearing the clutter in your own life and keeping it away!