4 MIN READ | General

James Wallace

How to Reduce Anxiety Through Decluttering

Cite This
James Wallace, (2022, February 1). How to Reduce Anxiety Through Decluttering. Psychreg on General. https://www.psychreg.org/how-reduce-anxiety-through-decluttering/
Reading Time: 4 minutes

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by all of the different things you need to sort out when moving to a new house or flat or when you want to have a home makeover. If you are moving, along with packing and admin work, every stage of moving comes with its own unique costs. You can make a mental note of what to expect and plan well in advance using this simple house moving checklist of some of the main things you should be aware of and the costs you’re likely to face.

If you’re looking to do a home makeover for an easy way to reduce stress, decluttering your environment may be an excellent place to start. Well, aside from playing online games, spring cleaning and decluttering are your good options to destress. 

Getting rid of excess stuff can benefit your mental health by making you feel calmer, happier, and more in control. A tidier space can make for a more relaxed mind. Even without the added stress of living through another wave of quarantine and everything that comes with it, life can be pretty overwhelming. 

When anxiety hits, it is hard to keep track of all the things that may cause it. One of the most apparent factors, of course, is clutter. Saving a workspace perfectly clean and sterile is hardly possible and, frankly, not practical. There are many more important things to focus on. But getting rid of everything that we do not need is an excellent way to reduce the degree of chaos in our lives.

Become more organised

Not only does this give us more personal space, but it also has a therapeutic effect. People who struggle with too much stuff in their homes might find it hard to concentrate on a particular task. They might spend hours looking for a face mask or a bunch of keys that they left just there. The “Where did I put that?” goes on and on in their head which, in turn, causes more stress and anxiety. Decluttering will make everything easier to find and will clear up your mind.

If you are having a hard time completing a task, take a short break and tidy up your workspace. You will notice that you are more likely to get things done when you don’t have a lot of distractions on your desk. Like all self-care routines, decluttering helps us stay more organised and focused. Getting rid of clutter will help you to concentrate and become more productive.

Sell old gadgets 

We all have things that we do not have use for anymore. It is even more true for gadgets. They become outdated quickly these days, and to keep up with our demands, we need to buy new ones. However, it does not mean that your old iPad is just a useless brick that takes up space and collects dust. It can be sold to other people who do not need a top of the line tablet. You can also find a local company that specialises in buying and recycling gadgets. It is a win-win because you can sell your iPad to make some money and help the environment. 

Recycle, reuse, and upcycle 

Speaking of recycling, it is a viable option not only for gadgets. Most of the stuff we have can be recycled and given a new lease of life as something functional. Old notebooks can be recycled into pulp to make new paper and tissues. Every little thing that takes the strain off of the planet helps, and an opportunity to feel like you are making a difference is something you should take. 

A pair of worn jeans with holes in them can be upcycled into cool shorts to wear once the winter is over. An old jacket that does not look presentable can be given a new look with cool patches and stitching patterns. Towels that have seen a lot in their time and do not feel as soft on your skin as they once did will make fantastic rags that will help you clean after you have finished decluttering. It will cheer you up and reduce your anxiety levels.

Lower risk of asthma and allergies

You may think your house is messy but not dirty. But it’s hard to clean around piles of belongings. Decluttering can prevent pests and reduce dust, mould, and mildew, triggering asthma and allergies. Living in a clean home can have a positive impact not only on your mental state but also on your physical health. 

Higher self-esteem

When you have trouble staying organised, you may feel out of control. Improving your living space can restore feelings of competency and pride. Once you are finished with decluttering and cleaning, the feeling of achieving something will be a bonus to that. Making your space more organised and tidy will give you a great sense of accomplishment and motivate you to keep your home neat and clean.

Better sleep

Since decluttering reduces stress, you’ll naturally enjoy better sleep. But keeping your bedroom decluttered is itself an aid to sleep. People who make their beds every morning experience longer, more restful sleep because they use fresh, clean sheets. Decluttering your bedroom should also include keeping electronic devices turned off or in another room, so you can unwind and go to sleep at an earlier hour. (And by staying more organised during the day, there will be fewer tasks to distract you later.)

Eat better

The stress caused by your clutter may also trigger coping mechanisms like overeating ‘comfort foods’, according to a Cornell University study from 2016. A psychological experiment conducted at the University of Minnesota likewise found that while disorder can sometimes spur creativity, a messy room was more likely to eat unhealthy snacks than the latter study. People who spent time in a messy room were twice as likely to eat a chocolate bar than an apple. While there may be multiple reasons why people eat more poorly in cluttered surroundings, it’s a good idea to make cooking and dining areas as free of clutter as possible.

Even though getting rid of your stuff might not be that simple, it will definitely pay off in the long run. Decluttering will help you become more organised, have more free time and reduce stress levels. Take it one step at a time and create a healthier and cleaner environment for yourself and your loved ones.


James Wallace did his degree in psychology at the University of Edinburgh. He is interested in mental health and well-being.


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