5 Wellness Benefits from Decluttering Your Home – But a Little Bit of Mess is a Good Thing

By Nikki Harper

Staff Writer for Wake Up World

Do you sometimes (or often!) stop, look around your home, sigh and promise yourself that you must clear up the clutter? You’re certainly not alone in having too much ‘stuff’, too poorly organized in your home. Research has found that Americans on average spend the equivalent of one year of their lives looking for lost items – one whole year! [1]

We also know from surveys and research that 54% of people feel overwhelmed by the amount of clutter in their lives, yet 78% of those have no idea what to do with it, or about it [2]. When you consider that 80% of the stuff we keep, we will never use [1],  you can see why it’s a growing problem for the majority of us.

There are numerous decluttering gurus and systems and methods and ways of restoring sanity to the home, but if you’re used to living in chaos, you might be wondering if it’s really worth the effort.

Yes. It is. Here are five good reasons why decluttering – at least a bit – will help to improve your overall wellness.

1 – Keeping Rhythm with the Seasons

September is a season-changing month in most of the northern and southern hemisphere. Whether you’re transitioning from summer to autumn or from winter to spring, there is change in the air, which makes this a fantastic month for decluttering. In fact, decluttering is a very good way to honour the September equinox, as it will help you focus your mind and prepare for the season ahead.

Decluttering will also help you find space to create a sacred sanctuary in your home, where you can meditate, pray, journal or carry out a daily spiritual practice, which will help you to get in tune with mother nature and to align your energies to the shifting earth.

2 – Reduce Your Anxiety and Stress

Numerous research studies have linked levels of clutter in the home with increased stress and anxiety. In 2010, UCLA’s Center for Everyday Lives of Families found that people living with clutter exhibited higher levels of cortisol, the stress hormone [3]. Having more cortisol than necessary in your body is associated with a variety of serious health issues.

Interestingly, people with cluttered homes often don’t feel stressed about the clutter itself – it’s not that people are tearing their hair out because they haven’t Marie Kondo’d their closet recently. Rather, the presence of the clutter magnifies the stress or anxiety they may already be feeling regarding other issues in their lives.

It’s important to declutter to reduce your stress levels, because further studies have shown that stress associated with clutter can lead to other health issues, such as a tendency to make poor dietary choices or to suffer from insomnia [4].

3 – Decrease Procrastination and Improve Focus

Hands up – who feels an urgent need to tidy their desk before settling down to a major work project? Who feels that they must, absolutely must, clear out the stuff from under the bed before they can do this year’s accounts?

This kind of procrastination is extremely common. You might think it’s just that tidying your desk or clearing other clutter is genuinely more fun than whatever it is that you’re avoiding (and it comes to something when raiding the closet is more appealing than your day job, but hey ho) – but actually there’s something a little more complex going on here.

The brain works with two kinds of primary input – sensory input, also known as bottom-up processing, and goal input, also known as top down processing. There’s a limit to what your brain can process at any one time, and top down and bottom up inputs are known to conflict with one another [5].

By decluttering, you are giving your brain a better chance to focus on the more important things, first time.

4 – Get Better Sleep

Having clutter in the bedroom adds to this sensory input, just when you’re trying to sleep. Studies have shown that people surrounded by clutter tend to have problems getting consistent, good quality sleep [6]. By removing clutter from the bedroom, you’re telling your brain that no, it’s not time to fold the laundry, it’s time to sleep.

5 – Improve the Flow of Chi Energy (and Air!)

Feng Shui holds that too much clutter will impede the flow of chi energy around your home. Clutter creates stagnant chi, which in turn can lower the vibrational energy of your home, and lower your own vibration too, in turn. Most of us recognise the difference in feeling between being in a tidy, organized space versus a messy or cluttered one – we can sense the different energy levels.

As well as chi, it’s important that air can flow freely around your home – too much clutter can lead to increased dust and allergens, as well as problems with mold, both of which in turn can have health repercussions.

So, five good reasons why clearing your clutter is worth it.

It’s important not to go overboard with this, though. Most of us do not thrive with a totally minimalist lifestyle, so your goal should be to get your home to a level of clutter that you feel happy with.

Besides, there is, it turns out, some truth in the old saying that a messy desk is the sign of a genius.

Research by the University of Minnesota suggests that a certain amount of mess or chaos is indeed associated with unconventional thinking and with creativity [7]. If you are not that bothered about putting things back in their proper place every time you use them, this can be suggestive of an unconventional, free thinking attitude towards life.

And if ever we needed more free thinking geniuses, it’s now. So, declutter what you can, but take heart next time you look around you and despair. It’s not all bad news.


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About the author:

Nikki Harper is a spiritualist writer, astrologer, and editor for Wake Up World. She writes about divination, astrology, mediumship and spirituality at Questionology: Astrology and Divination For the Modern World where you can also find out more about her work as a freelance astrologer and her mind-body-spirit writing and editing services. Nikki also runs a spiritualist centre in North Lincs, UK, hosting weekly mediumship demonstrations and a wide range of spiritual development courses and workshops.

Say hi at Questionology.co.uk or on Facebook.