Benefits of Decluttering: Less Stress and Better Mental Health

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you’re surrounded by overflowing closets, crowded storage spaces, and dusty rooms full of unused heirlooms. Sometimes, even the mere glance of clutter can bring your spirits down. Why? Because not only is it frustrating to look at piles of “junk,” but it can also dredge up several different emotions.

Clutter leaves a sense of unsettlement. Getting your clutter under control is important because lack of organization can lead to unwanted emotions like stress and annoyance.

In fact, according to an article by Christopher Peterson, Ph.D., in Psychology Today, clutter imprints a psychological effect on people. Peterson points out to a study published in the Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology and explains, “This line of research studies the effects on children of living in what is termed a chaotic environment. On focus is not the interpersonal chaos that may preside in some homes; that too takes a toll. Rather, the focus is on physical settings that are noisy and disorganized. Children who live in these settings have more than their share of problems.”

Sorting out what’s worth keeping, tossing, or selling can be quite the chore, but it does have profound effects on other areas of your life. Below are five incredible benefits that can inspire you to start your decluttering project.

Benefit #1: Reduce Your Stress

Stress is and will always be part of our daily lives, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be proactive in finding ways to reduce it. Making breakfast for a family of ten or sitting in heavy traffic is often inevitable, but other factors of stress can be virtually fixed. For instance, you can lower the level of stress associated with certain tasks by ensuring that your surroundings are pristine clean and organized.

Going back to the examples above, keeping your kitchen counter and car interior clutter-free can reduce your stress levels — but how?

Just imagine having everything you need neatly laid out in front you — no junk, no items with zero purposes getting in the way, no worries — sounds calming and productive, doesn’t it? Clutter can make simple tasks more difficult, triggering a stress response. Decluttering acts a stress reliever that can provide a tremendous sense of relief.

stress due to clutter

Benefit #2: Get Better Sleep

Do you ever just lie in bed and stare, with utmost stress, at your overflowing and messy closet? How about the growing pile of laundry on the floor? Or the pieces of crumpled paper around your desk? Most people won’t get any decent sleep in that kind of environment because there seems to be a link between messy, unorganized rooms and a lack of sleep.

According to Julie Pennell’s notes on, “A new sleep study has found that people who doze in cluttered rooms are at high risk for developing hoarding disorder, and are more likely to have sleeping problems. This includes having trouble falling asleep at night and experiencing rest disturbances.” Not to say everyone with an untidy bedroom will at some point become a hoarder, but it is an interesting connection.

Benefit #3: Improve Your Focus and Concentration

Clutter can be a distraction to your ability to focus and concentrate. If you’re used to messy environments, you may not notice a difference until you remove clutter from your life. Organizing your surroundings improves not only your focus, but also your life and mental health in a variety of ways.

As Mikael Cho shares on, “Whether it be your closet or office desk, excess things in your surroundings can have a negative impact on your ability to focus and process information. Neuroscientists at Princeton University found exactly that when they studied people’s task performance in an organized versus disorganized environment. The incredible results of the study showed that physical clutter competes for your attention, resulting in decreased performance and increased stress.” This means clutter can force your brain to multitask. In turn, getting rid of it will transform you into a concentrating machine.

When you’re focused, you’ll be able to complete more tasks, both large and small, with less stress and greater efficiency.

Benefit #4: Boost Your Mood

If you’re looking for a quick and effective mood booster, then decluttering is the answer. Take note: the task itself may get stressful, especially since the process can reveal how much junk you really have. But once your space is neat and organized, you’ll feel so much better. Consider the work you put into achieving such a decluttered space a gift to your future self’s mood and overall well being.

When decluttering, a good rule to follow is that if an item no longer serves its purpose or fails to give you a sense of happiness or satisfaction — it’s time to say goodbye.

Benefit #5: Improve Your Environment

Clutter can be more than unpleasant to the eyes; it can even be harmful. The majority of clutter is, in fact, unhealthy in nature. Most products that we are accustomed to having in our homes contain toxic chemicals, collect dust, harm indoor air quality, and leave foul odors. If you want a straightforward solution to improving your indoor environment and, in turn, improve your physical and mental health — consider saying goodbye to items you never use or need.

Start Decluttering for A Better You

If you have never experienced the wonders and joys of getting rid of clutter, then you are in for a treat. Once you embrace a decluttering mindset, you will see an impressive difference in your life by reaping considerable mental and emotional benefits.

Don’t know what to do with your clutter?

From antiques, collectibles, artwork, and other eclectic finds — Biltmore Loan is Arizona’s leading provider of upscale collateral lending and outright selling services. If you don’t know what to do with your valuables, bring them to our locations for a free market appraisal. We provide our clients with the highest cash-to-value purchases and loans available.