“The more things you own, the more they own you.”
While we’ve always been counselled to keep our living and working spaces clean (think back to your mom yelling at you to clean your room), most people don’t think about the co-relation of a clean space with a clean and clear mindset. But this co-relation has not only been studied and well established, it has also sparked a movement called minimalism (which we admit, is a teensy bit extreme for us, and not exactly possible and practical for everyone), but it does bring to focus the benefits of the ‘less is more’ concept of thinking and living.
To put it simply, decluttering is the conscious act of removing all necessary physical assets that are of no use to you any longer. Though each practitioner and advocate of the practice will vary a little in how they describe it, most will give you a time frame (like a year or two) and ask you to either throw away or donate anything that hasn’t been used by you in that duration. For example, open your cupboard and remove all items of clothing that you have not worn even once in the past one year.
But is decluttering really all it’s cracked up to be, or is it just another passing fad? Well, we present a list of supposed benefits to de-cluttering your life, to make it easier for you to decide.
1. It makes you more confident in your own abilities
The more organized your living or workspace, the more confident you feel in your organization skills. Because let’s face it, opening your eyes each morning to that giant pile of clothes on that chair, or walking into your office with a cluttered desk being the first thing you see, isn’t exactly a great way to get a boost of confidence.
2. It reduces anxiety
The more clutter you see, the more guilty you feel for not having sorted it, and fantastic news, the more anxious you feel because of the pressure you’ve now created thanks to all that guilt. It’s a never ending cycle. Best way to clear your mind? Clear that desk!
3. It leads to mindful purchasing
Since decluttering requires you to not only dispose of things you aren’t using, it also requires that you pay attention new purchases, which in turns leads you to be more mindful in your purchasing habits. This means that you actively consider the longevity of use for any product you purchase, whether it is a piece for your home, and item of clothing, or even work equipment.
4. It helps you find things more easily
So simple! The less items you have, the less likely something will get misplaced amongst a giant pile. No more emptying the entire cupboard to find your favorite shirt, and opening all the kitchen drawers to find that pizza cutter. Since you’re only keeping the bare minimum stuff, you can now find things in a jiffy.
5. It leads to better sleep
Though there are plenty of studies that show that a less cluttered space allows for positive energy to flow without obstruction, if you aren’t one to believe ‘such’ things, it doesn’t matter. A cleaner home leaves less room for guilt in your mind. Guilt of leaving that mess in the hall, that pile of papers on your desk, that pile of dishes in the sink. The cleaner your home, the more satisfied you feel turning in for the day, the better your sleep.
6. It’s easier to let go of the past
We often end up holding onto things as physical reminders of long held memories. And this often leads to our inability to let ‘things’ go. But once you purge the excess physical items, you often find yourself feeling mentally lighter too. People have often expressed the feeling of letting go of the past, and being able to focus more not only on their present, but the future too.
7. It reduces stress in relationships
A cramped and cluttered home often leads to a cluttered mind as well, and the first victim is often our relationships, whether with our significant other, our parents or siblings, or even our coworkers. Flustered feelings resulting from an overflowing desk or an untidy home often manifest in our dealings with people that co-exist with us in those very spaces, and freeing up the excess and unused allows for the same in our feelings too.
8. It saves on storage space
The less items you have, the less you have to worry about stuffing them in some random drawer or cabinet, just to get them out of the way. It becomes possible not only to find space to store everything you own, but also becomes easier to organize it, since you’re no longer stuck in the otherwise never ending struggle to find that itty bitty space for that extra pair of shoes, or that third guitar, or that 47th stuffed toy (hey, we don’t judge).
9. It increases creativity and productivity
Instead of constantly worrying about where you’re going to put the new project file so it doesn’t get mixed up with the old ones, or why you now have three places where you’re keeping linen, you now can focus on better things. Since decluttering frees up both space and time, you automatically have more time on your hands to not only be more organized, but more productive too.
10. It leads to a cleaner household/office
And it’s so much easier (and faster) to keep clean! Instead of dusting 67 little knick knacks, many of which were gifts some twenty years ago and you don’t even remember who gave them, you now can just wipe down empty coffee tables, and display cabinets that have only the really special items now. Think of all the things you can do with all that extra time! And an added benefit is that your health will get an extra boost, since you won’t dread cleaning as a never-ending task, and therefore you’ll probably do it more often and more diligently.
So, we’ve laid down all the benefits of decluttering your spaces, but ultimately, the choice remains yours. Try out it, and if really works for you, do share your experiences with us. We’d love to hear back from you. Happy cleaning, folks.