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Are you guilty of knowing you don’t need something but not having the heart to throw it away? From old shoes and clothes to items bought on a whim but never used, people hoard just about anything and everything.
While hoarding things can provide you with a strange sense of satisfaction, it creates clutter in your home and as an extension, in your mind. Anyone who hoards also experiences the frustration caused by overflowing cupboards and shelves. Clearly, hoarding can affect your mood.
To understand why cluttered space has this negative impact on our mental health, we reached out to Dr Bhavna Barmi, a renowned Delhi-based clinical psychologist. She says, “A cluttered space can feel overwhelming. It overloads your brain with too much sensory information. This results in irritability, increase in stress levels and disturbed focus”
Dr Bhavna listed out 5 benefits of decluttering on one’s mental health:
Decluttering will enhance your decision-making skills as you take quick calls of where to put what, what to keep, and what to discard. Dr Barmi says, “Decluttering your space can help create a sense of confidence and self-efficacy. It will give you the power of decision making and problem-solving. Whether to keep or discard an item is in your hands and you can do as you like.”
We are sure you must have felt irritable when things around you are scattered and messy. So, decluttering your immediate surrounding is a great way of reducing stress, resulting in a relaxed state of mind “When things feel out of order, it makes us feel scattered and anxious. Humans actually prefer order and symmetry. Hence, creating order reduces your anxiety,” says Dr Barmi.
When you are decluttering your space, you put yourself into the getting-things-done mode. During this mode, you feel more energised and motivated to finish other tasks as well. Dr Barmi says, “When you accomplish the relatively small task of decluttering, you attain a sense of accomplishment which leaves you more energised and helps you move towards your goals.”
How often have you snapped at someone when you are unable to find a thing? When you are all living under the same roof, clutter affects everyone. Irrespective of who created the mess.
Dr Barmi warns, “Stress can strain the relationships between family members and that is why it is important to keep things decluttered. It will help foster a healthy relationship among the family members and will reduce the stress levels.”
“Decluttering allows mindfulness. Giving your mind a chance to wander and reducing your mental load can help you generate further insights into whatever you are working on,” says Dr Barmi.
After a few months of practising decluttering, you’ll most definitely feel less stressed, less overwhelmed, and more in control. This can lead to some newfound capability and power. Are you ready to declutter your space, ladies?