5 Ways Decluttering Can Change Your Life
By Tess Whitehurst
We hear a lot about superfoods and wonder drugs. But there really is a miracle cure for life’s most fundamental challenges: a totally reliable, all-purpose life hack.
It’s called decluttering, and it means letting go of the stuff that you don’t love, use, or need.
It may sound simple, and possibly even like a hassle, but it’s absolutely worth every ounce of time and effort you spend on it. Here are 5 reasons why.
1. It clears your mind.
As a feng shui consultant, I’ve learned pretty much every person who says they’re feeling “overwhelmed” has a substantial amount of clutter in their home and/or workspace. I’ve also learned once it’s cleared, the feeling of overwhelm disappears.
When you’re overwhelmed though, setting aside time to declutter seems counterintuitive. Because hey! — you’re swamped! You’re stressed. You’re crazy busy. Adding one more thing to the to-do list is the last thing you think you need.
And that’s where you’re wrong.
The thing is, a clutter-free home lends itself to a clutter-free mind. In other words, it becomes far easier to think clearly and prioritize. It’s as if your mind, emotions, and schedule instantly and seamlessly streamline themselves.
Not to mention, everything is connected: how you do one thing is how you do everything. When you let go of junk in your physical space, you naturally let go of junk in your mind. This includes (but is not limited to) anxiety, limiting beliefs, and negative self-talk.
So if you’re swamped, stressed, and crazy busy, all the more reason to make decluttering a priority. Seriously: stop what you’re doing and clear your clutter now. Get out of the hamster wheel so you can actually get something done instead of endlessly running your poor little heart out.
2. It frees up more hours in the day.
Decluttering almost magically creates way more time in your schedule.
How? First, by making it easier to find what you’re looking for, like outfits you look fabulous in, a book you actually want to read, and your car keys. They’re all right there!
Second, by making it wayyyyyy easier to maintain a clean house. I am talking, it can cut your cleaning time in half.
And finally, in some mystical, unexplainable way. Although I couldn’t tell you precisely why, after a thorough decluttering, I honestly feel as if there are actually more hours in the day.
3. It knocks off the pounds.
Years ago, the first time I took decluttering seriously, I cleared giant trash bag after giant trash bag of clutter out of one teeny tiny apartment.
Then I lost maybe 5–10 pounds.
And I mean, I wasn’t particularly overweight to begin with, so 5–10 pounds was sort of a lot to lose without trying.
Why and how did this happen? From a Newtonian perspective, I’m drawing a blank. But from a holistic (and quantum) perspective, everything is energy and everything is connected. So it’s not so surprising that releasing the unnecessary baggage from your home might set in motion corresponding conditions in your body.
Clearing clutter isn’t a one-time event though: it’s positive habit to maintain for a lifetime. And through the years, I’ve noticed that less clutter in my home pretty much always corresponds with less weight on my body, as well as more enthusiasm for exercise, water, and healthy food.
4. It ramps up your energy.
In a very real sense, decluttering is a way of dissolving and demolishing stuck and stagnant energy.
For example, imagine clearing out your kitchen cupboards. When stuff is expired, you compost it or throw it out. When you know you’ll never eat it, you donate it to a food bank. And when you actually want to eat it but you just forgot about it (Oh yeah! Those buckwheat soba noodles!) you revamp your menu. All three of these actions are actual examples of getting previously stuck energy, in the form of calories, moving.
And as we’ve seen, everything is connected. So this same dynamic will then work on other levels as well. The simple act of getting energy moving in your cupboards will instantly lend itself to more energy in your body, time in your schedule, and space for fresh new ideas and opportunities to flow in.
Plus, it’ll just be way more exhilarating to be in your kitchen!
5. It makes you fall in love with your home.
We can spend so much time pining for our “dream home” that we can forget to love where we are now. In the words of author Eckhart Tolle, “Always say ‘yes’ to the present moment…Surrender to what is. Say ‘yes’ to life — and see how life starts suddenly to start working for you rather than against you.”
When you clear clutter, it becomes easier to say, “yes” to your life, and also your home. In fact, decluttering is a way of honoring your home, treasuring your life, and adoring the moment exactly as it is. Of course your life is constantly in flux, but however it happens to look can always be perfect for you exactly as it is now. Your dream home can be wherever you are.
Tess Whitehurst is the award-winning author of Magical Housekeeping, The Good Energy Book, and lots of other books on magical and spiritual living. Her articles have appeared such places as Writer’s Digest, Whole Life Times, and Spirit & Destiny magazine. She’s appeared on morning news shows on both Fox and NBC, as well as the Bravo TV Show “Flipping Out.” She’s also the founder and facilitator of The Good Vibe Tribe, an online spiritual community and learning hub. Visit her at www.tesswhitehurst.com.