The Physical & Mental Benefits of Decluttering

The Physical & Mental Benefits of Decluttering

Back in 2019, Netflix viewers became enthralled with Marie Kondo’s way of decluttering with her hit show Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. Viewers learned how to find joy with their items to acknowledge and to let go of the items that did not “spark joy”. Minimalism and “tiny living” have also become big trends in today’s American culture. So, is there something to the minimalist lifestyle and the joyous tiny living? That is definitely something that can vary from person to person. Maybe we can’t all live minimally; however, there are proven benefits to having less clutter in your living space. We have composed a list of 5 benefits that decluttering and simplifying can do for you and have provided a few handy ways to incorporate your storage unit space to assist in these benefits. 

Let’s dive in!

Woman Donating, Decluttering And Cleaning Up Wardrobe Clothes Into Boxes

Less Stuff = Less Stress

Research has found that a cluttered space creates a higher level of stress and anxiety. A cluttered home, workspace, or storage space can have a direct negative impact on a person’s productivity levels and even create an environment of procrastinationIt’s been shown that tidying up has immediate effects on mood, releases endorphins to the brain through movement, and assists in improving focus. Having the discipline to begin your decluttering process allows you to control your environment. 


Now, I am not just talking about the general space of your home,. This also accounts for closet spaces and the nooks and crannies of your home or office. No one wants the stress of disorganization falling out of their closet and all over the floor while trying to find the scissors they used two weeks ago. Out of sight will eventually be on the mind. So let us try decluttering ALL the spaces to allow for optimal release of the stressors and anxieties that come along with the “junk”.

Warning: Hazards Ahead

Confession time: I have two kids and work from home. There were a few weeks there this past winter when I did a poor job of keeping my home… under control. The winter blues had me down, and I was in a particularly grumpy mood whenever my two kiddos were fighting. As I was running to the living room to break up the 87th fight of the day, I stepped on a pile of mail that had fallen on the floor, thus prompting my legs to split, as if I was in the USA gymnastics competition. I fell and hurt not only my legs but also my pride. WOMP WOMP 


While that was not the most glorious moment in my life, I took it as an opportunity to finally come to terms with the fact that this clutter taking over my home was not only contributing to poor mental health, but posing a physical health hazard for my family as well. Physical clutter can have a range of negative effects on your life, but imagining a beloved family member falling even more horrifically than I, and injuring themselves, was a real wakeup call for me. 


Slips and falls can happen, even in a clutter-free environment. But clutter can also bring with it even more hazardous things, such as unsecured heavy items, pests and vermin, and creating unnecessarily small or difficult spaces that emergency workers cannot safely access. By having a clutter-free area, the safety of you, your family, your workers, and those around you is less at risk. Of course the positive impacts of decluttering extent beyond your physical space itself – getting rid of unnecessary and unwanted items and breaking hoarding habits can also improve your mental health, productivity, motivation, and even self-worth.

"New" Space, New Confidence

Did you know that your self-confidence is lower when you have a cluttered area? I know from personal experience that holding onto some old t-shirts from an ex-boyfriend and the clothing items that “might fit me later” definitely keep me down when I see them. The memories or hopes I have for myself and the constant reminder that I am not where I used to be were negatively affecting my self-esteem.


Even having old trophies from grade school achievements can make me feel down when I realize that I am not as good at those activities as I once was or that I no longer have the time to enjoy them and feel that sense of accomplishment like I used to. By donating, boxing up, or even burning these items (hehe), I allow my past to no longer dictate my present or future by constantly reminding me of it. This decluttering provides physical and mental space for me to embrace the new me, which is just as wonderful!  This has enabled me to feel better in my own skin and proud of the person that I am today. 

Have More Time & Money

When you have an area that is untidied, you spend so many hours cleaning up due to a whole lot of “stuff” that does not have a home. More time is spent even just thinking about all that needs to be done and where to possibly put it, which can cause you to avoid and disassociate, thus wasting even more of your time and amping up your stress levels further.

Another unfortunate occurrence in a cluttered place is wasted money. How many times have you bought a Costco-sized package of toilet paper only to come home and find that you already have a stash that will last you through the next pandemic? The constant repurchasing of items that you forgot you had is a massive problem when dealing with clutter. If you could keep that Costco toilet paper in one closet space then you would be able to save that $20 per package and use it on other more important things. 

Learn To Make Decisions With Intention

“Intentionality is the art of being fully present in each moment and making conscious choices that align with our values.” – The Intention Habit 

During your decluttering process, you have the opportunity to ask yourself important questions about your life, your space, your values, and what you might even be giving up versus gaining by letting go of these items.  While you declutter, you can ask yourself things like:

  • What am I giving up?
  • Why do I still have this?
  • What am I gaining from this?
  • What are my values? 
  • What am I healing in myself?
  • What does this item mean to me?
  • Does this bring joy or meaning to my life?
  • What do I want my organized space to look like?
  • Should I keep this stored away for family at a later date?

Though they can bring up big emotions, these questions can assist you in the decluttering process and help keep you accountable and intentional about the choices you make. It’s easy to hold an unused item and justify an answer for “might I use this?”, but by asking yourself these deeper questions instead and considering whether holding onto the item supports your values, goals, and well-being, you may arrive at a wiser response.

How & Where To Start

Not all people have the luxury of having a large home, garage, or office space to keep things nice and organized. We see more and more people accepting the tiny living or van life, but keeping that level of minimalism may not be practical for most of us. If the idea of decluttering your whole space is overwhelming it’s okay to start small – tackling a small but frequently used space such as a pantry, closet, or even junk drawer can give you that spark of accomplishment and motivation to move onto a bigger project. Remember that you capture that “spring cleaning” feeling any time of year by declaring this to be your “fresh start” week of letting go and taking control of your physical space. For inspiration, check out our previous post, “Spring Yourself Into Cleaning” for tips and tricks on how to motivate yourself.

In addition to the items we truly do need to let go, most of us also have some sentimental items, family heirlooms, or seasonal decor that we might use very rarely, but aren’t able to let go of quite yet. Yet just because you can’t donate or trash these items doesn’t mean they need to clutter your daily living space! An easy and cost-effective way to keep these things organized and accessible when you need them again – yet out of the way in your home or work space – is to rent a storage unit. We have many size options available at Utah Storage Center that can help keep your personal space and daily life decluttered, both mentally and physically. Because who doesn’t want to be a more confident, organized, and intentional person? And that person could be just a few decluttered boxes away.