10 Ways Decluttering Will Make You Happier and More Productive

Clutter has a way of overwhelming even the most sane among us. And we all know what happens when weíre overwhelmed. Nothing. Or rather, nothing productive. Netflix happens, eating an entire bag of Oreos happens, watching boys do dumb stuff on YouTube happens. But the assignment thatís bordering on overdue, not so much happening there, right?

Itís no surprise then, that decluttering can have far-reaching benefits. Particularly when you expand the concept of clutter beyond the physical (clothes, toys, books, etc.) to include things like your digital world and even your habits.

That said, itís best to deal with the physical clutter first. Mainly because youíll be able to actually see the results of your efforts. The psychology is sound: small wins lead to big success. As you move through your home, decluttering room by room, area by area, youíll feel motivated to keep going.

If you live alone, just dive right in. However, if you share the space with your spouse or family you need to be mindful when decluttering their belongings. Better yet, get them involved in the process. The last thing you want is to find yourself responsible for decluttering everyone elseís stuff while theyíre in the living room watching Game of Thrones.

Okay, letís take a look at the different ways decluttering will make you happier and more productive.

1. Declutter Your Wardrobe = Get Ready Super Fast

Getting rid of the clothes you no longer wear will make getting dressed a whole lot quicker and way less stressful. You might balk at the idea of donating those skinny jeans or that expensive pair of heels, but if they donít fit or youíre not feeling them, let them go. Donít let the fallacy of sunk costs be the reason you hang onto something.

2. Declutter Your Snail Mail = No More Unpaid Bills

First get in touch with everyone who is still sending you old school mail and ask them to stop. Itís 2017, they really donít need to waste the paper. Second, while youíre waiting for them to get that ball rolling get into the habit of dealing with mail on the day it arrives. This approach means you only spend a few minutes on the task and more importantly, it helps you stay on top of things. When you let it pile up you run the risk of forgetting to pay something. Now you have to spend additional time fixing the mess.

3. Declutter Your Overwhelm = Space to Focus on Projects You Love

Clutter creates overwhelm and overwhelm as we well know, is counter-productive. Humans of any age operate best when they have a routine to follow and know what needs to be done. Itís all about conserving your cognitive load for the stuff that matters, like creative projects or work. When youíre overwhelmed youíre tapping heavily into your cognitive resources. When that happens you wonít get your work done and youíll be unhappy.

4. Declutter Your Habits = Organizational Badassery

Once youíve decluttered, the next important step is to stay on top of things. Make a point of keeping your home organized. By creating new habits around the way you manage your stuff you won’t waste time looking for things. Imagine just grabbing your car keys and heading out in the morning, instead of spending a frantic half hour searching high and low for them.

5. Declutter Your Kidsí Habits = Bad Ass Kids (In a Good Way)

If youíre a parent youíll likely know the frustration of lost homework, school books, gym shoes, etc. More often than not, searching for these missing items only ensues when youíre heading out the front door. Teaching your kids to declutter means they wonít misplace their stuff and make it your problem. Reward them when they do a good job of decluttering, but let them deal with the consequences when they donít. Itís the only way theyíll learn.

6. Declutter Your Inbox = Inbox Zero†

I was researching an article on digital clutter a while ago and quizzed my friends about the number of emails in their inbox. The results were dizzying, with numbers reaching into the thousands and dating back to when the internet was first invented. I kid you not. There are plenty of ways to manage a busy inbox, find one that works for you and stick to it religiously. A long list of untended emails adds unnecessary weight to your mental load. Productivity and happiness cannot thrive when this happens.

7. Declutter Your Debt = Money to Travel

Decluttering is also an opportunity to assess your spending habits. Figuring out why you buy the things you do will help you avoid the same financial pitfalls in the future. Oftentimes we buy stuff in an attempt to make ourselves feel happier, but it almost never works. Most of the time you just end up feeling worse when buyerís remorse kicks in. Ditching your old spending habits will help you feel good about yourself, which in turn will make you happier and more productive.

8. Declutter Your Hoarding Tendencies = A Chance to Make a Difference

Decluttering gives you the opportunity to donate unwanted items to people who really need them. We hold onto things for various reasons: we think we might need them in the future, we paid a lot of money for them, they have sentimental value, and so on. The thing is, if youíre not using something (and havenít for a very long time) it makes sense to pass it on to someone else. The health benefits of kindness have been scientifically proven. When you do something nice for someone else, you feel good. And when you feel good youíre automatically more productive.

9. Declutter Your Space = Increased Creativity

Decluttering inspires an overall sense of calm, perfect for nurturing creativity. Two very necessary ingredients for a happy and productive life. When your living space is one you look forward to returning to (as opposed to one you avoid at all costs), youíll find your overwhelm quickly becomes a thing of the past and ideas will flow.

10. Decluttering = A†Happy and more Productive You

Seeing the messy state of your house reminds you that youíre not adulting very well. Being a grownup comes with perks (ice cream for breakfast), but it also comes with responsibilities (deadlines, bills, demanding bosses). Itís like a domino effect. Decluttering frees you up to meet your deadlines, which makes your boss happy. When your boss is happy, you get paid. When you get paid you can pay the bills and buy ice cream.

Related:
6 Unexpected Areas to Declutter for a Simpler Life
How to Map Your Bedroom with Feng Shui
20 Ways to Conserve Water at Home

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

170 comments

Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill1 months ago

Thanks. I have gotten rid of tons of stuff in the last few years. I have thrown things away, given them away, sold things & recycled them! The sad thing is, there is tons more to go.

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Sonia M
Sonia M2 months ago

Good article with useful tips,thanks for sharing

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Jerome S
Jerome S3 months ago

thanks

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Jerome S
Jerome S3 months ago

thanks

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Jim V
Jim Ven3 months ago

thanks for sharing.

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Jim V
Jim Ven3 months ago

thanks for sharing.

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Olga T
Olga Troyan3 months ago

If you can declutter kids' habbits, then what about parents? Mine are terrible hoarders and it's not like they are going to stop.

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S J
S J3 months ago

Thank you for sharing

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Fran away F
Fran SiteIssues F3 months ago

Thank you.

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Stanley S
Stanley S3 months ago

tyfs

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