The Benefits of Decluttering for Self Care


Need a pep talk to kick-start your next organization spree? Our team at Corken + Company raves about the benefits of decluttering, especially in COVID times, where stress is high. Here’s a list of seven researched based benefits to decluttering!


An Orderly Environment Encourages Healthy Eating and Generosity

In a fascinating Dutch study, subjects were assigned to both cluttered and clutter-free rooms. They were then asked to donate to a charity and choose a snack. Those who spent time in the more organized spaces made larger donations and chose healthier snacks  (an apple over a chocolate bar). As the researchers noted, an orderly environment is conducive to “more desirable, normatively good behaviors.”


Decluttering Could Reduce the Urge to Space Out and Snack

Research published in Environment & Behavior, in turn, reveals that a disorganized kitchen can have an even more pronounced effect on what we consume. In this study, female undergraduates completed “taste-rating tasks” in either organized or disorganized, more chaotic kitchens. They were required to try different foods and were encouraged to continue eating as much as they liked. Some of the subjects in the chaotic kitchen environments consumed more cookies than those in more regulated spaces. Lesson one: Removing distracting clutter from your kitchen can help curb mindless snacking. Lesson two: In the meantime, having a proactive mind-set can counteract that clutter’s ability to trigger the munchies.


Tidying Your Bedroom Could Help You Sleep More Soundly

To explore a potential relationship between decluttering and sleep hygiene, researchers from St. Lawrence University in New York studied more than 1,000 subscribers to a housekeeping website. Those with habit of tidying had better sleep quality and fewer sleep-related problems.


Even If You Manage Clutter Well, It Can Impact Your Quality of Life

A recent study in the Journal of Environmental Psychology considered “home-extension variables” — like how much clutter we have, how much clutter we think we have and how we consider our homes a form of self-expression – affect our overall well-being. Researchers found that among subjects with more clutter in their homes, 97.1% reported it had negatively impacted their quality of life. Among those with a so-called “healthy” amount of clutter in their homes, 47.3% still reported a negative impact on their quality of life. As the authors speculate, the more we can do to untangle unhelpful connections between our possessions and the way we think about ourselves, the healthier we’ll be.


Procrastination Is Associated With Clutter

Putting off tidying up or getting rid of unnecessary stuff would of course lead to clutter — but that’s not quite what we’re talking about here. Researchers in Chicago studied more than 300 male college students and found that among self-reported variables like negative emotions, impaired social abilities and clutter, clutter was the strongest predictor of high procrastination scores for any tasks.


Clutter-Related Life Dissatisfaction Worsens as We Get Older

For a study published in Current Psychology, researchers surveyed American adults in their 20s, 30s, and 50s. Links between procrastination and clutter problems were apparent in all three of those groups. Frustration with clutter increased in the two older groups. Among the fifty year olds, they also associated clutter problems with life dissatisfaction. The takeaway? There’s no time like the present to tackle built-up stuff, because getting rid of it will only get harder.


Clutter Compromises Our Ability to Focus

Researchers at the Princeton University Neuroscience Institute found when there are more objects in our visual fields, our brains have a harder time processing the information. Outside of the laboratory, that means that the distraction of stuff quite literally restricts your ability to perform the task at hand. If distraction is a problem, consider utilizing storage underneath your desk rather than on top!




Learn more about the benefits of decluttering for self care at:

Share This Post

More To Explore

Rachel Sartin

Lori Corken