Pursuing a state of harmony between yourself and your home or apartment’s surroundings confers a range of psychological benefits for reasons that are rooted in science. Studies have identified a direct link between the stress hormone cortisol and clutter.

This past week I have started the process of decluttering our home and will be donating unwanted goods to Butterfly Effect who works with Animal Lifeline and underprivileged communities.

Here are some of the benefits of decluttering.

Decluttering Reduces Stress Levels

Messy spaces mean more cleaning to be done in the future. And as the mess continues to grow, so does the mental weight of knowing that it’s there. Like so many things in life, the resulting stress has a way of building upon itself, becoming a vicious cycle.

Helps Fight Depression

Cortisol is not just linked to stress. At elevated levels, it also causes depression.
This partly explains why living in an overly messy, cluttered, or dirty home can give rise to other negative mental states. Your living space reflects your inner self. A lack of cleanliness and organization suggests a diminished sense of self-worth.

Makes It Easier to Focus

An unorganized home mirrors an unorganized mind-objects and thoughts strewn here and there, competing for attention while making true focus impossible. In neuroscientific terms, cluttered livings spaces place too many stimuli in your environment.

Decluttering Leads to Eating Better

It’s a line of thinking that suggests a holistic relationship between mental and physical health (or lack thereof) — less depression and anxiety lead to a healthier body, and vice-versa.

 Decluttering Improves Air Quality

The various possessions that lie scattered across your house constantly collect dust particles. This increases the number of toxins and other contaminants floating through the air around you.