Although clutter drives us all crazy, we can’t deny that it’s a very real part of our lives. That’s why decluttering can feel great — and your closet is the perfect place to start! In fact, here are four psychological benefits to cleaning out your closet:
1. You’ll feel less stressed.
If you spent any time with a clutter-y closet, then you probably experienced at least some clutter-related stress. In fact, psychologist Sherrie Bourg Carter says that clutter bombards our minds, makes us feel on edge, and even prevents us from relaxing.
Researchers at UCLA found that jam-packed closets can increase your body’s levels of cortisol, a stress hormone. Over time, high levels of cortisol may cause weight gain, high blood pressure, sleep disruptions, mood swings, low energy levels, and even diabetes. Other research studies found that clutter-related stress can also contribute to unhealthy food choices and overeating.
Although clearing away unnecessary clothing won’t completely erase your stress, it’ll definitely help your stress levels.
2. You’ll feel happier.
Stress is difficult to handle, but depression can complicate your life even more. Stress and depression actually lead to a vicious cycle because depression makes us less likely to clean, and the clutter then makes us feel even more depressed. When you clean at least one space in your home, though, your entire environment will feel lighter and more cheerful. The sense of accomplishment that you’ll feel will also boost your mood.
3. It’ll improve your relationship.
Excess clothing doesn’t just cramp your closet; it can also impact your relationship with your partner. The National Institutes of Health found that couples who lived in cluttered environments struggled to read each other’s body language and connect intimately.
When people lived in clutter, they had a harder time reading other people’s facial expressions. Although you might not fight with your partner in your closet, cleaning out that closet can help you both reconnect.
4. You’ll clear the clutter in other parts of your home.
Although clutter seems contagious, organization can be too. Once you start clearing out old clothing you no longer wear, you’ll feel motivation to tackle another room. What’s more, experts say that when we clear physical space in our lives, we also lighten our emotional loads. Cleaning out your closet will help you feel more productive, which in turn will allow you to dedicate your energy into cleaning the rest of your home.
How To Get Started
While there are many approaches to decluttering, one of the easiest ways to handle cleaning out your closet is to start small. Try starting with cleaning out your shoes or even just decluttering a dresser drawer. You can even put the clothes you wear most towards the front of your closet and push the pieces that you rarely wear towards the back. This way, you can easily clear out the clothes you wear the least at the end of the month. Once you start, you can bask in the sense of accomplishment that you feel.
Remember that cleaning out your closet isn’t just moving items into a storage bin or box, though. To actually remove the clutter, you must sell, thrift, or donate the items you don’t wear. Just make sure that the clothes that you no longer want leave your house.
So, what are you waiting for? Clear out your closet, and remove some stress from your life!
Previously Published on Moms.com