The clutter-depression cycle is getting more and more attention these days, and as someone who struggled with it, I know first-hand how challenging it can be.
Even one small simple action each day towards getting out of this cycle makes a difference. Like Courtney Carver recommends, take one small step each day and it will change your life.
Getting rid of clutter boosts your self-confidence
Decluttering may also help you feel better about yourself because it’s something of an accomplishment, says Dr. Robert London, a psychiatrist based in New York City. “The clutter leads to anxiety, embarrassment, family stresses – some kind of despair,” London says. “When you relieve the problem and learn to throw things away, you feel better.”
You might also begin to tackle deeper problems that cluttering is covering up, he adds. “You’ll find theories of why people do this. They might have unconscious guilt, so they assuage that guilt by carrying out these rituals.” ~ USNews
Getting rid of clutter is typically a very emotional process. People that take my courses are often surprised at the things that come up, the real reasons behind why they kept things in the first place and the freedom that follows when they let things go.
Getting rid of clutter means accepting yourself for who you are
So much of how we live is based on what we want others to think of us.
For some people, this looks like a full calendar and so many volunteer activities they are so busy helping other people, they don’t have time to even think about their own weighty issues.
For others, this looks like a house full of books because they long to escape into a book and live vicariously through a fictional character.
For others, this looks like a houseful of their parent’s belongings, because when their parents passed on, it was easier to take the stuff than to say final goodbyes.
Most of us don’t want to sit alone and think about us, our life, where we are, where we wanted to be and who we want to be in the future.
They are difficult things to process through, but once you have, you will feel the weight lifting off your shoulders.
Getting rid of clutter boosts your physical health
A recent study found that performing at least 20 minutes of daily physical activity, including domestic housework, benefited mental health and lowered risks of psychological problems. ~Everyday Health
And with a clean, inviting kitchen, you are more likely to cook at home and make healthier food choices. You’re more likely to notice how much water you have been drinking and after sorting through the fridge and pantry, you’re more likely to fill it up with healthy options and limit the packages of snack foods.
How to start when you’re not motivated
Motivation is fickle- it depends sully on our state of mind. So if we’re depressed, how on earth are we supposed to get motivated?
Instead, you can just take an action, disregarding how you feel about it.
I love Mel Robbins’ 5-Second-Rule – you don’t allow yourself to pause and think, if you do, your mind will talk you out of taking action.
As soon as the thought comes into your mind of “I should declutter the coffee cups.” You start counting down… 5, 4, 3, 2, 1! And you go to the cupboard and pull out the coffee cups.
As soon as dinner is done and you have the little thought of “I should do the dishes.” You count down: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1! and you walk into the kitchen and do a load of dishes.
Counting down makes your brain stop, it can’t convince you vegging in front of the couch is better, because you are counting down.
Also- you can’t keep going when you get to number one, there are no more thoughts to follow, your option is to do the action.
It’s not going to make it easy to declutter, but it will help you get it done.
Don’t let perfectionism prevent your progress
I know how much perfectionism gets in the way. We all have these ideas of how the job should be done and we don’t want to get it wrong.
Like the old saying “if you can’t do it right the first time…”
But I’m telling you:
Allow yourself to clean the toilet with a baby wipe.
Allow yourself to mop without a “proper cleaning solution.”
Allow yourself to vacuum without moving the furniture.
It doesn’t matter how you do it- it matters that you do it.
- The Clutter-Depression-Anxiety Cycle: How to Stop It
- From Clutter and Depression to Minimalism and Contentment
- What Living with Purpose Actually Looks Like