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Clutter can have many negative effects on our lives. So often what starts as a little clutter here and there can grow into a whole house filled to the brim with stuff and we are not even sure how we got to this place, let alone how to start to make a change.

Clutter can affect us and our lives in many ways:

  • increases our stress
  • feels overwhelming
  • overstimulates us
  • makes it hard to focus
  • takes extra time and energy to find items
  • creates safety issues
  • can bring feelings of embarrassment
  • can lead to isolation
  • makes it hard to socially have people over
  • does not provide a calm place to unwind and exhale at the end of the day

Clutter can affect us mentally and physically. Some thoughts that might start you on this process:


In a society that promotes instant availability and so many options for connection, we may need to make some decisions on how to clear out some mental clutter.

Schedule times to take a digital detox break:

  • from social media
  • phone notifications
  • apps
  • texting
  • and if possible, your phone completely

Our minds were never meant to have all the information that comes at us daily and we need time to exhale from the constant interaction that our culture has come to expect. The more regularly that you can do this the better. Set some boundaries such as no work calls after a certain time, or after 9pm no looking at your phone till the next morning. Do what you need! You will very quickly see the most of what we rush to do, can really wait for at least a little while.


Clutter can definitely feel overwhelming and cause us to not even know where to start to clear out things. Here are some ideas to help you get started:

Start Small.

Big projects can feel overwhelming because there is so much to do. Start with one small step. Take one drawer in your kitchen, bathroom, or bedroom. Empty is out and separate items into these categories:

  • keep
  • donate
  • throw away

Divide the items from the drawer into those piles. Then put back in what you are keeping. Put the donate items in a bag and either place it by your door or in your car to drop off at the donation bin and then throw the trash away. It is important to complete all 3 tasks so you can move on to the next drawer or area to declutter.

Sentimental Items.

This can be a tough decision when it comes to what to do with these items. If it is really important to you find a home for the item and treasure it. If it something that you have been given but maybe does not hold as much sentimental value, what about taking photos of those items so you keep a memory of the item and then passing it along to another person who will treasure it.

Celebrate Successes.

Continuing to do these small steps will help you work through all the areas of your home that need de-cluttering. It is not an easy job to declutter, but you can do! Take it slow and celebrate each area you complete.

If you need some help in working through decluttering, our therapists are happy to help with that journey. For more information:https://upstaterestorativecounseling.com/anxiety/