Are you looking for reasons to declutter your home?
Having a strong ‘why’ can help you follow through with your decluttering plans, but most people focus on the obvious benefits. Yes, less clutter leads to less stuff to clean, and who doesn’t want more of that in their lives?
But after a decade-long journey towards minimalism and simple living, I can tell you it’s so much more than having a less messy home. Decluttering has fundamentally changed my life, and without a doubt, it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done.
If you’re looking for reasons to declutter or just wondering what the hype is about, keep reading to hear more about my experience. I’ll also share some of my top tips to help you create a decluttered home.
4 Reasons to Start Your Decluttering Journey Now
I won’t pretend decluttering is easy, but it‘s worth the work. Here are four reasons to start your decluttering journey today.
1. Decluttering can be a form of healing or self-care
Everyone is different, but one of the hidden reasons behind much of my clutter was a deep-seated need for belonging.
I’m half-Chinese and grew up in a town where most people didn’t look like me. I always felt awkward, uncomfortable in social situations, and often lonely.
But then, in my teenage years, I discovered something. If I shopped in the “right” shops and bought the “right” clothes, I could convince myself that maybe, just maybe, I fit in.
Fast forward 15 years.
By 30, I was a full-blown shopaholic with over 100 pairs of shoes and a custom walk-in closet. I had all the right things, but deep down, I still didn’t feel like I fit in.
Then I discovered decluttering—and while the journey was far from simple—with time, I learned how to let go. Out the door went stiletto heels, designer bags, and piles of stuff I thought I needed to belong.
And I cannot begin to describe how healing this was.
Decluttering was, in many ways, a love letter to myself. As my stuff went out the door (everything I thought I needed to belong), I stepped into acceptance, learning that I didn’t have to dress in the coolest, trendiest clothes to fit in.
Instead, I could be me, in my raw, imperfect perfection, and I could love myself without the things I thought I needed. It was self-care on a whole new level and something I highly recommend to everyone.
Pro Tip: This post about how to declutter sentimental items is a great starting point for this type of work. I take a heart-centred approach to the decluttering process that acknowledges the emotional impact of your physical clutter.
2. Decluttering creates room for the unexpected
Sometimes, when asked about the benefits of decluttering, I hesitate to tell the truth.
Because some of the things that have changed for me are so ridiculous, so “out there” that I’m scared to share them!
Looking back, I can say with 100% confidence that decluttering transformed my love life and career path. Not in an obvious kind of way, but still, the connection is there.
After years of operating at full capacity — my home was full of stuff, my schedule was overloaded, and my mind was overwhelmed — decluttering created much-needed space.
I could finally sit and think about what I wanted from life. Without the stress of clutter, I could make plans and experiment; I had room to make mistakes, and this is where the magic happened.
All of this to say, I can’t guarantee that decluttering will change your marriage or kick-start a new career for you. But I also wholeheartedly believe that it has the potential to change your life in new and wild ways that you can’t even imagine.
Decluttering creates room for the unexpected, but what that looks like for you won’t be revealed until you let go. So take a leap and let the universe surprise you.
Pro Tip: One of my most powerful decluttering tips is to create mental reframes. When you change the way you see your clutter, it becomes easier to let go. If you have a hard time with this, I recommend you check out this blog post about questions to ask while decluttering or this podcast episode about creating decluttering breakthroughs.
The Simply + Fiercely Show is a podcast for women who want to clear their clutter and create space for freedom and joy. If your life keeps getting bigger—but not better—then it’s time to declutter from the inside out. LISTEN NOW
3. Decluttering reduces your mental load
Look around your house, and what do you see?
OK, fair enough. But how does that excess stuff make you feel?
It was Barbara Hemphill who said, “Clutter is nothing more than postponed decisions”, and while I’ve written before how I don’t fully agree (it’s much more complicated than that), I can respect the element of truth.
Every item in your home you don’t 100% believe in represents an unmade decision.
- An unused serving platter shouts, “Are you ever going to host that dinner party you bought me for?”
- An unopened package of yarn whispers, “Why am I not a sweater yet?”
- A cocktail dress with the tags still attached calls to you, “You’re so boring; you should get out more!”
Multiply that times the thousands of items in your home, and the noise can be unbearable! Add that to the stress of the modern world, so many things you “should” be doing … it’s exhausting, and what’s worse, you can’t escape because you’re surrounded.
It’s like your entire home is conspiring against you, destroying your peace of mind.
So … what can you do?
A clutter-free home is powerful because it closes the loop. Sure, you might knit that sweater one day, but wouldn’t it feel good to take the idea off your plate? I’ve noticed that often, the most incredible feeling of freedom is one less decision to make.
If you want to pick up the project, you will find a way—and in the meantime, give yourself the gift of one less thing to think about.
Pro Tip: Sometimes decluttering is a catch-22. You know that decluttering will ease your cluttered mind, but you are so overwhelmed that it’s hard to begin! If this sounds familiar, check out this blog post about what to do when you’re overwhelmed with clutter.
4. Decluttering has surprising financial benefits
When people declutter, there’s a lot of focus on what you’re giving up. “But Jen, I paid $50 for that sweater!”
Trust me, as a reformed shopaholic, I understand this pain. I have spent tens of thousands on clothes I’ve hardly or never worn … and ouch. It’s not a great feeling.
But here’s a perspective shift that has helped me overcome this challenge and saved me so much money in the long term.
Look at every single item you declutter as a learning experience.
Yes, you paid $50 for that sweater. Annoying, I get it. But what can you learn from the experience?
- I love the look of wool, but it’s too scratchy for my sensitive skin.
- Yellow is beautiful, but it doesn’t work well in my wardrobe. When given the option, I’ll always reach for something else.
- Wool is too high maintenance for me; I need something easier to wash.
*Note that I live in a subtropical climate and know nothing about washing wool! But my poor laundry skills are not the point. Instead, it’s about self-awareness.
If you learn from your clutter, you’ll make better purchases in the future, effectively stopping it from the roots.
This can save you hundreds, if not thousands, in the long run. (Think about it: how often do you find yourself buying new things and then end up decluttering again without knowing why?) I have experienced this first-hand over the years, and even went 13 months without shopping for clothes during 2021-2022.
So yes, it’s OK to be sad about wasted money, but it’s not entirely wasted if you learn from the experience. Instead, let it be a lesson learned; your future self will thank you.
Want to learn more about minimalism, decluttering and money? Check out:
PRO TIP: If you found this tip helpful, download my free Mindful Decluttering guide using the form below. It is full of tips and advice that helped me go from shopaholic to minimalist.
Decluttering tips and resources
So, to recap: yes, there are a lot of practical benefits of living in a decluttered space (I won’t lie—having fewer things to clean is WONDERFUL), but it’s so much more than that.
If I had to pick, I’d argue the mental health benefits are what really keep me going. Having a more relaxed mind, living a more intentional life, and embracing my self-worth … it’s priceless.
(Although if I had to put a price on it, saving thousands because I’ve completely changed my shopping habits is one of the great benefits!)
But whatever resonates with you, here are a few more resources to help you clear the unnecessary clutter from your home:
- 5 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Decluttering – First things, first! If you’re having a tough time, this list will save you a lot of heartache and prepare you to deal with the ups and downs of the decluttering process.
- 10 Ways to Get Rid of Clutter Quickly + Easily – Learn how to get rid of more stuff in less time.
- 23 Decluttering Ideas That Will Create Space In Your Home + Life – simple, bite-sized decluttering projects that will help you clear unwanted items and create much-needed living space.
What are your reasons for decluttering? Let us know in the comments!