Busy space, busy head. That is in short why highly sensitive people like a decluttered space. Busy environments mean lots of things for a highly sensitive person to process. That leads to overstimulation. Overstimulation means stress.
The Effect of Clutter
Clutter attracts more clutter. I have three children between the ages of seven and twelve, and none of them yet seem to have my hatred of clutter. In fact, far from it. Pigs in mud; my kids and clutter. And it drives me nuts.
Clutter makes me anxious. It makes me grumpy. I cannot declutter my head whilst my environment is cluttered. It distracts me. And I am certainly not unique.
The findings add to a growing body of evidence that clutter can negatively impact mental well-being, particularly among women. Clutter can also induce a physiological response, including increased levels of cortisol, a stress hormone.
Some people have a gift for being completely oblivious to clutter. I imagine most are not highly sensitive, those people who notice the detail in the world around them.
Clutter causes stress, and as we all know stress is not a great thing to welcome into your life.
In short, clutter is bad for you, and even more so if you are highly sensitive.
And the bad news is that it’s not just our physical environments that are causing stress:
The overconsumption of digital stuff—like social media notifications, news feeds, games and files on our computer—competes for our attention, creating a digital form of clutter that has the same effect on our brain as physical clutter.
Being attached to our phones constantly is cluttering our minds up. The constant pinging of notifications doesn’t help us switch off from the world around us. It’s overwhelm from all sides.
7 Ways a Highly Sensitive Can Declutter?
There are a number of things you can do to help yourself, and your home.
- Stop it before it starts – stop clutter getting into your house. Next time you are out shopping or your finger is poised on the buy button ask yourself, “Do I really need this? Do my kids really need this?”
- Spend ten minutes before you head out in the morning quickly clearing a space. Don’t leave it for your return at the end of the day, when the impact of a messy space will be bigger.
- Take a walk in nature, leave your phone behind and just walk in silence to declutter your mind.
- Meditate to clear out your mind.
- Regularly have a thorough clear out of belongings. Donate items, pass them on, throw them out.
- Take tips from the professionals. I recently read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondon and I have to say I am now a clothes folding ninja and a lot more artful at decluttering than before I read the book. Has something served its purpose? Then it can go already. We have bags and bags of items that will shortly leave our home. (Amazon US link here) (Amazon UK link here) (Amazon.de link here) (Blackwell’s with delivery included in the price!)
- Hire in help. Such as Amazon Home Services: house cleaning, home improvement, yard services. Get yourself some help to get on top of that cluttered shed, yard, or home!
Over to You
Do you notice clutter around you? What impact does it have on you? Share your decluttering tips!