How to Eliminate Clutter and Improve Emotional Health

In a recent conversation with my mom, she told me she is trying to clean out her house and get rid of some things. For my mom, learning how to eliminate clutter is quite a chore…she is a packrat and still has things like my old prom corsage and 50 years worth of cookbooks! It got me to thinking: why do we keep the things we do? To hold on to the memories? Because we feel guilty throwing them away? You are not the only person who needs to learn how to eliminate clutter from their lives. The average American house size has more than doubled since the 1950s and is at 2,349 square feet. Do we feel the need for bigger and bigger houses because of the clutter we surround ourselves with? What is this clutter doing to our emotional well-being? Is it possible to live a relaxed and happy life if you have piles of old junk jammed into every corner?


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How to Eliminate Clutter and Improve Emotional Health

How to Eliminate Clutter and Improve Emotional Health

Smaller houses are significantly more eco-friendly but how can we downsize and still find room for our stuff? Clutter in our homes just leads to clutter in other areas of our lives. Check out Feng Shui Your Life for more decluttering tips.

a clutter free room with chair, plant and table

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Feng Shui and Decluttering

Where do I place a fountain to bring in more opportunities? Will hanging a crystal enhance my career? Should I paint my room green for better feng shui? These are frequently asked questions in Feng Shui, yet small things like this will hardly make much of a difference and even if they do, their effect will be short-lived. For the long-term, you need to learn how to eliminate clutter to have  the greatest impact. So where do you begin?

Unless someone is spring cleaning or a move is imminent, it’s rare to get motivated to clear out your clutter. Everything in our environment is a reflection of what’s going on in our inner environment, and a cluttered home is directly correlated with the mental and emotional clutter we hold inside.

clutter free kitchen counters

Why we Hold on to Clutter

Clutter is woven into our emotional energy and it drains us. It ties us to the past instead of allowing us to live in the present moment, yet we hold on to it for various reasons. How many of these clutter scenarios do you relate to?

How to Eliminate Clutter and Improve Emotional Health

Clothes that don’t fit

By keeping clothes that don’t fit, you constantly have a visual reminder that you are not where you once were. If you can accept where you are with your size in the present and let go of the clothes that represent the “old” you, you will have an opportunity to create a “new” you.

Expensive but unused items

Have you ever purchased something that cost “a lot” of money and later realized it wasn’t a wise purchase? Keeping these items constantly reminds you of your “mistake”. Each time it’s in view, you subconsciously judge yourself, which holds you in the past. Let it go.

How to Eliminate Clutter and Improve Emotional Health

Keeping things “just in case”

It is hard to learn how to eliminate clutter when you keep things ‘just in case’. Do you have five umbrellas but only two people in your home? Do you have a closetful of shopping bags that you’ve been saving from years ago? Holding onto everything that comes into your possession shows an anxiety about the future and a lack of trust that the Universe will provide what you need when you need it. When you open up space in your home or office, you open up the possibility that something new can arrive.

Items from a past relationship

Getting rid of possessions after a breakup or a death is always difficult because it means you really have to come to terms with your grief and loss. There is no set time when things “should” be cleared out, but the sooner you are able to clear out possessions associated with a past relationship, the sooner you are able to live in the present moment. It’s fine to keep items to remember the positive aspects of a person’s existence in your life. But many of the other things need to be cleared out. How to Eliminate Clutter and Improve Emotional Health

A gift you are not fond of

A gift you don’t like from someone you do like is one of the toughest things to deal with gracefully. You can appreciate the sentiment of the gift but still donate it or give it to someone who likes it and can use it. Feng shui-wise, it doesn’t make sense to keep something that does not resonate with you.

Understand what Your Clutter is doing to you!

Imagine being tied to everything in your environment by an invisible thread of energy. As such, you are literally tied to your clutter, even if you can’t see it. Can you believe that you drag your clutter around, no matter where you are or what you are doing? You are losing your energy to it!

How to Eliminate Clutter and Improve Emotional Health
Where to start?

Learn how to eliminate clutter by starting with whatever is closest  to you. That is the area that affects you the most, so start clearing from where you spend the most time. Your bedroom? The home office? Your car?

Mark your Calendar!

Make an appointment with yourself, just like you would with a good friend. It is totally worth it because at the end of the day, you will feel far better than if you spent it at the spa or out on the golf course. Learn how to eliminate clutter for improved emotional health!


Do you have any tips on how to eliminate clutter?

4 thoughts on “How to Eliminate Clutter and Improve Emotional Health”

  1. My wife and I are in the middle of a decluterization mode, where we’re throwing out just about everything. And, just for the record, I’m a “saving just in case”-er. Thanks for your thoughts on the subject. Now I don’t feel guilty about throwing away all of those bad gifts I’m too skittish to get rid of.

  2. These are all great tips- I feel suffocated when I have too much clutter around. I try to eliminate material things that don’t hold any significant emotional or physical value. We live in a condo so there simply isn’t room for excess. My best tip is to create a list.


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