Unconsciously, our room has a tremendous influence on our mental health than we think. Living in a messy and disorganized space will likely make you feel overwhelmed and frustrated. Imagine going home after a long day of school or work to find that you have a pile of clothes sitting on your desk or books scattered around the floor. You must be feeling tired even cleaning the mess in your room. The human brain will experience difficulty processing so many things at once. That's why sometimes you can also get a headache when faced with messy surroundings.
A psychologist at Mind Balance in Hong Kong's Central district named Dr. Esslin Terrighena stated that messy and cluttered surroundings could overwhelm us in many ways. Because of how unbearably untidy the surroundings can be, we won't be able to know where to start getting rid of our clutter. It will make us feel anxious and sometimes helpless. Not to mention that all that clutter can also affect our anxiety levels, sleep, ability to focus, and even make us feel less productive. When we sense those feelings, we sometimes avoid cleaning our room or procrastinate; thus, the clutter will build up. An untidy room will lead to other problems. Picture having your friends over when your room is still messy or when you need to find something but can't due to the clutter.
Dr. Esslin also added that the human brain would likely find it hard to rest and focus when juggling so many things at once. We will be reminded of things that we haven't accomplished, whether cleaning your room or even school tasks that we haven't finished yet. Not to mention the negative talk in our brain that may tell us that we are incapable of decluttering our space. A different study by Psychiatry Research claimed a strong link between clutter and depression. But do note that a messy room doesn't always equal that a person is depressed. It might just be self-expression, disorganization, or them being themself.
On the other hand, what makes it harder for us to declutter our space is that we believe that it is also one of our safe spaces, so we get too comfortable with, and even cling to it. It's also the reason why it is so hard for us to part with objects that are meaningful to us or in our possession for too long. We will develop a 'just in case' thought, thinking that maybe that stuff will be handy someday. We have our reason to hang on to things. Perhaps it reminds us of happier times or someone we like. It can also mean that we are afraid of change and are too comfortable staying in our little bubble called comfort zone.
Although decluttering doesn't mean that you have to throw away all of your things to be happy and feel at peace, there's still some effective method to declutter and organize your space. One of the popular decluttering methods is practiced by the best-selling author, Marie Kondo. She is known for her book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and stated about KonMari, a tidying up method that she uses. It's a minimalist approach to solving your cluttered space by making a category of your stuff. Many people link her way with tidying, when in fact, it's more about discarding items that lack value.
To apply this method, you have to make a big pile of all the things you have, and you also have to go through item-by-item and ask yourself if it sparks joy. The KonMari Method intends to discard things that don't spark joy so that your space will end up clutter-free and able to bring more happiness to your life.
Decluttering may seem intimidating, but if you're patient enough and don't rush into things, you'll feel that decluttering can make you feel empowered. Parting with items that may have a sentimental value to you could be challenging, but a new and clean space not only could boost your well-being but also your creativity and also self-esteem. We'll feel more productive as we won't be distracted by the clutter in our space and be more focused and balanced. We'll also experience personal growth as we discover another part of us that we didn't know we had all this time because we're so distracted by the clutter in our space.