Decluttering Tips for When You Are Feeling Anxious 

June 24, 2018 Brandy Eaklor

Typical decluttering tips are great when you don't have anxiety. But what do you do when your mess makes you anxious or anxiety makes the mess? Find out here.

Are typical decluttering tips unhelpful to you because of your anxiety? When I feel anxious, I sometimes allow my home to get a little messy. Then, in return, I feel more anxious due to the clutter. It can be a never-ending cycle that can be difficult to break. Once you are aware that you do this, it becomes a little easier to put a stop to it. Read this article for my decluttering tips for when you are feeling anxious.

Decluttering Tips for Anxiety-Based Clutter 

Identify the Problem

As I mentioned before, increasing clutter becomes an endless cycle if you do not catch it. If you notice that there's clutter building up, check in with yourself. Is it due to your anxiety? On the other end of the spectrum, pay attention to your anxiety. Is it becoming worse from staring at a mess? If you can identify the problem, then you can start taking steps to solve it.

Create a Plan

The hardest part of following any decluttering tips is always starting. When my place starts to get cluttered, I tend to just stare at it wondering where to even begin. This can be especially difficult if you are already feeling anxious. If you are like me, anxiety makes me freeze and not want to do anything.

If you do not have a plan, it will be hard to know where to begin. Creating a plan will help break the task down into bite-sized pieces. Just remember, all progress moves you in the right direction. Identify which area of your home is bothering you the most, and begin the process there. Once you begin, you'll have more motivation to keep going. 

Start Small

It can be overwhelming to try and declutter an entire room. When creating your plan, be realistic about how much you will be able to do in an hour, a day or whatever amount of time you are choosing to start with. If you're in the living room, start at the coffee table. If you're in the kitchen, start with the counters.

Take baby steps, and do as much as you can without becoming overwhelmed. It may even help to set a timer for 30 minute or hour increments. After each set of time, take a little break. Some people do better doing a little bit each day, and some people do better taking a full day to do it. Find what works for you but try do not pressure yourself to the point of feeling overwhelmed by the stress of cleaning up.

Make It as Enjoyable as Possible

There are some people out there who get excited about cleaning. I am not one of those people. However, I do what I can to make it a little bit more interesting. You could light candles, play music or listen to a podcast. Maybe even see if you have a friend or family member who would be willing to keep you company while you declutter. Once you begin, you may even find that cleaning helps to take your mind off things and actually, begin to like it. Even if that is not the case, there are still many ways you can have a little more enjoyment as you work through this process. 

APA Reference
Eaklor, B. (2018, June 24). Decluttering Tips for When You Are Feeling Anxious , HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, May 22 from

Author: Brandy Eaklor

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July, 2 2018 at 2:44 pm

Hi Lizanne, I definitely agree with everything you said. Thank you so much for reading and taking the time to comment. So happy that you found value from this post.

Lizanne Corbit
June, 25 2018 at 5:47 pm

Creating a plan and starting small are two key things to keep in mind. I absolutely love the idea of decluttering, especially as a means to quell anxiety but it can easily turn into more anxiety if we take on too much at once. With a clear plan in place and starting with a reasonable amount this can be such an empowering and uplifting practice. Great post!

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