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The Power of Decluttering Your Space In Recovery

Decluttering Your Space In Recovery,

Imagine returning home from a long, stressful day. 

Upon walking in the door you smell the garbage. You’ve been too busy to take it out this week. Then you notice the pile of dishes in the sink and the clutter of spices, sugar, and half-rotten fruit covering the countertops.  

There are shoes and clothes strewn here and there. The bookshelves have a thin layer of dust on them and they’re all stuffed with more random items. 

You head to the bathroom to shower and cleanse the day away, where the tub’s shelf holds way too many half-empty shampoo, conditioner, and bath product bottles. Soon you realize that your entire house is filled with random items placed in odd places.  

The clutter is stressful, distracting, and anxiety-inducing. It makes the house feel suffocating and messy. You vow to clean it all away this weekend—but you know you’ll be exhausted and unmotivated. 

Now imagine the same scenario unfolding after a stressful day when you’re in recovery from a substance use disorder (SUD). How probable does grounding, recentering, emotionally regulating, and enjoying the rest of your evening feel in that type of cluttered environment? 

Miramont Behavioral Health in Waukesha, Wisconsin is here to affirm that the probability of you feeling centered and calm in clutter is low. But we’re also here to announce some great news: Decluttering can positively impact your recovery journey. 

What is Decluttering, and How Does It Impact Your Health?

It’s no secret that recovery is stressful, requiring your ability to adapt to tense environments or situations using new skills and coping mechanisms. Decluttering is one of the many ways you can decrease stress and the amount of time it takes you to soothe your reactions to hardship, triggers, or tough emotions. 

The simple but profound act of decluttering will help you simplify your life. Remove anything that’s not needed. You can do this on a physical level–ridding your living space of anything that doesn’t need to be there, is rarely used, or prevents easy cleaning, upkeep, and relaxation. You can also declutter on a mental and emotional level, cutting out any thought patterns or worries or relationships that don’t serve you. The benefits of ridding yourself of the unnecessary are numerous:

  • Increased focus and calm
  • A deeper sense of self-esteem
  • Fewer asthma and allergy symptoms
  • Better interpersonal relationships
  • Improved self-esteem levels
  • Better sleep and less anxiety

Your home is your safe space, and it has the power to mitigate stress. In a very real sense, your home and its clutter, or lack thereof, can make or break your sobriety. 

3 Tips For Decluttering Your Space 

  • Take baby steps. 

Decluttering your entire living space in one weekend is daunting and overly ambitious. Instead, attack single rooms. You can even set a goal to clean out one drawer a week. If you make decluttering a part of your daily tasks or routine for the month, it becomes less of a chore and more of an accomplishment

  • Make decluttering a team effort.

If you have any friends or family members who enjoy organizing and cleaning, invite them over for a decluttering party. Breaking the decluttering into chunks with helping hands makes it much easier to complete. Also, remember that your definition of necessary items and clutter may not fit with your friends or family members’ notions. That’s fine. Communicate your preferences while respecting theirs, and watch as the job gets done in half the time! To express your gratitude, cook them a meal or take them out for lunch.

  • Throw perfection out with the trash. 

Aiming for perfection can cause unwanted stress at the time of decluttering. Removing items and cleaning everything thoroughly doesn’t have to be done perfectly or sequentially. Aim for development, not mastery. You want to achieve a cleaner, tidier, less cluttered space than before you started the process. Celebrate any level of change as a huge success. 

Start Your Recovery with Miramont Behavioral Health in Waukesha, WI

Contact us today if you or a loved one is struggling with substance use disorder and/or mental health issues. Visit our health library to learn more about how to sustain a positive recovery. 

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