Have you ever cleaned out your house’s junk drawer and felt an immediate surge of satisfaction? Then you’ve experienced how good decluttering can make you feel. Whether you call it spring cleaning, reorganizing, or channeling your inner Marie Kondo, taking the clutter out of your home can seriously improve your quality of life. Find out how below, then learn our favorite tips for decluttering.

1. Feel more creative
Clearing out the items in your home that no longer serve you can generate mental space and clarity. When you feel at peace in your home, you may be more willing to jump into new exciting projects or try something creative you didn’t feel ready to try before. The act of cleaning and tidying also often frees up our brains and allows creativity to flow more freely. If you need to solve a complex problem, you might want to start by unloading your dishwasher.

2. Manage feelings of anxiety
Numerous studies have suggested that a clean, tidy space can ease anxious thoughts, but it turns out the act of decluttering itself can also be beneficial. The repetitive movements that accompany cleaning can have a soothing effect on a person undergoing stress (if you’ve ever “stress-cleaned,” you know what we mean), and being able to create order in a previously chaotic environment can offer a feeling of control.

Note: Decluttering is not a cure for anxiety disorders. If you are dealing with anxiety or depression, please seek medical care.

3. Curb unhealthy snacking
We were surprised by this one, too! A recent study showed that cluttered, chaotic environments “can create a vulnerability to making unhealthy food choices.” That means that having a comfortable, relaxing space (especially in your kitchen) might make you less likely to partake in unwanted snacking.

4. Gain some good karma
Once you’ve decluttered your space, give your new or gently used items a new home by donating them to a local charitable organization. You get to free up some space at home AND get a fresh batch of good karma. Did you know helping others can help you live longer?

5.  Find time for what you love
Owning less means you simply have less stuff to manage. And having fewer things means it takes less time to take care of, pick up, and clean those things. And that’s time you can spend with loved ones or practicing self-care.

De-Cluttering Tips

  • Start small. The garage might seem like a great place to start, but you need to build momentum with small spaces before you tackle giant areas. Start with your junk drawer or a shelf in your house.
  • Get the kids involved. You may be surprised to learn what toys your kids actually play with on a consistent basis. Ask your kids to pick their favorite toys (maximum of 10) and keep the rest in a bin to be donated to your local donation center.
  • Need a pantry overhaul? Once you clean those shelves, check out our list of essential pantry staples.
  • Remove everything and start fresh. No matter the size of the space, take everything out and start with a clean slate. This allows you to really see your space and only bring back in what makes you happy or serves a purpose.
  • Shop your house! The stores may be closed, but this is a great time to re-style your space by rearranging things you already own. Decorate your bookshelves with décor from your bedroom or office to give your newly decluttered space a facelift—for FREE!