We’ve all heard of a good Spring Clean and in the run up to the holidays, making some space is never a bad thing. Can having a clear out be good for your mental health? Absolutely, and here are a few of the reasons why.

What Does it Mean to Have a Clear Out?

This is really a personal opinion. When it comes to having a clear out, it could mean something completely different to you, as it does to another person. Some people will view it as going through all of your belongings and getting rid of things you don’t need or want. Others may think about it in smaller, more manageable tasks, such as sorting out a cupboard.

The idea is to make space, tidy up and remove those things you don’t use, want or need. It can be an extremely cathartic experience, but also hard work.

You do not need to think of it as adding to landfill either. Sure, there will be broken items, or things you can’t pass onto others in one way or another. However, there are plenty of options for removing these things from your home, without throwing them in the bin.

clear out
Photo by David Lezcano on Unsplash

What are the Benefits to Your Mental Health?

You need to remember that it can be difficult to let go of things, particularly if you have had them for a while. Don’t be hard on yourself for feeling like this, it is quite natural.

The benefits far outweigh the hard work, sweat, possible tears and difficulty in letting go. Check out this article about Letting Go for a little extra information on this.

One of the main bonuses to getting stuck in and clearing out unwanted items, is it can help you feel more in control. Whether or not you are experiencing a particular kind of stress, this activity can bolster that sense of control. Control over your environment and indeed over your life in general.

In turn it can also aid in reducing stress that you may be experiencing. Your mind is focused on the task at hand, regaining that control we spoke of. This leads to your mind being more centred and once the job is completed you’ll feel calmer and happier. A sense of accomplishment is a great boost to mental health and can help reduce anxiety, low mood and stress.

You can do a little good, which is always great for lifting your mood, or perhaps make a little extra cash!

clear out
Photo by Huy Hung Trinh on Unsplash

Where do I Start?

You can start anywhere. It depends mostly on how you work and what you want to achieve. Do you want to sort out your entire home? Or are you focusing more on one particular area?

Have a plan in mind, a flexible one, but plan none-the-less. This will help you remain on task and feel in control. You can use our Task Management Planner Page, which is free to download, to help you create your plan. Use it to break down the job at hand and make it much more manageable.

What do I do with Everything?

There are a number of ways that you can pass on items that aren’t broken or tatty. There’s even ways to offload those things too.

  • Good quality, working items
    Donate – to charity, a school or nursery, hospital and so on.
    Sell – use social media or apps like Vinted, hold a table or boot sale. There is even sites such as Ebay that you could consider.
    Give Away – You can also add them to Freecycle, Olio and Facebook for free.
  • Tatty, broken items.
    Put a post up on Facebook or Freecycle (there are lots of other places too) and explain the item’s condition. It’s worth a try.
    You could also contact your local Charity shop to see if they would accept the item. Many Charity shops have a service that collects unsellable items and pays them depending on weight.

Of course, make sure you keep yourself safe when dealing with people you don’t know. Don’t meet people unless you are in a public place and take someone with you. Use common sense and stay safe!

Have you had any surprises when having a clear out? We’d love to hear about it over on our TikTok, Instagram, Threads, Facebook and Twitter.

About Author

Erika is bright, bubbly and friendly. Studying to be a counsellor, she is committed to helping others in the pursuit of better mental health. Having suffered from mental health issues herself including severe anxiety and PTSD, she wants to show others that the light at the end of the tunnel is not just a cliché!
Erika enjoys spending time with her little one, friends and family, crafting, reading, writing, music gaming, cooking, creating art, cacti and llamas.

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