Is Decluttering the Secret to Less Stress and Better Mental Health?


In a time when people are more stressed out than ever, it makes sense that minimalism, the tiny house movement, #vanlife and the KonMari method are taking over our social media feeds and podcast libraries. All these lifestyles promote some version of: get rid of stuff you don’t really need and have a clutter-free home so you can live a simpler, more joyful life.

But can decluttering really make you feel more content?

Yes, according to Brenna Renn, Ph.D., a licensed clinical psychologist and acting assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Washington.

“I do think that we are hardwired as humans to look for patterns in our environment and to find comfort in predictable patterns and occurrences,” Renn says. “That may be the underpinning of where this interest in decluttering is coming from. If we can make our home environments these predictable environments, it might support our mental health.”

That said, here’s what you should know before deciding to spend the weekend cleaning out your closets.

Read the Right as Rain by UW Medicine article.