5 Reasons Why a Decluttered Space Doesn’t Bring Peace.  

Earlier this month, I binged on a season of the show Hoarders on Netflix. This show can make you shutter or feel tremendous sympathy for each episode’s client. We may never be able to understand or relate to the mental thinking of a severe hoarder. Yet what also makes me sad is to see the multitude of waste. Countless things that may have been collected for some purpose can no longer be used or donated due to age, animal infestation, mold, or other damage. It is also sad to see hoarders who are collectors who can’t stop collecting and shopaholics who can’t stop shopping. Their homes are filled with their “treasures,” yet they cannot enjoy what they have because of the enormity of their hoard.

Regardless of what people hoard and why they accumulate it (many are dealing with grief), I see something else their hoarding creates besides chaos. A lack of peace.

Our homes should be a haven of serenity, relaxation, and happiness. If this isn’t the case in your home, it is time to look closely at what is causing the interference.

When there is clutter and messiness in my home, I become restless and stressed. The mess becomes the focus, and I cannot relax or enjoy other activities until I have taken the time to declutter, dispose or donate. In fact, one of the first things I do in the morning when making my coffee is to walk around the central part of the house and pick up dishes, arrange pillows, and throw away trash. Afterward, I have a better sense of calm and can start the day.

Clutter can rob us of peace because it distracts us from what is essential. Having decluttered spaces in your home reduces frustration, saves time and resources, and boosts productivity in whatever you need to do.

When Clutter-free Doesn’t Create Peace

It’s important to note that everyone has their own levels of what they consider clutter and disorganization. For example, I don’t have much kitchen space, so I’m not too fond of items or décor on the counters. When it’s time to cook, I want plenty of room to prep.

Some of what people may call clutter may not be to you. Not everyone requires their kitchen counters to be item-free — you may prefer to have some things out because you use them every day. You may like to have frames with photos of your loved ones scattered throughout the home, a stack of books you are reading next to your living room chair. There could be designated shelves in your home filled with collectibles.

Whatever you consider clutter, if you feel distracted, restless, or don’t have a sense of peace and calm in your home, you may need to look further than a clutter issue. It may be that some areas in your home need a reset. Here are five things to consider that may help you stage your home for more calmness and peacefulness.  

Traffic Flow

Take a walk through your home. Are your rooms arranged so that there is effortless traffic flow? Is it easy for anyone to walk through your home and easily find a place to sit and relax? If not, try removing excess furniture or decor, especially near the major walkways through your home, to see if it creates more sense of space.


Does the furniture in your lounging areas look and feel cozy and comfortable? Are there too many baskets, knickknacks, or décor around that would make it difficult for someone else to move around or sit comfortably?

Distracting Decor

In the places where you want to relax, do you have wall furnishings and other decorations that are more disruptive than peaceful? Tastes can change, so it may be time to consider switching to more soothing colors in lounging areas. Choose fewer colors and more textural items for coziness. Include more white space.

For any areas where you want to display a group of decor or collectibles, make sure that anyone who visits can see and appreciate each item. Otherwise, you may be grouping too many things together.


Do you have good natural light in your home during the day? Even windows with dark, heavy curtains pulled back to let in light can weigh down a space meant to be well-lit and airy. Include more lamps with softer light rather than only ceiling or track lighting.  

Photo by Minh Pham on Unsplash


This is different from comfort. Consider items that make you feel pampered, cozy, and part of self-care. In my lounging area, I have a scented candle, a throw blanket, and a favorite lotion that is always easily accessible. There are always a couple of magazines on the coffee table that I can grab and browse through when I want to take a break.

Add things to your leisure area that bring you joy, such as a soft rung, plants, books, an ottoman, fresh flowers, or large soft pillows to relax against. Having these in your favorite spot is better than décor and furnishings that may look nice but doesn’t provide a relaxing atmosphere.

Also think about what you can change in a room that will make friends and family more comfortable when visiting. Doing so may help you find necessary changes that will be what brings you relaxation and calmness.

In the meantime, and if you are like me, you may only need to take those few minutes in the morning or before bed to tidy up so that you have no distractions when starting your day.

6 responses to “5 Reasons Why a Decluttered Space Doesn’t Bring Peace.  ”

  1. Traffic flow!!! What is it with kids/teenagers who will drop their jacket, helmet, backpack and whatever they were wearing right by the entrance? Is something wrong with hanging these items in the wardrobe?

    The other day I was watching a show where a professional organizer (is this what you call declutter people?) was being shadowed by a TV crew. They cleaned up an average house with some accumulated stuff. Then they moved on to someone you may call a hoarder. After talking to him, the coach respectfully said “this is beyond my area of expertise, I would recommend you discuss your attachment to your stuff with a psychologist. Once you’re ready to let go of some of it, I’ll be happy to help you.” That guy was sooo relieved they didn’t dare to touch his belongings!

  2. Angie, thanks for all the great thoughts and pointers. So true: one person’s clutter is another person’s cozy. I had a relative who adored what others would say was hoarder-level clutter. I would like my home to be as streamlined as the “After” of an HGTV makeover. But I’m still striving to achieve that, and boxes go out every day!

  3. I’m like Elisa, our home has a very much lived in look but I’m getting much better at reducing clutter! Great tips.

  4. My house has that “lived-in” look. And I also wake up and straighten up because it makes me feel like it’s a better start to the day. Thanks for the reminder about lighting. I think a few lamps in the right places will soften things up. Great post!

  5. I am like you – for me, cozy things like a candle or a throw would not be clutter. And I like a neat kitchen, but I hate bending over all the time to get things out, so on the counter wins for that, too. 🙂

  6. I moved to my current house about 4 years ago. This is the first house where I have no curtains in the back. Initially I decided to do this because I spent alot of money adding windows to this area so that I could enjoy the lake I live on. What I found by putting no drapes and shades amazed me. I feel like my home so open, light and airy that the thought of any window coverings is not one I am going to pursue, of course I don’t have to have them so that helps! Also I have removed almost all nicknacks and that adds to the airy feeling. Great points in your post and I agree that clutter is different for many people. I probably would appear somewhat cluttered to some, small kitchen with things on counters, but for me I am pretty happy with my surroundings! Cindy Rae

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