Spring is ending soon and if you’re like me, the change in weather comes with a desire to make your surrounding space better. Maybe it’s the expectations of spring cleaning, maybe it’s my minimalist tendencies, but regardless, I thought I’d share some of my tips for decluttering and sprucing up without overdoing it.

The Cost Of Clutter

You may ask yourself why you should declutter your space. It is daunting to stare at a mess and figure out if you have the spoons to clean it. It may not even feel worth the spoons it takes to clean it, especially if you have been rationing your spoons to do things like take a shower. Decluttering and clearing out your space is definitely worth the spoons.


How much time and energy have you spent looking for something you needed? Maybe your house keys disappeared, and you had to push yourself to find them to go to your doctor’s appointment. It could be your phone or tablet getting lost in a pile of mail. Regardless of the scenario, having less to contend with in your space helps prevent things from disappearing. You still might find your phone in the fridge or some other brain fog fueled placement, but at least you don’t have to sift through as many things to figure out where you put it.


According to a growing body of research, clutter contributes to increased and prolonged levels of cortisol in our system. As we try to unwind from a stressful day, our surrounding things add to a to do list of things to be done and instead of cortisol levels dropping, our cortisol levels will increase or remain the same. Those high chronic cortisol levels make us more susceptible to issues like depression and insomnia, which can really contribute to flare-ups.


I want you to take a minute and imagine your ideal space. Think of how everything would work in that space and what you would do. Would you have a special, cozy place for your favorite hobby? Would you never leave your bed? The more clutter that is in the space, the harder it is to make that space work.

How to Declutter

Now that we have imagined our ideal space and how important it is to declutter, how can we make that goal realistic for our current life?

Create small consistent goals

The best way to start is to make little goals that you can achieve regularly. It is amazing how little steps can add up before you know it. I’m currently preparing for a move in the next few months and I’ve set a goal to pack one box a week for the next bit. I have my room of space to contend with, and I don’t need all of my items all the time. This lets me manage bits at a time without overdoing it. So far I’ve packed up half my board games, my books, and my off season items (i.e. coat and dress clothes). I imagine this weekend I will finish packing my board games.

Think of your space as a museum

Like a curator at a museum, you can be the curator of your space. What things in the space are valuable and meaningful to you? What things improve your quality of life? Change your thinking from what do you need to hold on to and look at it instead as what deserves the space in your life.

Ask for help

You can get the help of friends and family to help you sort through your things. Something that the research has found useful is having someone else hold your items up and have you decide whether to keep them or get rid of them. By having someone else handle the items, you are less likely to attach to the item unless it really means something to you. Regardless, you don’t have to do it all on your own.

Be mindful of future purchases

In a way, this ties back into thinking of your space as a museum. The best way to handle clutter is to prevent it from entering your house. When you go shopping, think about what value and space you have in your life for it. If you can’t picture the value it will bring, it’s better to not bring it into your space. You will save time, money, and spoons by forgoing unnecessary shiny objects that lead to clutter in your life by just skipping it.

Those are my tips on decluttering when you have a disability or chronic illness and why it’s worth the energy to do so. Happy spring cleaning and if you have any thoughts you want to share, put them in the comments below.