Spring cleaning is not just for our physical spaces; it’s also an opportunity to declutter and refresh our minds. 

Spring has always been a time for renewal, a symbolic moment to sweep away the cobwebs from the corners of our homes. 

But what about the corners of our minds? Just as we clear out the clutter from our closets, our brains deserve their spring cleaning to create space for fresh, vibrant thoughts and ideas.

Before we get to how to spring clean our brain, let’s talk about your physical environment and clutter. 

Key Takeaways:

  • Spring cleaning is not limited to our physical space; it is equally important to declutter our minds.
  • Decluttering our mind can improve mental clarity, focus, creativity, and reduce stress and anxiety.
  • Clutter can contribute to brain fog, impair cognitive function, and hinder productivity.
  • Practical strategies such as journaling, mindfulness practices, and taking personal inventory can help clear our thoughts and promote mental well-being.
  • Decluttering our physical space, mental space, and digital devices can also contribute to our overall health and well-being

Why Clutter is Bad For Your Brain

Imagine your brain as an ultra-sophisticated computer, one that’s running complex software to manage your thoughts, emotions, and daily tasks.

This incredible system has a certain amount of cognitive resources—think of it as mental bandwidth. Now, picture clutter as dozens of unnecessary tabs open on this computer, each siphoning off a bit of that mental bandwidth. The result? Your system starts to lag.

Clutter isn’t just an assault on our eyes; it’s a drain on our brains. When our environments are cluttered, our cognitive resources are overdrawn, leaving us with less capacity for focus and memory retention.

It’s as if our thoughts are trying to push through a crowded room, making it all the more challenging to reach clear-headed decisions or recall information efficiently. Our brains are hardwired to crave a certain order.

But there’s more to this narrative. Neuroscience has shed light on the compelling link between our surroundings and our brain performance.

Through studies involving fMRI scans, researchers have discovered that participants in organized spaces aren’t just tidier—they’re also more productive and possess a clearer state of mind. Tidiness isn’t just about aesthetics; it’s a foundation for a sharper, more engaged brain.

And then there’s the impact of clutter on our well-being. A jumble of possessions doesn’t just clutter a room; it sets off alarms in our brains.

The clutter that we see every day can induce a stress response, leaving us feeling anxious, and stressed, and even tipping the scales toward depression.

This disarray can keep our stress hormones, like cortisol, on high alert, thrusting us into a constant fight-or-flight mode.

Living in this state is like having an alarm that doesn’t quite shut off, which can wear down our health over time—leaving us more susceptible to everything from insomnia to chronic health issues.

And as the sun sets and we lay our heads down, clutter doesn’t tuck itself in for the night. Studies have shown that a cluttered bedroom might be a culprit in our sleeplessness, with people reporting more difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep amidst disorder.

The act of organizing our spaces does more than create room on our shelves; it builds pathways to a more serene and focused mind. It allows our minds to relax, freeing up mental power to focus on the things that truly matter—our creative endeavors, relationships, and personal growth.

Five Ways to Spring Clean Your Mind


Just as removing physical clutter can revitalize your living space and help your overall brain performance, clearing mental clutter can rejuvenate your mind.

The parallel is clear: the chaos of clutter, whether physical or mental, can cloud our thoughts and weigh down our spirits.

But with a few strategic steps, you can sweep away the mental dust and embrace a brighter, more focused state of being. Here are five actionable ways to declutter your mind this spring:


1. Mindful Journaling

Capture the whirlwind of thoughts on paper. Journaling is a powerful tool for mental decluttering. It allows you to externalize and organize your thoughts, giving you the clarity to focus on what truly matters.

Reflect on your day, jot down your worries, or express gratitude. Try to drain your brain of your thoughts uncensored before you go to sleep. It helps clear your mind, improves your sleep, and makes you more creative.

2. Take a Personal Inventory

Ask yourself questions like: who do you want to be, who or what matters most to you, how do you define success in your life, or what makes life worth living.

Write down your answers and reflect on how well you are achieving goals for yourself. Clutter accumulates when we lose sight of our goals. This helps you bring focus to your actions, and avoid unnecessary tasks and worries.

3. Plan a trip

Studies show we get a happiness boost just from planning a vacation. Sometimes the act of planning is more beneficial than the actual trip.  Think about past trips you have had – do you remember the joy of planning and how it motivated you overall?

4. Digital Detox

Commit to regular intervals where you disconnect from the digital world. Excessive screen time can crowd your mind with information and impede deep thinking.

It also over stimulates certain neurotransmitters, leaving you with an imbalance that leads to more stress, anxiety, and depression. Designate tech-free zones or times, allowing yourself to engage in other enriching activities like reading, music, or spending time in nature.

5. Prioritize and Organize

Tidy up your to-do list with the same vigor you’d use to tidy up your home. Prioritization is key. Identify what’s most important and structure your day around these priorities. By decluttering your schedule, you minimize the mental clutter of trying to juggle too many tasks at once. Learn to say no to what’s not working for you.

Incorporating these practices into a decluttered environment can amplify their effectiveness. A clear space can serve as the optimal setting for these cognitive exercises, reducing distractions and enhancing your ability to focus.


Digital Decluttering

In an age where our lives are as digital as they are physical, it’s crucial to remember that clutter isn’t confined to our tangible spaces. The virtual clutter—those unread emails, the desktop littered with old files, and the incessant pings of social media notifications—can also fray our mental fabric.

Just because we can’t physically stumble over these digital piles doesn’t make them any less obstructive to our mental clarity and peace.

Clear the Virtual Cobwebs

Just as we wouldn’t let papers pile up on our desks, we shouldn’t let digital residue pile up on our devices. A well-organized digital space can significantly reduce the mental load that these silent accumulators of stress bring into our lives. Here’s how we can tackle the virtual mess:

1. File Organization: 

Dedicate time to sorting through digital files. Create a logical folder structure that makes sense for your workflow, delete duplicates, and archive what you no longer need. Think of it as a filing cabinet—if you wouldn’t keep it on paper, why keep it in bytes?

2. Email Management:

Tame your inbox with a robust email management system. Unsubscribe from newsletters you never read, use filters to prioritize important messages, and set aside specific times for checking emails to avoid constant interruptions to your day.

3. Social Media Sanity:

Social media can be a mental clutter trap. Be intentional with your usage. Curate your feeds to align with your interests and values, and don’t be afraid to mute or unfollow accounts that don’t bring you joy or knowledge. Consider setting app time limits to give yourself a break from the digital buzz.

4. Digital Detoxes: 

Periodically step away from all digital devices. Just as our bodies need rest after a long day, our digital selves need downtime too. A detox can be a day-long affair or just a few intentional hours each evening—find what rejuvenates your mental space.

5. Streamline Your Digital Tools:

Consolidate the number of tools and platforms you use. Each new app or service spreads your digital presence thinner, adding to the cognitive load. Use multifunctional tools that integrate various needs into one platform, reducing the mental juggle between interfaces.

Challenge Your Brain While Spring Cleaning

While engaging in physical decluttering, it’s important to not only tidy up your surroundings but also challenge your brain and promote mental stimulation.

By incorporating brain-boosting exercises into your decluttering routine, you can enhance cognitive function and contribute to a sense of overall well-being and relaxation.

Try these simple challenges while tidying up your space:

1. Use your non-dominant hand

Try using your non-dominant hand to pick up objects, sort through belongings,  perform cleaning tasks, do yard work, or brush your teeth.  At first, it will feel weird and uncoordinated. That’s because it has poor motor memory.

By doing so, you engage your brain in new ways, stimulating neural connections and enhancing brain plasticity. You will be stimulating the weaker side.  It also helps cultivate ambidexterity and improves hand-eye coordination.

You can start slow, try for 15-30 seconds at a time, and build from there.

2. Work your balance

Start standing on one leg or shifting your weight from one side to the other while doing chores or normal tasks like brushing your teeth, getting ready in the morning, etc.

These simple balance exercises engage your proprioceptive system, which helps maintain equilibrium and spatial awareness.

Enhancing your balance not only strengthens core muscles but also improves concentration and cognitive abilities.

Notice if you lose balance easier on one leg over the other. If you do, then you will want to work on that side a little bit more. If your balance is pretty good on one leg, stand on an unstable surface like a folded towel or a piece of foam to challenge yourself more.

3. Focus with distraction

Play music in the background that you might find harder to concentrate with, forcing yourself to focus on the task at hand. Or if you are someone that normally has to have music on to focus, trying do the opposite- having quiet to focus.

4. Deep breathing exercises

In addition to physical movements, deep breathing exercises are essential for promoting both mental and physical well-being during decluttering.

As you clean and organize, take moments to focus on your breath and practice deep breathing techniques. Breathe in slowly through your nose, allowing your abdomen to expand, and exhale fully through your mouth.

Deep breathing triggers the relaxation response, reducing stress and anxiety, and increasing mental clarity.

The overall goal is to create some neuroplasticity and work the pathways in your brain you don’t normally use.  It is similar to the philosophy for muscles – use it or lose it.

Other Tips for DeCluttering Your Home

  1. Minimize belongings: Take a thorough inventory of your belongings and identify items that you no longer need or use. Donate or sell these items to free up space and reduce clutter.
  2. Create storage systems: Invest in storage solutions such as bins, shelves, and drawers to keep your belongings organized. Assign designated spaces for different categories of items to make it easier to find and store them.
  3. Do mini clean-up sessions: Try to declutter and organize a space for 10 minutes per day.  This reduces your stress and allows you to make progress and feel less overwhelmed.  Make it a challenge to do 10 minutes per day for 5 days in a row.  Take a break and see how it worked for you and set a new challenge or goal.

What does your purse & wallet look like?

As soon as you read this – did you start laughing? Are you afraid to tackle this?

Then this might be a task for you.

And guys- is your wallet causing you back or hip pain? Are you wearing it in the back pocket? I advise front pockets for body mechanics.

Take a moment to assess the contents of your purse/wallet and see what you can do to minimize the bulk.  Your body & brain will thank you.


As you reach the end of this article, it’s important to remember the significance of a mental refresh through spring cleaning.

it’s clear that decluttering is more than a seasonal task—it’s a pathway to a calmer and more focused brain. Start small and easily achievable steps and be kind to yourself in the process.

As the fresh spring air fills your decluttered space, take a deep breath and revel in the peace and potential that now surrounds you. Happy Spring!