The Clarity in Simplicity: Highly Sensitive People and Decluttering

Imagine the peace that comes with an organized space – a room where everything has its place. There’s a certain breathability to it, like a sweet sigh of relief. 

Now, step into the shoes of Highly Sensitive People (HSPs). That’s not difficult for me; I am an HSP. For HSPs, our senses are attuned like fine instruments, meaning we experience the world in high definition. For example, beautiful things are that much more exquisite. But with this heightened sensitivity comes a vulnerability to overload.

The World of the HSPs

Dr. Elaine Aron, who began researching the trait of high sensitivity (or Sensory-Processing Sensitivity (SPS)) back in 1991, reveals that about 15-20% of us are HSPs. It is a perfectly normal, although not well-understood, trait. 

Highly sensitive individuals have a keen ability to perceive subtleties in their environment. They can be deeply empathetic, conscientious, and creative. But, their senses can become overwhelmed, and clutter is like static to their fine-tuned reception.

The Toll of Clutter

Clutter is not merely objects; it’s a cacophony of stimuli. Each item can be like a buzzing bee to an HSP. Multiple items? It’s like a hive. This sensory input can create stress, fatigue, and a sense of drowning in their own space. In busy or cluttered environments, I can actually feel my batteries draining and my brain shutting down. Trying to hold any kind of meaningful conversation in that kind of space is next to impossible.

The Embrace of Decluttering

Decluttering, then, is not just tidying up; for an HSP, it’s like turning down the volume on a blaring speaker. It’s soothing, it’s liberating.

A Breathing Space

By decluttering, an HSP carves out breathing spaces in their environment. They reduce the sensory input and create a space that’s more in sync with their innate sensitivity.

A few years ago, I helped my mother repurpose a space in her home that had over the years become nothing more than a parking lot for stuff that had nowhere else to go. As we cleared the room and rearranged the furniture in a more balanced and attractive manner, I could feel the newly opened-up space start to breathe again. The room came to life.

A Stepping Stone for Creativity

With the distractions minimized, the HSP’s rich inner world gets the spotlight. Their creativity, which often is a core aspect of their identity, can flourish. 

James Clear, the author of Atomic Habits, makes this thought-provoking observation about the distracting power of things: 

Look around your environment. Rather than seeing items as objects, see them as magnets for your attention. Each object gently pulls a certain amount of your attention toward it. Whenever you discard something, the tug of that object is released. You get some attention back.

That attention we get back is far better invested in creating the life we want.  

Decluttering as Self-Care

For HSPs, decluttering is akin to self-care. It’s acknowledging and respecting their sensitivity. It’s creating an environment where they can thrive.

And finally

While decluttering benefits everyone, for the HSPs, it’s not just a chore, it’s a lifeline. It’s creating a sanctuary where their senses can breathe, their creativity can flourish, and their spirits can soar. It is in this kind of space that they find balance and rejuvenation.

Wondering if you, or someone you know might be an HSP? Find out here.

Photo by Paige Cody on Unsplash

This article has affiliate links.



The FREE Simplification Starter Kit

Learn about 3 things you can ditch today for a lighter tomorrow (downloadable pdf).

Enjoy the Read?

Would someone you know benefit from this post? 

Do them (and me) a favour and share it with them – I deeply appreciate your help with bringing my work to a wider audience. Thank you!


Your FREE Guide to Beating Clutter

Filled with practical tips, mindset shifts, pitfalls to avoid, and a checklist to get you started.

A clutter-free life is waiting for you;

What are you waiting for?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Send a message...