Garage Sale Season is approaching and it’s a great way to get rid of some clutter in your home while improving your mental health. 

Jenell Chorney from Deep Roots Counselling and Wellness says excessive clutter can really impact mental wellness. 

“What I have really found in working with clients who really do struggle with physical clutter is there can be quite a huge component of guilt and shame, and also feelings of failure that do overshadow them.” 

A chaotic environment can also become a negative environment. 

“The physical clutter can deplete our energy,” Chorney says. “We can have an increase in depressive symptoms or anxiety related to the environment. In addition to those internal feelings of shame and overwhelm, I have seen people who live with excessive clutter also be affected socially, so we can see social withdrawal.” 

She says people are sometimes too embarrassed to invite friends or family to their home if they feel it’s too messy. 

Jenell ChorneyJenell Chorney, counsellor with Deep Roots Counselling and Wellness. (

If you struggle with a cluttered environment, Chorney encourages you to be kind to yourself. 

“That shame, that guilt, those are real feelings, but life is full of ups and downs, and we really have to learn how to give ourselves grace and kindness. So, be kind to yourself, first and foremost. The second tip or second piece of advice is if things are overwhelming, reach out for help.” 

Chorney says there are many professionals who specialize in helping people declutter their space, with no judgement, only a desire to help. 

Her third tip is to focus on small changes over time because that is more sustainable and less overwhelming. 

“Think about doing a 1500-piece puzzle. It’s huge and overwhelming. If we do the corner piece, if we do the edge pieces, if we do one color, two colors, three colors, whatever it is, we build that puzzle over time, right? We're not looking and seeing all of the pieces, all of the mess, all of the clutter in our space overwhelming us. So small changes over time. Work on one space, one thing, celebrate the small wins. Even if they are small, but celebrate them, they’re still wins.” 

-With files from Carly Koop.