I talk about clutter all the time but I want to take a step back and define what clutter is because it means different things to different people.
What is Clutter?
According to Merriam-Webster, it’s “a crowded or confused mass or collection.” The Free Dictionary defines it as “a confused or disordered state or collection.” Last but not least, dictionary.com defines it as “a state or condition of confusion.” Clearly, there are similarities between all three definitions.
I’m always amazed at how people view their clutter. On the one hand, I’ve worked with hoarders whose homes are filled with so much “stuff” that they carve a narrow path throughout their home to walk from one room to the next. On the other hand, I have a client who hired me because he couldn’t stand all the excess items in his home and wanted me to help him get rid of them. The first time I met him and he walked me through his home to show me the “excess” that was driving him crazy, I truly wondered why he hired me. His home was so neat that for a split second, I thought I had entered the wrong home by mistake.
We all know that clutter impacts us in several ways. Clutter can steal our space, money, time, energy, happiness, and freedom. It can ruin our relationships and reputation. However, it also negatively affects our health.
Here are five findings that validate how clutter affects us physically, mentally, and emotionally:
1. Unhealthy Diet:
Individuals in a cluttered environment typically choose unhealthy snacks vs. those who are in an orderly environment according to a study in Psychological Science.
2. Respiratory Issues:
Cluttered homes typically contain dust, which can cause or increase breathing issues according to the Alliance for Healthy Homes,
3. Disturbed Sleep:
Research shows that people surrounded by clutter are more likely to experience sleep issues than those who aren’t.
4. Energy Zapper:
Researchers hypothesize that people with office clutter may experience increased job strain which may deplete their energy.
5. Increased Stress:
People with cluttered homes and unfinished projects were more depressed, exhausted, and had higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol according to the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. This is compared to individuals who described their homes as “restorative.”
The goal of this blog was to help my readers understand that clutter is not just bad for us in an “oh well, things are disorganized” way. Clutter can cause us to have physical, mental, and emotional issues. So please don’t allow the weight of your clutter to hold you back. Take action today before it’s too late! Here are some great organizing tips for all areas of your life to motivate you. And if you’re buried in paperwork, check out my 5 steps to turn those piles into files!
“When home feels out of control, no matter what the reason, unsettledness and anxiety can seep in, and then the chaos becomes internal as well as external.”Myquillyn Smith, Author
LET ME HELP YOU!
Does clutter affect you physically, mentally and/or emotionally? Please comment below with your most frustrating challenge with clutter. Maybe I can help.