Home Mental Health How Clutter Affects Your Life and Mental Health (6 easy tips to help you)

How Clutter Affects Your Life and Mental Health (6 easy tips to help you)

written by Vidya Sury January 22, 2021
How Clutter Affects Your Life -Mental, Emotional and Physical Health

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If you are overwhelmed with the mess around your workspace or home, it is time to find out how clutter affects your life – your mental, emotional and physical health.

Sometimes, regardless of how organized we think we are – clutter can simply take over. It happens gradually, stealthily and before you know it you are looking at piles of stuff everywhere – stuff you haven’t used in months or even years.

This can be paper clutter, books, clothes and other odds and ends that you can’t even remember bringing home. On top of that, if you’ve been busy, there are those things you use that you never had the time to put away!

So, if you are struggling to close your closets or having a tough time finding things on an overloaded desk, it is time to do something about it! Some mess is okay—studies have connected messy spaces to creativity—but the disadvantages are damaging to your health – physical, mental and emotional.

Here are 10 ways how clutter affects your life

1.     Mess leads to stress

When your place is organized, you know where to find your glasses or your keys or your purse. You don’t have to get stressed about not finding what you need and carry on with your day. Save precious time and lots of hassles when you clear the clutter.

2.     It makes life harder

If your mess keeps you from remembering things, it is time to clear it up. Did you know that adults in their fifties who are living in clutter are likelier to put off making decisions about what to let go of than younger people? Also, stacks of stuff around you leads to a constantly dissatisfied feeling.

3.     You lose your ability to focus

Makes sense, doesn’t it? How can you focus on one thing when there are too many things vying for your attention? When your space is disorganized, it is difficult for your brain to focus. If you suffer from ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) it is even worse. Seek the help of a professional organizer to get your space in order and to also learn how you can keep it that way.

4.     It is a cleaning nightmare

Too many things around the house are an invitation for dust. Besides cluttering your space, they make it difficult to keep your space clean. If you happen to have a dust allergy, you can avoid the sneezing, wheezing and other symptoms by decluttering your space and taking care of your health.

5.     You are afraid to socialize and become a loner

When your house is neat, you feel good and so do your visitors. When it is messy, it is just the opposite. You end up feeling embarrassed to call people home and eventually shut people out. This can affect your relationships negatively, leading to sadness and loneliness. Eventually, the hoarding habit can lead to depression and anxiety disorders.

6.     You become more prone to injury

Living with lots of clutter puts you at risk of getting injured. All those boxes and other stuff stacked on the floor make it easier to trip over. Overflowing shelves can also be risky because they can spill over and cause harm.

7.     You suffer from memory Issues

Research shows that people who live in messy homes suffer from a poorer working memory. Our brains can keep track of only some details for a short period, so when there are too many things crowding around, it can become overloaded.

8.     Your home is a fire hazard

Any space that is stuffed with paper and other flammable items is a fire hazard. It only takes a trigger like cooking oil going up in flames or a burner catching the edge of your kitchen towel. In such a situation, it can be tough to call for help in time or even get out of the house quickly. Even if you did succeed in calling for help, those firefighters may not be able to get in easily in time to put off the fire.

9.     You are risk of becoming overweight

It is a fact that people who live in cluttered homes, hoarding stuff tend to overeat and put on excess weight. As the hoarding becomes worse, the BMI or Body Mass Index also increases.

10.  You may have sleepless nights

Insomnia is common among those who are hoarders. In order to think clearly and function well, you need adequate sleep. When you don’t have enough sleep, your decision making is impaired and you are likely to end up acquiring even more stuff that you really don’t need.

As you can see, a cluttered space, besides looking messy, can play havoc on your emotions.  Clearing clutter is not the easiest task in the world and finding the motivation to do it can be a challenge.


How Clutter Affects Your Mental, Emotional and Physical Health and 6 easy tips to help you deal with it

6 tips to deal with your clutter

How to clear clutter when you’re not motivated? Yes, it takes a lot of effort. Here are six tips to get started.

1.     Make a plan

Take a deep breath. Then take a sheet of paper and a pencil and make a decluttering plan. This will help you to take stock of where you want to start and split it into smaller easily manageable tasks.

A plan always keeps you motivated because as you tick off each task, you find yourself inspired to move to the next one and complete it.

Without a plan, you won’t get much done and find it quite easy to give up quickly.

2.     Begin with tasks that take just a minute to finish

When you are dealing with a big mess, it can be intimidating to get started. Before you know it, you just want to escape. So make a list of tasks that only take a minute. Some examples are:

  • Pick up clothes off the floor
  • Put away the dishes
  • Empty the trash can

You’ll be amazed at what you are able to accomplish.

The next step is to take on tasks that take just a few minutes. When you break it down into smaller steps, it is not so overwhelming, even though you end up doing quite a lot. Soon you’ll see the results of your efforts in the course of the day.

3.     Play some music

Decluttering does not have to be boring. Turn up the music and you’ll find yourself enjoying what you are doing. You will not only clean faster, but realize you are actually having fun.

If music is not your thing, catch up on those audiobooks you’ve been meaning to listen to.

4.     Catch some motivating shows about decluttering

If you need some guidance about how to tackle some of your decluttering tasks, watch some experts at work. The popular Marie Kondo series on Netflix is an example for inspiration. Or just go to YouTube and search for decluttering tips. Not only will you find the motivation, but also pick up some excellent tips you can use in the long term.

5.     Set a timer

Rather than get lost into one task, set a timer for 10 or 15 minutes and work fast. As you do this throughout the day, you will manage to make significant progress without getting stressed or overwhelmed.

6.     Reward yourself and celebrate

Clearing the clutter is hard work. So, plan ahead to reward yourself – it can be watching a movie, making a healthy meal, or spending time with a friend in your freshly decluttered space.

The trick is to start small and work your way forward. Don’t let clutter take over your life. It harms your health. Get rid of all that extra stuff. Donate it to those who can use it. Only keep what you need. And life a happier and more fulfilling life!

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