When your parents used to threaten to ground you if you didn’t clean your room, it’s possible they were just looking out for your mental health. Clutter definitely affects your mental health, increasing anxiety and depression.
It can also lead to avoidant tactics as this survey shows where one-third of the respondents did not want to go home in order to avoid the clutter. Imagine not wanting to go to your house, a place that is meant for comfort and enjoyment?
If your house is messy, this is very understandable. Research shows that clutter affects your brain, as too much stimuli hinders your concentration and ability to process information. No wonder you’d rather take the keys and enjoy a cleaner space elsewhere.
The Correlation Between Mess And Stress
You don’t have to be on an episode of Hoarders to feel the mental side effects of clutter. So what’s the correlation between mess and stress?
- Missing those keys? Can’t find that file for work? You can count on that increasing both levels of frustration and cortisol.
- Clutter causes our minds to do extra mental lifting. Those messes translate to added stimuli that wouldn’t exist with an uncluttered home or office.
- That pile of papers on the desk? It represents a constant reminder of work that needs to be done.
- Imagine trying to write a paper while a construction worker uses a jackhammer outside your office. Clutter is a distraction, pulling your attention away from the task at hand.
We’ll avoid cluttering the page with too many more reasons; instead how about we focus on methods of decluttering your life? Here are a few tips:
- Treat your home like a filing cabinet. Have designated spot for household items that don’t get frequent use? Try to limit them to drawers, cabinets or closets to keep stimuli to a minimum. As the cliche goes: out of sight, out of mind.
- Don’t use it, don’t keep it. Seems simple, but how often do we hold onto that “As Seen on TV” item we couldn’t live without, or that pair of heels that haven’t seen the light of day for years? Clean your clutter and do some good in the process by donating your unused items.
- How much time would we save if we simply put things away when we were done with them? The answer is a lot. We have bigger things to worry about than clutter, so take those extra few seconds to put an item away as soon you’re done using it.
- Keep cleaning fun! Add some music to the mix or brush up on your basketball skills when tossing out that spam mail. Treat it like a chore and it’ll feel like a chore.
- Have a method to the madness. Don’t worry about covering the entire house or even the entire room at once. Pick a corner and work from there. Those small victories will help you continue to push forward until you have an entire house looking fresh and clean.
- Teamwork always helps. Whether it’s family or a friend, having someone to lend a helping hand can make all the difference between organizing that clutter or calling it quits. Not to mention you’ll be able to get the job done in a fraction of the time.
Are you buried beneath that clutter and don’t know where to start? Don’t be afraid to bring in the reinforcements. Make it a family affair or bring in the professionals. A cleaning company can be a great way to get things to a more manageable place, eliminating the stress of household chores.
Whatever you decide, don’t let your brain get cluttered with the clutter around you.