This post is all about why clutter is harmful to your mental health!
Clutter is absolutely harmful to your mental health because it makes everyday tasks harder and longer, takes away your safe space and place to relax, and makes you more closed off towards friends, family, and the world. Clutter can also have a negative impact on your mental health, your memory, and your quality of sleep.
In this post, we’ll cover many negative effects that physical clutter can have on us and how this clutter disturbs our daily life inside and out!
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What is Clutter?
First off, before we explain why clutter is harmful to your mental health, we need to explain what makes up what we call “clutter”.
Yes, obviously it’s made up largely of junk, but…
In order to conquer our enemy, we first need to know our enemy!
This means understanding how this clutter accumulates and why we have so much stuff that over time becomes an untidy mess!
The Definition of Clutter
Physical clutter is a collection of things lying in spaces designed for other purposes in an untidy mess.
Clutter can be anything like old items you no longer use, things you forgot the use for, things you don’t have a place for, or work you haven’t gotten to yet.
An excess of things can become a problem in the places we work. Stacks of paper, to-do lists, or other work items can look daunting and can keep us from completing important tasks.
Where Clutter Accumulates
Clutter can also appear in places you use often. The front door and the kitchen table may be an easy dump station when you get home from work or the grocery store. Your closet can easily overflow when you buy things and don’t get rid of the old clothes you don’t wear anymore.
A lot of times there are things you can’t find a place for:
- Old photos
- decorations that are out of season
- family relics might not have a home in everyone’s house and can add up if there isn’t a good place to put them
Clutter can accumulate in our homes in the places we use the most. When you come into your house you might dump your coat or purse in the doorway. When you get ready for bed you might dump your clothes from the day on the floor in your closet.
How Does Clutter Affect Us?
Clutter in our life can make our day-to-day life harder and longer. When you live in clutter it is more difficult to find things that add stress and time to your morning routine.
If your day begins like this that can create stress that can carry on throughout your day.
One of the biggest ways clutter can also impact us is with our productivity.
Messes around the house are hard to ignore. The thought that old clutter needs to be cleaned or organized constantly can stop us from completing other tasks on our to-do list. The number of things lying around can also stop us from organizing clutter because it seems too overwhelming to do.
This can lead to more mental fatigue and thus more procrastination!
Disorganization can also make us feel more closed off to our friends and family. Most relationships thrive on spending quality time with people. Having a clutter-filled home might make you want to not invite people over.
This can make you feel closed off to those you love, often hurting relationships.
The Psychology of How Clutter Is Harmful To Your Mental Health
The Problem: People accumulate clutter sometimes because they don’t have the time or don’t take the time to go through the things they have to get rid of what is no longer used.
Tip: When you buy new things it might be a good idea to look through the similar things that you already have and replace the things that are not being used.
A lot of times we also hold on to items that we no longer use because they have sentimental value.
It’s hard to get rid of things that are linked to memory in our lives. Although these things may have a positive meaning to us, leaving something that can’t be used creates more clutter and can create more stress.
Clutter has been linked to:
- Hoarding disorder
This can turn into hoarding when the mess takes over spaces that are used every day such as kitchens, and doorways, and makes it so they can’t be used for their intended purpose. If you have a hard time getting rid of things because of sentimental value, you could be at risk for Hoarding disorder.
Clutter can also create anxiety and/or depression because it can become overwhelming. Messiness is overstimulating and can keep your brain constantly running. This can exhaust your brain and cause your sleep, memory, and cognitive skills to decline.
Here’s a great video that clearly explains these psychological connections to clutter:
How Clutter Affects Our Mood
Clutter can prevent us from being happy. When we have clutter it is hard for us to feel open and inviting and good about our space. Our home is supposed to be our safe space where we go to relax.
If you don’t feel comfortable at home it’s almost impossible to relax.
Clutter makes us feel like we can’t get things done or be productive. You can also create stress around removing the clutter itself! The disorder can increase our anxiety because it is constantly on our minds. This can also affect our overall happiness.
Clutter in your home is affecting your safe space. Your home is supposed to be where you can kick back and relax. How can you relax if there is always a task on your mind?
Untidiness can also lead to embarrassment and shame. It is easy to feel embarrassed when you have people over in a messy house. You might feel shame and push off having friends or family over because you don’t want them to see your home in that way.
Clutter Puts A Burden On Your Life
Clutter puts a burden on your life because it can keep you from using the space in your home well. When things accumulate in places that are used a lot can make it more difficult to go through everyday tasks.
Messiness can even affect the overall flow of your home, piles of things blocking or covering your…:
This can make it hard and even annoying to move through your home. If this is the case then you have to take the extra time to clean just to be able to use these spaces in your home.
Going through clutter takes more time and energy than regular cleaning and organizing. Tackling a big pile of things can be overwhelming and exhausting. You might not know where to start!. The longer you let things pile up the harder it is going to be to organize when you finally do!
Clutter can hurt your overall sense of peace. No matter what you are doing at home, clutter will always be somewhere on your mind. If you are trying to relax in a messy home you will constantly be reminded about the mess because you can see it or are always thinking about it.
Before You Leave…
Hope you enjoyed this post! If you feel motivated to start your decluttering journey and be more productive with your decluttering project, check out these productivity planners to maximize your productivity and get rid of the stress of clutter for good!