How do you feel when you look around your house? Is it calm and peaceful, or are you frustrated and overwhelmed? Does it feel like a bomb just went off? Do YOU feel like a bomb about to go off?
There’s actually a reason for that crazy feeling and nope, it’s not that you are crazy! Studies show that clutter and mess actually causes us anxiety.
“Clutter can play a significant role in how we feel about our homes, our workplaces, and ourselves. Messy homes and workspaces leave us feeling anxious, helpless, and overwhelmed. Yet, rarely is clutter recognized as a significant source of stress in our lives,” Psychologist Sherrie Bourg Carter wrote in an article for Psychology Today.
There are 8 major reasons why Carter believes this:
- Clutter overwhelms us because it causes excessive stimuli so our senses go into overdrive
- It distracts us from other things we’d like to focus on
- It makes it harder to mentally and physically relax
- It signals to our minds that our work is never done
- It also causes anxiety because we have to think about how we are going to clean everything up
- It can impede productivity and creativity
- It makes it harder for us to find what we need and takes up space for doing other necessary things on our list
Source: Parenting Isn’t Easy
According to UCLA’s Center on Everyday Lives and Families, women react more to clutter in their homes than men do. They found that women in cluttered homes have higher levels of cortisol, which is a stress hormone.
Men living in cluttered homes are not affected in the same way. They do not have the same levels of cortisol that women do.
If you are feeling stress and anxiety caused by clutter then you can easily begin to take steps to reduce and eventually eliminate that clutter. Here are a few ways to get started:
- Start with one part of the home at a time. Do not move on to another until you’ve completed that one area. It is easy to get overwhelmed when jumping from task to task, and you’re most likely starting from a point of overwhelm already.
- Put items that you don’t use regularly into bins or baskets. Having items out of sight so you don’t see them can work wonders.
- Pick a time limit for items. For instance, if you’ve owned something for 1 year and not opened it or used it then toss it or donate it.
- Clean any messes as soon as you’re done making them. It feels good to have everything “done and put away” right off the bat.
- If you have kids, give them an incentive to contribute to cleaning and organizing. Give them one room or area in the house that they are in charge of and decide on a reward for accomplishing that task weekly. It’s a win/win!
If you found this helpful, please SHARE with friends and family!