How Clutter causes Stress and Anxiety


Listen to “How Clutter causes Stress and 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.

Unanswered emails, paperwork scattered across the desk, dozens of open tabs in internet browsers, unused clothes and items that collect dust – these are all examples of the clutter in our lives that cause us stress and anxiety.

A Study, by the Princeton University Neuroscience Institute, discovered that people who are surrounded by physical clutter in a disorganized environment are less productive and more distracted than those in organised environments. 

It has been proven that clutter can:

  • Overstimulate our system (visual, olfactory, tactile), causing our senses to work overtime on stimuli that aren’t necessary or important.
  • Draw our attention away from what we should be focussing on.
  • Make it more difficult to relax, both physically and mentally.
  • Cause anxiety by being a constant reminder that we have to sort out piles of work and clutter. 
  • Create feelings of guilt and embarrassment, particularly when someone drops by unexpectedly.
  • Frustrate us by making it hard to find the things we need when we need them, such as keys, documents, credit cards etc.
Simplicity is the Key to Happiness

Here are a few quick tips which will make it much easier to declutter your whole house:

  • Start in the room that annoys you the most 
  • Throw out, recycle or donate all the things that are broken or that you don’t want, need or use anymore.
  • If you have things that you want to keep but that you rarely use, store them all together out of sight. 
  • Ask your family or friends to help you declutter. It will be much faster if you divide the task with other people. You can even help them in return. 
  • Organize all of your paperwork by separating utility bills, office work, magazines and newspapers. Try to go paperless wherever possible by reducing the number of documents you print.
  • Go through all of the papers you’ve organised and recycle everything that you don’t need.
  • Tidy your workspace at the end of each working day. It’s always refreshing and encouraging to start work with a clean workspace.

Clutter is a physical representation of a to-do list that affects us mentally, emotionally and spiritually. But it’s not just physical clutter that we can organise. We can also organise our mental clutter. 

Cleanse your Mind with a Mental Detox

Do you start your day by filling your mind with positive, uplifting information or negative, discouraging messages?

If the first thing you read when you wake up every morning is the news, you’ll most likely struggle with stress and anxiety throughout the day.

If you regularly hang around people who are constantly stressed, dismissive and low in self-confidence, you’ll start to pick up their energy and mentality.

The clutter that fills your mind can be just as destructive as the clutter in your physical environment and can lead to high levels of stress and anxiety.  

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