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How Clutter Affects Your Mind and Body

a close up on a small cluttered bedroom with yellow walls

Do you struggle with clutter? Millions of people do. What you, and they, may not realize is that clutter can affect your mind and body. Clutter, defined as any unnecessary or unwanted items that accumulate over time, can contribute to higher stress levels in a number of ways.

For one, clutter can be overwhelming and visually distracting, making it difficult to focus on important tasks and causing feelings of anxiety and irritability.

In addition, clutter can also create physical barriers in the home or workplace, hindering productivity and adding to overall frustration. The following information may be helpful in encouraging you to rid your life of clutter for the last time.

How does your home make you feel when you walk in the door at the end of the day? Do you feel peaceful and glad to be at home because it is your sanctuary? Alternatively, do you feel dread because there is a mountain of unfolded laundry in the chair, a stack of toys spread all over the floor and a sink full of this morning’s dishes? wrote "Clutter can heighten your stress levels and make it difficult to think clearly and stay focused. To put it simply, seeing a mess can cause your body to respond in fight or flight mode, as if it were a physically-dangerous situation. The unconscious stress response floods our bodies with the hormones adrenaline and cortisol, which can inhibit critical thinking and problem-solving abilities."

Disorganization and clutter indicate there is something out of balance. The trick is learning what is off-kilter and how to set it straight.

How Can Clutter Contribute to Higher Stress Levels?

Studies have found a direct correlation between clutter and increased levels of cortisol – the hormone released by the body in response to stress. This means that even low levels of clutter can cause our bodies to experience physiological stress responses, leading us to feel unhappy or unsettled without always knowing why.

The accumulation of clutter over time can also lead to feelings of guilt or shame for those who struggle with organization – a negative emotional state which further contributes to overall feelings of stress and overwhelm.

Living in a cluttered home is stressful for everyone. Mom is constantly pulled from what she needs to do to help someone find his or her shoes. Dad is late for work because he cannot find his car keys. As the pressure to find those things that are lost mounts, so does the tension. Before too long, something or someone snaps.

Think about how you feel when you have misplaced something. You may berate yourself for being careless. You may feel frustrated and ready to give up. When your child comes in to ask a question, you may not respond in a loving manner and feelings are hurt. Decluttering and organizing your home can help alleviate this problem.

a sad woman with a hand over her face

Clutter Can Make You Feel Physically Tired and Sick

Clutter drains you of energy and makes you feel tired. When you have to look at the clutter, you most likely feel overwhelmed. You know you need to do something but you do not have the energy.

Take time to clear the clutter from one small area. It can help you and your family feel more energetic and more inspired to work on decluttering in other areas.

Did you know clutter could be making you sick physically? No one wants to think about it, but clutter can be the breeding ground for germs, dust, mold, and mildew. It could even hide a problem with mice.

If you do not believe clutter can make you sick, think of the stress mentioned above. If you have too much stress, you may develop high blood pressure. Dust and mold can cause allergies or worse.

Clutter Can also Affect Your Body Weight

If you tend to have a lot of clutter in your home, you may find that you are less active compared to those with a tidy living space. If you find yourself struggling with excess weight, it's possible that clutter in your home could be contributing to a sedentary lifestyle. The presence of clutter can make it difficult to move around freely and engage in physical activity.

Additionally, some people use clutter as a way to create a barrier between themselves and others, which can prevent them from being hurt emotionally.

In 2016 professional organizer Peter Walsh wrote a book titled "Lose the Clutter, Lose the Weight: The Six-Week Total-Life Slim Down". Over a period of six weeks, 22 people were able to lose an average of 10 pounds each by implementing decluttering, moderate exercise, and meal planning into their routines.

organized closet

If you're looking to make positive changes in your life, a clutter-free space can trigger a positive behavioral and physiological response. Just picture the positive effect of starting your day or working in an organized environment.

Consider decluttering your home and creating a more active and healthy environment for yourself.

How Clutter Affects Your Mind and Body-Conclusion

In conclusion, it is evident that clutter has a significant impact on both our mind and body. From increased stress levels to reduced productivity and physical health issues, living in a cluttered environment can take a toll on our overall well-being. It is crucial that we recognize the negative effects of how clutter affects your mind and body, so we can take steps to declutter our living spaces regularly. By creating an organized and tidy environment, we can promote mental clarity, reduce stress, and improve our overall quality of life. So let us make a conscious effort to embrace simplicity and declutter our lives for a healthier mind and body.

I know it can be overwhelming, so if don't know how to start, here's a guide on how to create a decluttering strategy you can use.

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