A guest post by Rose Morrison
Inside: Learn ten ways clutter increases stress in your life to get motivated to begin decluttering.
Life can get busy, so cleaning up your home and office space doesn’t always make your daily to-do list. Messes can build up while you’re shuttling kids to after-school activities or meeting up with friends.
Learning the ways clutter increases stress motivates you to remove it. Once you regain control over your home and reduce your stress, you’ll enjoy your life more.
Grimacing at piles of laundry and avoiding an overflowing trash can at work don’t have to be part of your routine.
Today I’m going to talk about ten ways clutter increases stress. After you realize the impact that clutter is having, you can use decluttering strategies to defeat each mess and keep them from coming back.
10 Ways Clutter Increases Stress
1. It’s an Annoying Reminder
Clutter is a visual problem because it reminds you there’s always more to do.
After a hard day at work or taking care of your family at home, if your day ends with backed-up dishes or toys all over the floor, it creates more stress.
Seeing things in disarray all the time is an annoying reminder that your day is never really over.
It increases your stress by making your to-do list even longer, stealing the little bit of peace you might otherwise find in the quieter morning or evening moments.
2. It Costs Money
Tossing bills with the rest of your mail on the kitchen counter or in your home office can hurt your budget. You might accidentally throw them out or forget about them as other things pile on top of each other.
Late fees and overdrafts cost Americans $577 every year, which you could otherwise spend on date nights or family activities.
Scrambling to pay extra fees is a significant financial stressor. Clearing the clutter will save you from this excess anxiety and restore your mental health.
3. It Prevents Space Utilization
Disorganized things also cover up any extra space you could use for other purposes. Your kitchen will feel smaller when the counters are cluttered.
Many people watch belongings pile up in their garage, which they’d rather use to shelter their vehicles from summer thunderstorms and annual blizzards.
You could also use your garage for extra shelving if you get accurate wall measurements before ordering shelving units.
Spring cleaning your garage will open it into a multi-use space and reduce the stress caused by all of the clutter.
4. It Causes Embarrassment
Have you had a friend or family member come over unexpectedly? If so, you may know what it’s like to feel uncomfortable with the state of your home.
It can create embarrassment and distract you from enjoying time with the person visiting your home. Clutter should never take away a moment to bond with your loved ones.
5. It Prevents Your Favorite Activities
Boxes of holiday decorations or unused belongings waiting for a trip to the dump compromise your floor space. You won’t have room for a yoga routine or even playing with your pets.
Junk should never cause anxiety because it limits what you can do in your home. It’s one of the most common ways clutter increases stress because it keeps you from the hobbies that would help you relax as well as adding to your mental load.
6. It Drains Positive Energy
Clutter removes your free space and adds stress to your life, but it also drains the positive energy from your home. According to feng shui, messes clog the natural flow of energy and reduce how much positive energy can radiate in each room.
It may be why you can’t feel at peace even immediately after cleaning. Give your home time to generate positive energy by maintaining a mess-free environment to keep stress at bay.
7. It Ruins Your Haven
Everyone needs a haven. It might be your cubicle at work, where you can get some quiet while the kids are at school.
It could also be your bedroom because the walls and decor match your personality. Clutter increases stress by ruining your peaceful environment. It disconnects you from where you should feel in charge and at ease.
Get control over your environment and your anxiety by removing unnecessary or unsightly objects. Use organizational strategies to prevent it from coming back.
You might color-coordinate your office drawers or move things in your pantry into clear containers. You’ll always know how to sort and find your belongings, reducing any stress related to everything piling up.
8. It Increases Feelings of Dread
Watching your coat hangers disappear under jackets you never wear is just one example of clutter causing feelings of dread.
Bigger messes require more time to fix and better organizational skills. It might all feel impossible, leading to dire thoughts about living in disarray long-term.
However, you can start making a big impact on your space by decluttering for just ten minutes at a time! You may be surprised at what you can get accomplished in short bursts of focused time.
You’ll eventually clear away the mess without stealing too much of your time or energy.
9. It Slows Your Digital Activity
Digital clutter can be just as challenging to handle as physical stuff. When there’s an impending deadline or a time-sensitive issue, scrolling through an unorganized inbox or endless files will waste your time.
Don’t let junk steal your day and increase your stress. Spend a few minutes every day deleting anything you don’t need and categorizing documents.
New folders, alphabetical organization, and even clearing out your computer’s trash will optimize your digital space so there’s rarely any clutter in your way.
10. It Generates Chaos
Messes of any kind will generate chaos. It demonstrates how some things are out of your control.
Clutter is a lifelong battle, but you don’t have to accept decades of heightened anxiety. Whenever the chaos gets overwhelming, take a step back to reevaluate your routine.
Find where your most frequent messes occur and determine if you can change your habits or add new ones to solve the problem. Something as easy as storing your shoes in a shoe cabinet instead of a rack will change your daily experience with potential disorder.
Clutter Increases Your Stress
If you’ve felt anxious at home or uncomfortable at work, your environment may be adding to your discomfort.
Clutter increases stress by stealing your joy, peace, and ability to focus. Having a decluttered home offers you many benefits.
There are steps you can take to get your home decluttered. You can then use organizational tips, routine adjustments, and space-optimizing supplies to keep the clutter from building back up.
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