The Connection Between Clutter and Health

Jon Fesmire | July 31, 2020 @ 9:00 AM

It can be tough keeping up with home organization. A couple of stressful days may be enough to make your home messy again, to the point where the thought of cleaning at all is discouraging. After all, life can be pretty stressful even without clutter. However, add a messy home to the equation and your stress can skyrocket.

So, before we get into the problems associated with a cluttered home, let’s get this out of the way. If your home is a mess, clean it up. Get through the stress of organizing everything, and you’ll reduce your anxiety later. We have numerous articles on how to clean and organize your home, so check those out as well.

Types of Clutter

We’re mainly going to cover clutter in your home. However, these days, when many of us work on our computers, we need to look at digital clutter. Do you get a lot of junk email? That’s a type of clutter. It makes it difficult to find your really important emails and can cause stress. The solution: unsubscribe from mailing lists that aren’t critical for you.

What about your computer desktop? Do you have dozens of icons all over it? Organize those into folders, or simply remove icons from your desktop for apps you can find in your menus.

Accumulation of Belongings

When we think about clutter, usually we think about people hoarding possessions. Even those of us who don’t have this problem accumulate stuff over time. If you discover that your space is just full of too many things, there are a couple of solutions. Go through your belongings and get rid of things you don’t need. You can give them to people who want them, sell them, donate them to charity, or recycle them.

If you still have more than you know what to do wit, rent a storage unit. We suggest putting off-season items in your storage locker. For example, you can use it as an off-season wardrobe closet. By putting these extra clothes in storage, you’ll make room for other items that you can put in your closet. That’s a good start in cutting down on clutter.

Home and Self

Your home is an extension of your self. It’s natural to identify with your home and to see it as part of you. Therefore, a cluttered home translates into a feeling of your mind and spirit being cluttered. Home is meant to be your shelter, your safe zone from the chaos of the outside world. Clean your home and you bring a sense of calm to your life.

Too Much Input

Our brains are like highly sophisticated computers that are constantly filtering input. As I’m writing this article, the air from my AC is rattling the shades. I can see my tablet in my peripheral vision tempting me to open my Kindle app and read the latest Stephen King novel. I’m experiencing these and other stimuli, but my mind is focused on writing this post. Things that are irrelevant get filtered out.

However, at some point, the extra input is too much and becomes a big distraction. Clear the clutter, and you’ll be able to focus much better.

Organize and Personalize

Cleaning your home is important, but there’s another step to take as well. Personalize your space. We mentioned how your home is an extension of yourself. When you add things that mean something to you to your surroundings, you bring a level of joy and comfort. So, put up pictures of family and friends. Decorate your home with personal art. If you’re into sports, put up sports memorabilia. If you’re into science fiction, put up figures of your favorite characters.

Once your space is well-organized, take the time every day to clean up after yourself. There will always be some cleaning to do, but it is possible to keep on top of it. You’ll find yourself happier and more productive, and that’s worth the extra effort.

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