Clutter can Cause Stress and Anxiety


This is not a joke. The harder you deny it, the more stressful you’ll become. While many of us think that clutter is just physical, it also affects mental, emotional, spiritual, and digital health. And it’s serious. On a study conducted by the researchers of Yale School of Medicine, they found out that the two parts of your brain overreacts when you try to let go of possessions that you have been emotionally connected with. As a result, you are driven to keep the clutter which in turn causes you more stress and anxiety. Why? Because the more you look at your clutter, the more you are reminded of a long list of things to do that you can’t ever begin with. And the more clutter you have to attend to, the more overwhelmed you will be because of the anticipated pain of its loss.

In addition to this, psychologists found out that clutter plays a vital role in how we feel about our house, workplace, and ourselves. Hence, a messy environment can lead to anxiety and helplessness – a significant source of stress in our everyday life. But of course, you can always alleviate this feeling. Here are some strategies that you can maximize when the clutter gets too overwhelming:

1. Involve the family in cleaning

Why worry by yourself when you can actually ask others to help you. In fact, if planned properly and reinforced well, weekends can be best enjoyed by housecleaning with the family. You may divide the whole house and assign each member to take care of the different parts. This way, you won’t be overwhelmed with all the things that you have to do and you’ll feel more accomplished knowing that it’s a collaborative effort. This is also one good way of teaching children the importance and benefits of housecleaning.

2. Use the 4 box method.

To cut the clutter out of your life, simply get a box and label them with keep, donate/sell, store, and trash. Then go around the house and begin sorting what are worth keeping, what should be donated or sold, what can still be stored, and should already be trashed. Do not think too much. Whatever comes into your mind first, put it in. Avoid putting too much time on each item. Just identify if you’ve been actually using it, if you have never used it, and you will never be able to use it.

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3. Remember that a clutter-free life is not one time.

Decluttering is a lifestyle. It is not a onetime event. Yes, it’s difficult to let go of things which you have invested too much, but it is more difficult to hold on to things which pave of no use to you anymore. Remember that the goal here is to clean the house and not to store useless things. Clean up your mess and have that closure you should have long given to yourself and your home.

So the next time you think that it is too stressful to do housecleaning, try cluttering.

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