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In this post you will learn 10 Reasons Why Clutter Causes Stress.
No one has to tell you that clutter is a bad thing. We know it. We get it. Nobody likes the stress and nobody likes the clutter. But, there are valid reasons why clutter is a super evil villain more sinister than… I dunno. A super villain?
Further, there is scientific proof of this! Check it out here at the Personality and Social Psychological Bulletin. Either way, it’s important for us to know why the clutter causes us all da stresses and not all da feels.
1. Clutter Creates Stress By Bombardment AND Distraction
Do you remember that old game, Bombardment? You know, when people would single out someone and throw those rubble balls at them? It was different from dodgeball, somehow, but the difference was there.
Anyway. Clutter bombards us. Everywhere we look we see clutter. This, according to Sherrie Carter with Psychology Today, causes our senses to work overtime on stuff that’s not really that important.
Think of it this way – in the game bombardment, you’re looking at all the balls that are about to hit you. You just happen to miss the one that nails you – and if it’s half inflated – man that stung!
Cleaning up the clutter helps you to stop being distracted by things, and helps you to focus on that one thing that is actually going to come at you and hurt if it hits you.
But, the thing is with the bombardment of clutter it is always there. ALWAYS. And no matter where we look it’s gonna keep coming at us.
2. Clutter Creates Stress By Distracts Us By Financial Frustration
Financial frustration is something nobody likes. It translates into debt. (Meaning no money to do fun things).
You know what I’m talking about here. You get a bill in the mail, and you put in that pile of bills that you think you’re going to pay, and then you forget about them. Or when you remember them you can’t find them – and if you do find them – you discover it’s the wrong bill.
But, CONGRATS! You found that water bill you were looking for five months ago!
Yeah, we’ve all been there. But clutter can be very bad in this situation because you’re dealing with money.
Money is very important to a lot of people – especially things like the electric company, the landlord or the bank, and the cable company.
When you mess with some of these peoples money, they don’t like it, so they rudely add additional fees, higher interest rates, and if you really tick them off they send their friends the collection agency after you.
All of that nonsense could’ve been avoided if you knew where you put that damn bill.
Again, don’t worry, we’ve all been there and it can be tough.
3. Clutter Creates Stress By Frustrating Us
Clutter can be so frustrating, especially when all you want to do is find that one thing to help you finish that one project.
It’s like above, when all you want to do is pay your bills, but for whatever reason you can’t find the darn things. It is even more frustrating when when you do find the item, but it’s not where you expected it to be.
To add salt to the wound, usually the frustration kicks off your day, amiright? You know, when you’re late for work or school and you can’t find what you did with your keys?
I totally get it.
4. Clutter Creates Stress By Loss Of Time
Which leads me to this very important situation. You’re looking everywhere to find the darn thing – but alas, three hours later, when you finally find it, you somehow managed to take a 3 minute task and turn it into a 3 hour task.
A study done by the Association of Professional Organizers even found that over half of those polled would save up to an hour a day if they were more organized.
5. Clutter Creates Stress By Puts Us On Guilt Trips
I am so guilty of this. Clutter puts us on serious guilt trips, because we know we should do something about the clutter. We know it. It’s right there in front of us, but we ignore it, because well, we’re running late for work.
Or we don’t have time to do it because we have other obligations to attend to. Another reason? Let’s face it, sometimes we’re just tired, okay? And we can be tired, because we do a lot of stuff.
But, then you go into someone’s home, and they are super organized, and suddenly you feel a little jealous. Or you make the mistake of going for a walk with your kids, and you think to yourself that you probably should be spending that time cleaning the clutter.
Oh, yeah. I’m there with you.
The problem is that clutter takes us out of the moment. Instead of watching your kid do something awesome, or genuinely enjoying life, you’re feeling guilty.
Because you shouldn’t be having a good time. You should be at home. Cleaning the clutter.
And this guilt trip robs you of a joyful life.
6. Clutter Creates Stress By No Relaxation Here
Being surrounded by clutter is terrible because it causes you to not be able to actually let your mind rest.
I liken this to your computer. A computer slows down because it has programs running in the background. While you sleep, your brain still has things going on in the background (like, that cue to remind you to breathe, that thing that tells your heart to keep beating, and so forth.) Those are natural things vital to the upkeep of the human body, but then your brain has another thing to worry about that makes it even more sluggish.
While you’re telling yourself that you need to rest, you lay down, and go to sleep – and you can’t go to sleep because you’re thinking about cleaning out the clutter from your closet. And, when you do go to sleep, the need for your mind to organize things kicks up.
Much like the computer using the background programs, your brain is using the time and resources for you to sleep to remind you to clean clutter. Check out this survey from the National Sleep Foundation – where it states that 75 percent of those surveyed, got a better nights sleep all because they banished the clutter.
Related: 5 Essential Oils That Help You Sleep
7. Clutter Creates Stress By Taunting Us You’ll Never Get Done
Sometimes, I stare at my clutter, and think that I will never ever get organized. And it is literally like the clutter sits there, mocking me, knowing that I will never organize it the right way.
And that is infuriating. Because you know it needs to get gone, but you feel that there is so much of it, and that even if you clean it, it will come back.
And it continues to taunt us, knowing this.
The worst part is – it has the numbers to back it up. Did you know that The U.S. alone has more than 5 times more storage facilities than there are Starbuck Cafes?
And, the fastest growing segment of the commercial real estate industry for the past 40 years has been the commercial real estate industry?
Yes, the clutter is taunting us, and telling us it will never get done.
Do not believe the lies.
8. Clutter Creates Stress By Embarrassing You
Let’s be honest. How many times have you not let someone come, even if it is your best friend, because you were really embarrassed about how your house or apartment looked?
In a Rubbermaid survey, nearly half of the homeowners surveyed said they wouldn’t let people over if their house was messy.
And, honestly, it is embarrassing, especially when you go visit your friends house, and it looks like Martha Stewart lives there, while your house looks like it should be on the set of Roseanne.
9. Clutter Creates Stress By Making Sure You Have More Than You Need
Yeah, we’ve all done this too. You can’t find an item that you swear was in the back of your closet. In fact, you remember putting it there. You’ve looked everywhere, and you still can’t find it. You think you might have thrown it away or sold it in the last garage sale.
So you go to the store, and you buy another thing to replace the one you couldn’t find. You come home, and no sooner do you open it up, you go to your drawer, open it up, and you find…seven of them.
For me, this scenario is way to real. It’s for scissors. I can never find my scissors, and no sooner do I buy a pair then I find the last 40 pairs, because I rarely use it.
And now you have 20 items of the same thing that you swear you’ll put in a new place, where you will remember to look… and yeah.
10. Clutter Creates Stress By Being a Physical Threat To Your Well Being
Oh, yes, this is a thing. And it’s sadly so very true. Too much clutter can be a serious issue to your physical health. It can cause breathing problems, and if these things are in boxes it can cause a safety and fire hazard. And, what’s worse, is that it actually can be something where, if it’s on the floor, you could slip and fall.
Clutter is a huge factor in causing stress, and it’s a problem because it gets us visually, mentally, and physically. The best thing about clutter though is that there are things that can be done about it.
Don’t think you’re going to be stuck in the clutter realm. You can stop this nonsense, and I’m here to be your biggest cheerleader!
I’m curious, what is your biggest issue when it comes to clutter?