How Clutter Causes Chronic Stress

Messy Homes and Work Areas Lead to Anxiety and Stress

Stressed woman looking at computer while talking on phone and surrounded by stacks of paper

Clutter is a significant cause of stress for a multitude of reasons:

  • Clutter is a distraction. Instead of being able to focus on important tasks, clutter forces people to notice it instead. According to psychologists, clutter makes your senses go into overdrive in order to process your surroundings.
  • Clutter is a sign that there is work left undone. This makes it harder to relax – physically and mentally. It also causes a feeling of guilt if someone notices the clutter.
  • It’s frustrating for someone to search through clutter while looking for an important or necessary item, and overall it leads to stress.

Stressed man in red button-up shirt pressing palms to side of head

Why This Matters:

  • Chronic stress puts your health at risk. Chronic stress is an emotional pressure suffered for an extended period of time. This is caused when an individual believes that they have no control.
  • Chronic stress causes irritability, anxiety, and depression. This can lead to headaches, insomnia, social withdrawal, or substance abuse.
  • Stress hormones cause blood pressure to spike, which can lead to a stroke or heart attack.
  • Stress can cause muscles to tighten up, which causes body aches.
  • Individuals suffering from chronic stress are more susceptible to viral illnesses and infections.

Sleek black table with white desk chair and dark bookshelf filled with white items

How to Prevent Chronic Stress Originating From Clutter:

  • Begin to declutter your home. Ask a friend or family member to help you tackle this project. Start off with one room at a time. If it becomes overwhelming, take a break and relax. Also try working on smaller projects instead of entire rooms.
  • Create a designated space for every item. This allows you to quickly access that item whenever necessary. Try to make these spaces hidden or closed, like a cabinet or storage bin. That way you cannot see the item and be affected by its presence.
  • When you remove an item from its designated space, make sure to replace it once you’re done with it.
  • While decluttering, recycle or donate items that are no longer useful to you.
  • When you’re done in a workspace or room, spend a few minutes picking it up. Taking these few minutes every day will prevent a stressful day of decluttering down the road.

If you need help decluttering and organizing, College Hunks Hauling Junk and Moving can help!

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