Exploring the Relationship between Stress and Clutter

Exploring the Relationship between Stress and Clutter

The dictionary defines clutter as; a collection of things lying all over the place in an untidy manner. It is something that most of us are familiar with, in most cases just a little bit here and there but for some people it can be much more. Clutter everywhere so they just can’t find anything when they want it, it can be completely overwhelming.

What is an appropriate amount of clutter?

Ask yourself what your reaction would be if a friend or family member called you and said they were just popping over. Would you be able to just hoover and be happy or would panic set in causing you to dash around picking up as much as you could, hiding it away in cupboards? If this sounds familiar, then you are not alone.

While it is perfectly acceptable to have some clutter, especially one with children or where people work long hours, if it becomes the main topic of any discussions with family members nagging each other, then it becomes an issue. If you cannot sit down and relax in your own home because clutter is always on your mind, then life can be stressful.

Tidying the clutter

If only it were that simple. For some people it can be just a simple job of setting aside a few hours once a fortnight or maybe once a week in order to sort out all the clutter, put it back where it belongs and throw away those items they don’t need. However, for others the clutter can be so significant that they simply do not know where to start, piles off clutter can fall over as they start to work, making even more of a mess. It is often easy to start with the best intentions but get overwhelmed by the shear enormity of the job at hand, and when you can’t see much difference but have worked hard it can be truly demoralising.

The vicious cycle

The truth is that clutter, and especially not being able to deal with it or feeling like it is taking over your life, can be stressful. Clutter can make it difficult to relax, seeing it around us send signals to our brain that we haven’t finished sorting things out, this in turn can create feelings of guilt; we should do more, we should be more organised. Of course it can also make it harder for us to find the important things we need quickly. It’s a vicious cycle, we stress about the clutter, try to tidy it which in turn is stressful, and then we stress even more about the clutter as we tidy it, desperate to get it all sorted.

What can you do?

Make a plan, write some lists, and if the clutter is really bad enlist some help. It might be worth considering if getting your house back quickly from under the clutter would be a real incentive to sort it out once and for all. If this is the case, and you feel unable to tackle the clutter in situe, then consider boxing up all the things that need sorting and putting them in storage, using a local storage company. Then once your house is clutter free you could tackle the boxes one at a time, at your own pace and with a lot less stress.

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