The Negative Effects Clutter Is Having on Your Life

There’s a reason your parents told you to clean your room as a kid; clutter can have negative effects on your mental and emotional well-being. That’s right, they weren’t just being bossy parents, they were looking out for your best interests. Now that you’re an adult, keeping the clutter under control can be a little bit tricky since mom and dad aren’t around to keep tabs. Clutter accumulates for a number of reasons. There are the dishes that you replaced but never threw out, clothes in your closet that you someday might wear even though they haven’t been taken off their hangers in years, and gifts that you can’t bring yourself to throw away even though they were terrible choices for you. Whatever the reason, that clutter has to go if you want to function at optimal wellness.

How Clutter Affects Your Emotions

A study at Yale recently discovered that letting go of personal items affects your brain the same way as it responds to pain. Simply touching an item can create an emotional connection to it, which makes you want to keep the item around, even if it creates clutter in your home. Being in a cluttered space is more painful than letting go, so rip off that bandage and get rid of your clutter. Disorganization caused by clutter causes stress hormones to spike and can leave you feeling frazzled on a daily basis. This can even compound feelings of sadness, anger, and depression and can make it more difficult to maintain positive emotions.

How Clutter Affects Your Mental Well-Being

All of that stress and feeling disorganized hinders your ability to concentrate. There is a direct correlation between living in a cluttered space and reduced mental focus. This can cause difficulties in problem solving, memory retention, and concentration. Considering the effect clutter has on your mental well-being, clutter is particularly harmful to people working from home. The clutter in your home could be affecting your work performance and ability to perform tasks. This is true, too, for people with children; clutter can affect your judgement when it comes to parenting and managing a household.

How Clutter Affects Your Physical Health

All of the negative emotions and mental stress caused by clutter affects your physical health. A cluttered space can make you feel chronically tired and drained of energy. Feeling frustrated by the mess can raise blood pressure and have negative effects on heart health. Clutter also creates physically dangerous situations, such as staircases filled with obstacles, shelves supporting too much weight, and debris on the floor that can be easily tripped over. Clutter can be a fire hazard if it blocks entrance ways. It can also increase allergy symptoms due to the accumulation of dust, mold, and animal dander. All of these factors are harmful to people with asthma, too. Reduce your clutter so you can breathe easy.

Steps to Reducing Clutter

By taking the right steps you can easily reduce the clutter in your home and optimize your home for emotional, mental, and physical well-being. Yes, it’ll feel painful in the short term to let go of certain belongings, you’ll feel better in the long run.
    • Step 1: Pinpoint the areas of your home that are cluttered. Sometimes all it takes to reduce clutter is to put things away. Books can be placed back on shelves, clothes can be tucked into drawers, and shoes can be stored in closets.
    • Step 2: Access your clutter situation. One person’s clutter is another person’s treasure. Do an inventory of your belongings and make a note of the things you are no longer using. Any clothes that haven’t been worn in over a year, dishes that have scratches or chips, books that you’ll never read again, and stacks of old magazines are examples of items that can be marked down as clutter.
    • Step 3: Clear out unnecessary items. Anything you’ve identified in step 2 as being no longer useful can be thrown out, recycled, or donated. Pick a “declutter day” so that you have planned time set aside to tackle your clutter, or else you risk putting this task on the backburner, allowing even more clutter to accumulate in the meantime.
    • Step 4: Create storage. Many times clutter exists simply because it has nowhere else to go. Create storage options in your home by utilizing unused spaces, such as the areas underneath couches and beds. Furniture can double as storage, too. Some examples are storage cubes that function as stools and benches that contain storage compartments under the seat.
  • Step 5: Reassess. Congratulations, you’ve done most of the work in reducing the clutter in your home. But there still might be some clutter lurking about, even after you’ve let go of items you no longer need and created home storage options. What to do with the clutter you can’t bear to part with?

Storage On Demand

Functioning as a valet service for your stuff, storage on demand allows you to keep your personal items while reducing the clutter in your home. Unlike a self-storage unit, you don’t need to leave your premises in order to store your stuff. You simply go online, choose the plan that’s right for you, and schedule a pick up time. Storage boxes will be delivered to your location and you can decide which stuff you want to store and for how long. When you want your stuff back, you simply schedule a time for it to be returned. All of this coordinated from the comfort of your home. You can even swap out items if you want to have certain items in rotation in your home; one week your shelves can display your baseball collection and another week they can display your fine china. If you’re looking for on demand storage in San Francisco, Oakland, or Berkeley check out the Boxbee crate plans. We have non-crate plans for larger items, too! You can get started here: