What’s the connection between clutter and stress?
Does the clutter in your home stress you out? Yes? You’re not alone! The connection between clutter and stress is a hot research topic and the results are shocking. While the famous UCLA study on clutter has been conducted in 2012, not much has changed. If we know that clutter creates anxiety and makes us feel overwhelmed, why aren’t we doing more to control the chaos in our home, office and life?
The stressful chaos
Living in constant disorder isn’t easy. On the one hand, we have Pinterest, Instagram and Hollywood telling us how beautiful and happy our life should be. It’s great to see these inspirations and save these ideas. Yet, we don’t let go of the picture in our head telling us how we should live. No matter how much we love the KonMari method. It’s not always possible to “maintain a home in perfect order every moment of each day”.
We may be snowed under with all that clutter around us and sometimes, it’s not just a figure of speech. Clutter impacts our brain in a similar way to situations where we have too many choices. It can take any decision-making ability from us. Where do I start? It’s a question we hear so often when starting to work with a new client.
Too many stimuli
In 2012 already, Sherrie Bourg Carter Psy.D. discovered that clutter can be held responsible for excessive stimuli. This is “causing our senses to work overtime”, making us feel weighed down and anxious. Clutter is negatively impacting our emotional well-being as Joseph Ferrari, a professor of psychology at DePaul University in Chicago found, especially on women.
Benefits of a decluttered home
Don’t you want to experience the benefits of a decluttered home? Yes! We thought so much. And remember, your home didn’t get cluttered within a day, so don’t expect it to become decluttered and organised within a day. It will take some time and that’s okay. By taking small steps, you can already notice how your well-being is improving by experiencing:
- Better sleep
- Better eating habits (and weight loss)
- Reduced cortisol levels (which reduces blood pressure, heart rate and blood sugars)
- Increased energy
- More available time
5 actions you can take today
- Create a landing strip in your entrance. Have a designated place for all your keys and keep them there only. Define where you’ll hang coats and put shoes and bags. You may choose the all need to put back into the closet and shoe storage. The landing strip will give you the feeling of calm as you enter your home after a long day.
- Remove any clutter from your kitchen counter, coffee and dining table, bathroom counters and even the floor. Flat surfaces act like a clutter magnet. Put kitchen appliances you use only occasionally away. Remove dirty dishes, throw out old magazines and expired make up. You can use a trash bin as you walk from one flat surface to another and make it a quick clear out.
- Process letters as they come in. If it’s a junk letter, shred it immediately. So if you need to action something, like paying a bill, do it now and file the letter afterwards. Make it even easier for you by unsubscribing from paper bills and setting up and automated payment (standing order) today.
- Play the 15 minute tidy up game once a day. Involve everyone in your house and set a timer. Everyone picks up their stuff that’s been spread around the house. Help younger kids put their toys back to where they belong. Remember Benjamin Franklin’s quote: “A place for everything and everything in its place.”
- Clean the dishes at night. Walking into the kitchen in the morning, trying to get everyone ready and out of the house on time, feeling rushed already, and what do you see? The sink filling over with dirty dishes. Put dirty dishes into the dishwasher and run it at night. Alternatively, hand wash them and let them dry overnight. Ready for your cup of coffee!
Do you want to feel the benefits of a decluttered home, too? Just don’t know where to start? Contact us and find out how a give you a calm home and office. Experience peace of mind finally!
Until next time,