8 Ways Clutter Can Cause Anxiety & Stress (and How to Fight Back!)

In the last decade, various studies have shown how clutter in the home causes increased levels of cortisol in your system. Cortisol is the stress hormone, telling your brain to be on high alert, and its useful for activities such as crossing the road or running from a lion.

However, in the home, extended levels of cortisol cause us to feel stressed, anxious and depressed. Cluttered environments create a stressful living environment.

Here are 8 ways clutter can cause anxiety and stress, and why focusing on decluttering today can fix the problem.

  • Excessive Stimuli

The extra visual and tactile awareness of clutter cause our senses to overwork, leading to prolonged stress.

  • Distracting

Clutter draws the eye away from what you’re focusing on and constantly steals our attention. This kills our focus and ruins creativity.

  • It’s Not Over

Seeing constant clutter around tells us that our work is still unfinished. There’s always more to do, more to clean, more to worry about. It’s never over.

  • Clutter Anxiety

From the extra cortisol release to the nagging distractions, clutter is always there providing us with more anxiety than we need. Worrying about finally cleaning it all makes it worse.

  • Comparing Your Clutter

When friends or family drop by and notice your messy clutter, you feel guilty and ashamed. You may compare your mess with the clean homes of others, leading to feelings of guilt and shame.

  • Hurts Productivity & Creativity

One way to stay productive is to have a clear mind to brainstorm and problem solve. Clutter disrupts this clear focus and distracts you so you can’t think creatively or focus productively.

  • Disorganized Frustration

When you need something, it should always be available. If you have to dig through draws, wrack your brain to remember its location, or make an even great mess looking for something, then you’ll get frustrated.

The Clutter Solution

The solution is simple. Declutter. If you can’t declutter completely, start with just one room. It could be the bathroom, the kitchen or the bedroom, but start somewhere. When you’re feeling stressed or anxious, go hang out in the ‘clean’ room and you’ll feel better.

If you have kids, teach them how to tidy. Make it a part of finishing playtime or turn it into a game or competition. It doesn’t have to be a chore to teach your kids the skills of organizing and cleaning. Make it a game, and they’ll want to play and take part.

What Else Can You Do?

As much as we’re trying to declutter and get rid of stuff, we also look for a small handful of items that make everything cleaner. For example, we found this Joseph Joseph Cupboard Store Rotating Organizer when we shopped Kohl’s online, and we recommend using it to organize your messy cupboards.

If you work from home, the desk can get cluttered quickly with papers, notebooks and accessories cluttering up the space. We found this dual monitor stand with storage draws on sale at Home Depot, and we recommend using it to organize your desk area.  At Home Depot, you can also find storage solutions for other any other messy part of the home.

Decluttering can help you relax, reduce stress, and enjoy healthier living. You’ll sleep better, focus easier, and have more creative moments throughout the day. You’ll smile more, enjoy where you live, and end the slow drip of cortisol that’s keeping you from enjoying life.