5 Reasons Clutter Creates Stress

July 15th, 2018

Although you might not realize it, having excess clutter in your home is a sure way to increase the amount of stress in your life. Whether you have issues related to being a hoarder or are undergoing a home renovation that results in boxes and clutter all over the place, the mess might be causing you stress in the following ways.


Image Credit: Unnar Ýmir Björnsson/Flickr

1. It Overloads Your Senses

One of the biggest ways that clutter in the home causes stress is by overloading your senses. By delivering extra stimuli all the time, clutter makes your senses work too hard, focusing your attention on things that are not actually very important, such as all the knickknacks lined up on your mantelpiece. With the clutter taking up one (or more) spots in your brain designated for multitasking, you have trouble concentrating on what is important, increasing your stress level.

2. It Prevents Relaxation

When there is clutter in your life, you will find it much harder to relax and relieve stress at the end of the day, increasing the overall amount of stress you feel. Most people simply find it impossible to relax without proper home organization. If you do not know where things are or cannot get to the items you want, it is impossible to stay calm.

3. It Tells Your Brain You Need to Do Work

On a similar note, clutter signals your brains that your work is not done. If you are a pack rat, at least some small part of your brain will always be thinking about what you need to do to downsize or clear out your home somewhat. At the very least, it will just be focused on home organization, planning ways you can improve the situation. Since there is always work to be done, there is no time to relax. Instead, you get another item added to your list of tasks to complete, enhancing your stress.

4. It Causes Frustration When You Cannot Find Something

No matter your emotional state at the time, being unable to find something important always causes at least some stress. If you are already under pressure, this minor setback can take an even more serious emotional toll. When you have too much clutter, you will not know whether that particular important paper is in a storage box, desk drawer, or that pile of papers about to tip over and fall off your table. This situation will only lead to frustration, increasing your level of stress.

5. It Leads to Guilt and Embarrassment

For many people, clutter leads to guilt and embarrassment, along with a concern that others will judge you for being a hoarder. People prefer to give off the impression that they have everything in order, which is not possible with extra items lying around. In this way, a lack of home organization might lead to anxiety about people coming over or extra stress in trying to convince people not to visit.