Clutter can significantly affect how we feel about our homes and ourselves. Does a disorganized house make you feel anxious and overwhelmed? What about shame, guilt, and frustration? While clutter is a major source of stress, it’s often ignored and left to fester. An over-filled home is costly, not only in terms of time lost searching for things or money wasted on duplicate
“For every minute spent in organizing, an hour is earned”
The Impact of Clutter
Clutter comes in many forms, including stacks of papers on your desk, dirty dishes piling up in the sink, clothes in your closet that don’t fit, and a backlog of emails needing attention.
For many people, a cluttered space overstimulates the mind, takes focus away from important things, makes it difficult to relax, and inhibits creativity. In other words, clutter is not good for your health and directly impacts your happiness.
Clutter can trigger the release of the stress hormone cortisol, which tends to increase tension and anxiety and lead to unhealthy habits. With higher levels of cortisol, you’ll find navigating through daily life increasingly challenging.
College Student vs. 40 Something
As much as you may wish you were back in college, things have changed, and so has your ability to deal with clutter. Joseph Ferrari, a professor of psychology at DePaul University in Chicago, has studied the causes of clutter and its impact on cortisol levels and emotional well-being. His research has shown that frustration with clutter tends to increase with age. This means that you may have functioned very well as a student in the midst of chaos, but later in life your ability to thrive in a disorganized home is much lower.
If your living space is cluttered, productivity can suffer. According to a study published in the Journal of Neuroscience, multiple stimuli in your visual field limits the processing capability of your visual system. It means that a cluttered environment will restrict your ability to focus.
“Out of clutter find simplicity”
Solutions for Clutter
According to Dr. Ferrari, clutter is often the result of an overattachment to personal items, making it difficult to pare down. For overwhelmed people, he recommends a hands-off approach whereby you literally do not touch anything. This requires the participation of a neutral outsider who’s charged with the task of holding up each item and asking if you need it. You may want to consider asking a professional organizer for help. You may not have an attachment issue but simply lack the time to sort through everything on your own.
Dr. Ferrari also suggests that people with too much clutter make a conscious effort to acquire less. Once something is in your house, it’s very difficult to part with the item. It’s far easier to resist the temptation to make the initial purchase than it is to get rid of it later. Perhaps delegating errands and trips to the mall is an option to lower the risk of overspending. Personal assistants do exactly that and more.
Keeping your stress in check is one of the best ways to stay healthy and have a clear mind. Call or contact Potomac Concierge today and our highly trained professional organizers will work with you to obtain a clutter free home and peace of mind.