Can clutter cause stress?

Home organization (or lack of) has been ranked in the top five of stress triggers. Messy or cluttered spaces make us feel anxious and overwhelmed however, it is seldom recognized as an actual source of stress.  Clutter can have these negative effects on us mentally and emotionally:

  1. Clutter causes distractions
  2. Saps creative juices
  3. Creates feelings of confusion, anxiety, embaressment, hopelessness and frustration
  4. Clutter causes loss of belongings
  5. Prevents entertaining guests and squelches hospitality
  6. Causes priorities and goals to be pushed to the “back burner”
  7. Negatively effects relationships

Be encouraged! Clutter is the easiest stressor in our lives to remedy! Here’s some quick tips to get you on the fast track to freedom!

  1. Begin with just one room (or even just one section of a room).  Get help from family members if possible, working together!
  2. Create specific spaces for frequently used items so you’ll always be able to find what you need. You likely already do this with your car keys.
  3. Purge!  Get rid of anything not used, not needed or not wanted.
  4. When you take something out, put it away. This takes practice. Remember forming new habits takes time.
  5. Create a paper process so paper doesn’t pile up. Toss or store immediately as the paper enters your home or office.
  6. Create a “pending” folder for all “action item” paperwork so it can be stored, tucked away and retrieved verses piled up along with junk mail in an unsightly mess.
  7. Focus! Stay in one space and finish before going to another room.  Create piles for items that belong somewhere else. Leaving the area you’re working in creates opportunity of become distracted and “lose steam”.

Enjoy the benefits of an organized home, and an orderly life:

  1. Organized living brings relief and peace
  2. Renews creativity, energy and concentration
  3. Improves efficiency
  4. Promotes ability to live abundantly
  5. Allows ability to slow down the frantic pace
  6. Promotes freedom to entertain guests, welcome people in and practice hospitality (Romans 12:13, 1Peter 4:9
  7. Promotes freedom to live out values and priorities.

Yes, clutter can indeed cause stress and anxiety. You may, in fact be able to personally testify how many negative implications the disorderly life can truly have. The good news is there is always hope to change course!  Living in chaos or living an organized life is a choice. Conquer Clutter. Increase Peace.