Clutter in your home environment can negatively affect you in many different and unexpected ways. A disorderly home can impact your productivity at work, your finances, and personal relationships more than you probably realize. But, if you are the type of person where your home is constantly cluttered, there is hope. By modifying your home environment so that it is clutter-free and well-organized, you can lead a happier, more productive, and less stressful life.
But, the way you choose to arrange your bedroom set or your living furniture is all up to you and the way you live — for better or worse.
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Read on to see how having a well-organized living space can improve your mental state and increase your productivity in life.
5 Subtle, but Devastating Ways Clutter Can Affect Your Life…
There are some people who feel perfectly fine living in a cluttered home, but that doesn’t mean clutter isn’t subtly affecting them in ways they haven’t quite realized. On the flip side, you could have a person who walks into a cluttered room and they feel instantly anxious and distressed by the amount of disorder. Living environments actually play a huge part in how we live our lives and how successful we are in life. Here are five subtle, but devastating ways clutter may be affecting your life:
- Messy home environments affect relationships. Have you ever been hesitant to invite a friend or family member into your because you worry about the appearance of your home? You’re not alone. In a Russell Research study commissioned by Rubbermaid®, almost 50% of respondents said they don’t have others in their home due to its cluttered state. But, it’s important not to do a 180 on the tidiness of your home. Many psychologists warn about being overly preoccupied on the appearance of your home, which can cause undue stress.
- Cluttered home environments waste time. In a cluttered home environment, it frequently feels like personal items such as car keys, cell phones, wallets, and purses tend away on their own. Think of this: In a cluttered home, the average person will spend an extra 5 minutes each day searching before they leave for work. With 261 work days in a year, Clutter affects 21.5 hours each year that is simply wasted.
- Clutter affects your finances — Has there ever been an item in your home that you couldn’t find, so you go out purchase a new one? All those scissors, tape rolls, staplers, and other items really add up. Most likely, find the missing item a day or two later, but this is one example of how clutter can lead to wasteful spending.
- A messy home environment increases stress. Very few people feel okay living in a messy home. The constant presence of unkempt, disorderly areas of the home has been linked to stress which can also cause tension between partners and family members.
- Clutter messes with your mental processes. Seriously. As noted by Psychology Today, a 2011 research study conducted by neuroscientists at Princeton University found that “Multiple stimuli present in the visual field at the same time compete for neural representation by mutually suppressing their evoked activity throughout visual cortex, providing a neural correlate for the limited processing capacity of the visual system.” In layman’s terms, clutter in your living areas is actually cluttering your brain, limiting your ability to organize your thoughts and think clearly. To limit observational bias, the researchers actually used fMRI machines to scan the brains of study participants to look for signs of random-firing stimuli.
While you’ve probably had an inkling that your cluttered home was negatively affecting your life, hopefully, that last bit about the Princeton University study will give you the motivation you need to
…and How to Break the Cycle
The Spruce has a great article on how to go about decluttering your home, but one thing that you should keep in mind is that decluttering is hard to start, but once you get going you will feel a sense of relief which each thing you donate or toss out. Examine each thing in your home. If you don’t plan on using it within the next year, either give it away, sell it, or dispose of it. If it’s a keepsake that you don’t want to part with, invest in some durable storage containers to store away keepsakes and other items.
One great trick is to call the Salvation Army before you start decluttering. That way you will feel more committed to the process.
The Spruce recommends a container method of sorting clutter, each for putting away (as in, it doesn’t belong in that part of the house), recycling, fixing and mending, trash, and donation. Containers only cost a few dollars apiece, but they could provide the greatest return on investment you’ll ever experience. After all, can you really put a price on living a life where you are happier, more financially successful, and relaxed? Can you afford not to?
Good luck with your decluttering process and improving your home environment!