Why is clutter bad? And does it really affect you? After all, if your house is generally clean, even if there are a few extra toys and paper piles, what’s the harm in a little clutter? With everyone home so much more, why stress over how to declutter?
Today, people have contact with more possessions on a single day than somebody living in the 15th century had in a lifetime. No wonder so many of them are losing the battle with the material world and surrendering their homes to clutter.
The habit of hoarding possessions in houses is commonplace in affluent societies. In its excessive, compulsive form, it is treated as a mental health issue and a public health problem. There are therapies to address it.
However, you do not have to go over the top with the mess in your home to start feeling the drag it gives your mental and physical comfort.
No matter how many hygge books you may read or “cozy things” you add, clutter isn’t cozy.
So, what’s wrong with living in a cluttered home?
Clutter hurts productivity
Some people declare mess to be their natural habitat or claim it keeps them creative.
Unfortunately, more often than not, their brains are of a different opinion. They need to handle the information overload that comes with sifting through all types of excess.
This consumes precious mental resources and frustrates us. It takes longer to find things. It takes longer to get things done. Our workflow gets choppy. Intense clutter can practically bring a household to a halt.
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Clutter produces stress
Human minds are not cut out for too much data. If they are overwhelmed with input, be it an everyday media frenzy or home clutter, they switch to a defensive mode.
One powerful reaction it triggers is stress – a sense of emotional anxiety that eats into our well-being.
Clutter has a tendency to build up. Have you ever noticed how a kitchen counter is clutter-free, but the second one thing is set on it, it acts like a clutter magnet?
There’s a great feeling of relief that comes from putting things back in their right places. Decluttering (or even just picking up after yourself) feels like a burden has just been lifted from our shoulders.
That burden is the stress that living in a cluttered home produces.
Clutter Makes it difficult to clean
If there are hundreds of nooks and crannies to peer into, cleaning can become a real hassle.
Unfortunately, this is an undeniable disadvantage of living in a cluttered house. The dust has its strange ways of getting to the most unlikely places and expanding from there. The more knickknacks you possess, the more space you create for dirt to thrive, not to mention places for you to clean.
Clutter makes cleaning more difficult. It not only takes more time to clean, but things seem to look and feel dirtier amongst clutter.
For help cleaning (and decluttering), get the Conquer Your Chaos bundle. You’ll be able to take your time decluttering your entire home with the 30 Day Decluttering Challenge or knock it out in a weekend with the Weekend Warrior guide. After you’re done decluttering, make your home sparkle with the room-by-room spring cleaning checklists.
Clutter creates safety hazards
In a cluttered home, the likelihood of slips, trips, and other safety incidents rises dramatically, not only for you and your family, but also for your guests.
While you may master the complex geography of your messy house, others are more exposed to injury risks.
There have also been cases of old newspapers, antiques, or outdated electronics catching fire. Decluttering is not just a question of protecting your mental and physical health but actually keeping your house safe.
People have been blessed with material abundance as a society, but they have let possessions interfere with their everyday life and compromise their quality.
The disadvantages of living in a cluttered home are tangible and painful, and they are reason enough to take a critical look at the way you interact with the things around you. Conquer your clutter and get your home clean and organized!