There’s Scientific Evidence That Clutter Can Cause Anxiety

Do you always get angry when your house is a mass? Does it look like a bomb went off? The kids didn’t put the toys back where they belong, your dog peed on the carpet, and your spouse left a ton of dishes in the sink.

This is enough to drive you mad, isn’t it?

Well, it seems there is a solid reason for it. In other words, you are not going crazy. According to studies, mess and clutter cause anxiety.

Clutter can play a huge role in how we feel about our workplace, home, and even ourselves. Messy workspaces and homes can make us feel helpless, anxious, and overwhelmed.

However, rarely anyone recognizes clutter as a source of stress, says Sherrie Bourg Carter, a psychologist who wrote an article in Psychology Today.

8 Reasons Why Clutter Makes Us Anxious

Carter believes that clutter is making us feel anxious. This is why:

  1. It makes it difficult for us to physically and mentally relax.
  2. Clutter overwhelms our senses and causes them to go into overdrive.
  3. It affects our creativity and productivity.
  4. It distracts us from the things we want to do or focus on.
  5. Clutter makes it difficult for us to find what we need which causes stress.
  6. It takes up more space than necessary and leaves no space for other necessary things.
  7. It sends signals to our mind that the work is not done yet.
  8. The stress we feel when we have to clean the clutter, causes anxiety.

Who Reacts More to Clutter?

The UCLA’s Center of Everyday Lives and Families, claims that men are not affected by clutter as much as women. In fact, women react more to a messy home than men do.

According to the results, women who live in messy homes are feeling more stressed because they have a higher level of cortisol in their system.

Moreover, studies show that men, on the other hand, who also live in messy homes do not have the same cortisol levels as women do.

Tips to Avoid Anxiety

Fortunately, anxiety and stress caused by clutter can be avoided.

In fact, according to Carter, there are plenty of ways you can avoid clutter from overwhelming you and causing unnecessary stress and anxiety.

Here are some tricks you can try to avoid this problem.

1. Get Your Family Involved

It is important that the entire family participates in cleaning. This way, you will not feel overwhelmed by the things you will need to do.

Moreover, begin cleaning in one space at a time. Once you have cleaned that space, move to another one.

In the end, you will feel happy because you have achieved something in the process. This means progress.

2. Make More Space

If you can’t store all the things you need, try to make a specific space for the items you will want to keep. Make that designed space solely for one type of items.

Also, keep this space closed. This way, you won’t have to look at the items that might make you feel stressed.

3. Throw Away the Unnecessary Things

Surely, you don’t need everything. Whatever it is that you don’t need and is simply taking space, toss it!

This way, you will never be bothered by it.

4. Clean Up After Yourself

The moment you make a mess, clean it up. Don’t leave it for another time. This way, you will sense a feeling of closure whenever you have returned the item to its rightful place.

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