Do you walk into your home and wonder how it became so cluttered. Do you ask yourself how the piles of paper managed to work their way onto the kitchen counter tops? How have all the little knick-knacks started taking over your living room?
Clutter is apart of everyone’s life, even if you are the tidiest of people, there is always a cluttered junk draw lurking around somewhere. Some people have a lot more clutter than others and that’s when it starts to become a problem and starts taking over your life.
When someone mentions clutter, your first thought is connected with someone who is a hoarder, however clutter is simply explained as an accumulation of more possessions that can fit into the available space. There are many reasons why people collect and keep clutter, item have sentimental value, we have paid a lot of money for the items, security reasons, self-worth reasons , connections to loved ones or even connections to the past. Clutter is not always a collection of items a person cannot throw away, sometimes clutter can be a build up of mess that you feel you cannot tackle.
Having too much clutter can mentally and physically affect you. I want to focus more on the mental problems that clutter can cause but I have put together a short list of the physical problems that having too much clutter can cause.
- You are inviting allergy problem by letting your home be a breeding ground to dust mites and germs.
- Increased risk of injury.
- Increased risk of fire.
- Wasting time looking for lost items.
- Decreases your energy levels.
- You start to become lazy.
Onto mental health. Clutter can effect your mental health in quite a few ways.
To much clutter cause a lot of stress and anxiety. when you know that you may have a clutter problem but you’re not sure where to start or how to fix the problem, loosing items on a daily basis is stressful. The thought of someone popping round for a cuppa unannounced is enough to send your anxiety levels through the roof. (This is a problem I have, I tend to get stressed quite easily when my house is a mess and if someone is coming round and I haven’t had time to finish tidying up, my anxiety starts to rise)
Clutter can make you think negatively. When you have a lot of mess and clutter, it can be quite overwhelming and you don’t know where to start so we tend to just put it off and say we will start it another day, after this people tend to start thinking negiatively and sometime hurtful to ourselves. ‘ I’m usless, I should of just done it’ ‘It’s never going to get done’
Clutter can effect your brains ability to make decisions. You become mentally attached to material items and you cannot make the decision to throw it away. Having too much clutter around can really fog your brain or it can send your brain into over drive either way, you can’t concentrate on anything. I always find that when my clutter is starting to build up and there is a lot of mess around, I really can’t concentrate on things because I have an ongoing to-do list building up in my head.
Clutter and mess can play a big part is depression. It’s really not a nice feeling when you have an idea and a vision of how you want your home to be, how you want other people to see your home when you have friends around but you just can’t bring your ideas to life and get things sorted. Depression is an illness that can take over your mind and body without you actually realising that whats happening. Clutter, anxiety, being overwhelmed and depression come all hand in hand with each other and they happen in a vicious circle.
Clutter builds up >> Feeling overwhelmed >> Anxiety rise >> Depression >> More clutter builds up.
It can be quite hard to get out of that circle but something needs to give, some how there needs to be a break in that circle for you to start feeling better.
If you are feeling really low and you think you may need some help, I would highly suggest you go to see your GP and talk to them about how you are feeling, they are there to help you and they can play a big role on the road to recovery.
There are things you can do to reduce your clutter and reduce any physical and mental effects your clutter has on you. In my next article I am going to be talking about the technique I use when I need to declutter. I really hope this article has opened up your mind to how clutter can really affect us in ways that are not always obvious.
P.S I lived in a cluttered home for quite a few years and I know what it feels like to want things to change but not being knowing where to start. It took me quite awhile to get the boost of energy/mind power to be able to start decluttering my home. In the next article I will be going through some of the techniques I found and the one that I found works best for me.
I hope you will come back and read that next article, maybe it can help you or someone you know.