Last Wednesday was Bell Canada’s Let’s Talk Day. It was the 8th year that Bell has raised awareness about mental health by getting people to talk and reducing the stigma associated with mental illness. It got me to thinking about the effect that clutter has on mental illness or vice versa.
Exactly how does clutter affect you?
Clutter rapidly accumulates and takes over your space. It draws your focus away from the things that are important in your life – family, down time, work, etc. It becomes almost impossible to relax with so much around you.
Anxiety and frustration
If you’re not able to find things when you need them you may feel the anxiety building up within yourself. Then you start the process of removing things from drawers and closets because you know ‘it’s in this house somewhere”.
Before you know it you have a bigger mess than when you started. You then get frustrated and feeling that things have gotten out of control.
That’s when it can lead to depression. And you’re not alone. I know. I’ve been there.
Do you avoid having people over because you’re ashamed of how your home looks? Do you hate the thought of a friend or family member dropping unexpectedly? This is very common with people who have clutter in their home. You may feel ashamed of the situation that you are in and tend to have less of a social life. You may feel isolated, which can be a direct result of depression and clutter.
Researchers have shown that clutter can be a symptom of depression and vice versa. When you can’t find something you won’t use it. You can’t exercise if you can’t find your gym stuff. You won’t cook or eat well if you can’t find your cooking utensils. The list goes on. You’re not exercising, you’re not eating well, and you’re not seeing people. It’s easy to see how people get depressed over clutter. We see it often.
What can you do about it?
Well, like Bell Canada’s slogan – talk to someone about it. I did. That’s a great start. Talk to your family and friends. I’ll bet they will want to lend a hand. And then you can take small steps that, by themselves, will become big accomplishments.
Get your partner or your kids to pitch in during clean up time. Make everyone in the house responsible for putting his or her things away immediately. When you put an item away, take an extra misplaced item with you. Take just one hour a week to work on an area of the house that causes you grief. Before you know it you’ll notice the differences and be pumped to continue.
Organizing just isn’t enough to make improvements. Why put things away neatly that you know are never going to be used? Downsize, pare down, donate, sell and then organize what is left. You’ll truly feel like a load has been lifted and you can almost immediately feel the anxiety being lifted and by association, the depression.
So you see, clutter has an immense effect on your mental well-being. Once you’re caught in the cycle it’s difficult to get out. Anxiety starts and then depression sets in. Contact me now to begin your healing process, de-clutter and organize your home with a professional organizer.
Talk about and enlist the help from others or a professional. I know you can do it.