Bursting closets, messy drawers, and piles of paper are stacked around the house. This may seem harmless, however, research from Princeton University shows disorganization and clutter can actually have a negative effect on our brains.
As it suggests, constant visual reminders of disorganization drain our cognitive resources, reducing our ability to focus. In the long run, clutter can affect our mood and how we feel about ourselves, adding to our mental and emotional stress. A chronically cluttered home environment can lead to a constant low-grade fight-or-flight response, which also impacts our physical health. That’s why having a clean and decluttered house isn’t just a matter of aesthetics: it’s a matter of health.
How Clutter Affects Our Emotional And Physical Health
Clutter can be a tremendous source of stress and anxiety. Darby Saxbe and Rena Repetti conducted a study in 2009 that found higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol in people whose home environment was cluttered. As they also found, this increase in cortisol frequently triggers physical and psychological changes that affect how we fight viruses and digest food, as well as leaving us at greater risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Another study conducted at Cornell University found that people living in cluttered and untidy environments feel more prompted to eat more snacks, eating twice as many cookies than participants in an organized kitchen environment. Similarly, another study from Florida State University found that people with extremely cluttered homes are 77% more likely to be overweight and suffer from obesity.
In short, many studies have shown us that the clutter in our homes not only makes our homes look bad, but it also makes us feel bad. Messy environments can negatively impact our long-term well-being at all levels.
A Vicious Cycle That Must Be Broken
And the worst part about this link is that it is a vicious cycle: anxiety and depression can lead to a cluttered home, and a cluttered home can lead to depression and more anxiety. As people feel worse and stop caring for their personal spaces, the situation can easily get out of hand.
That’s why it is essential to break the spell and regain control.
However, living with stress, anxiety, or depression can sometimes convert this task into something too overwhelming. If you’re feeling swamped by sadness or other negative emotions, and don’t have the energy to clean and declutter, it is always a good idea to seek support, whether from friends, family, or a doctor. Remember that if you suspect that your clutter might be a sign of hoarding, help is available.
And, if you feel like the clutter in your home is causing you a lot of stress and anxiety, hiring a professional organizer might also be a good solution – both for your house and overall health. If you need someone to help you declutter and organize your space so that you can enjoy a clean, clutter-free environment, don’t hesitate to contact us for a free consultation. Our team at CluttberBGone will be delighted to help you on this journey!