I often find myself explaining the detrimental effects of clutter to my clients. Sure, they see the stuff pouring out of their closets or filling their drawers to capacity. But they forget about all of the mental health effects.
Here is an excerpt from a HuffPost article on the topic:
Clutter increases stress
According to a study in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, people with cluttered homes full of unfinished projects were more depressed, fatigued, and had higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol than those who described their homes as “restful” and “restorative.” The study also mentions that cortisol’s failure to decline normally over the course of the day has “been associated with greater chronic stress, disease progression, and even mortality risk.”
Clutter wrecks your diet
A study in Psychological Science found that participants in an orderly environment chose healthier snacks than those in a cluttered environment. “Clutter is stressful for the brain, so you’re more likely to resort to coping mechanisms such as choosing comfort foods or overeating than if you spend time in neater surroundings,” explains Dr. Eva Shalhoub.
Clutter upsets your kids
If you have kids, they too can feel the negative effects of a cluttered home. The National Institute of Mental Health found that kids living in a severely cluttered environment often have elevated levels of distress, experiencing less happiness and more difficulty making friends.
Clutter prevents you from getting promoted
A chaotic desk, an untidy briefcase or purse, and an undefined filing system (or no filing system at all) can all have a major impact on your job performance. A CareerBuilder study found that 28% of employers are less likely to promote someone with a messy workspace.
Clutter encourages bad spending habits
When your home is cluttered, it’s easy to misplace things. If you can’t find an item, you might buy a duplicate. This habit, combined with spending a lot of money to hoard items, can get you into debt.
Here’s the full article on clutter.