There’s Scientific Evidence That Clutter Causes Anxiety

This article is literally blowing my mind right now.


Has it ever happened to you to just sit right there in the corner of your living room, looking at all those things covering the sofa and the floors such as bunch of toys the kids didn’t pick up, or all the clothes placed on the chairs instead in the wardrobe, thinking how messy you place is? It does happen to many people, and according to science, being surrounded by clutter can be a major cause of anxiety.

Whereas there are people out there who can function just perfectly in a cluttered environment, most of us find it pretty much upsetting.

Scientists also argue that the state of your place is related to the state of your mind, when your surrounding is clean it reflects your thoughts and you are more calm.

One mother who has brought up this question on a forum where mothers share their daily life experiences couldn’t believe how many other women share the same feeling, saying how clutter makes them nervous, anxious and causes depression.

Psychologist Sherrie Bourg Carter wrote in an article for Psychology Today:

“Clutter can play a significant role in how we feel about our homes, our workplaces, and ourselves. Messy homes and workspaces leave us feeling anxious, helpless, and overwhelmed. Yet, rarely is clutter recognized as a significant source of stress in our lives.”

Source: How Does She

There are 8 major reasons why Carter believes this:

  • Clutter overwhelms us because it causes excessive stimuli so our senses go into overdrive
  • It distracts us from other things we’d like to focus on
  • It makes it harder to mentally and physically relax
  • It signals to our minds that our work is never done
  • It also causes anxiety because we have to think about how we are going to clean everything up
  • It can impede productivity and creativity
  • It makes it harder for us to find what we need and takes up space for doing other necessary things on our list
Source: MyLifeSuckers

However, it is interesting to mention that this doesn’t affect men the same way it affects women. The reason for this is that when women are surrounded be clutter the level of the hormone called cortisol increases, triggering stress, which is not the case with men.

Sometimes, not being able to keep your place clean may also cause the feeling of guilt. We consider ourselves incapable to deal with our choirs and it makes us frustrated and decreases our self-esteem.

According to Carter, these things can be eliminated if we follow some useful tips and tricks he suggests.

Source: Spouses Cleaning Houses

Here are some of those tips:

  • Get your family involved in cleaning. If you’re on your own, start in one space at a time before you move on to another so that you don’t get overwhelmed and can feel accomplished as you progress.
  • Create a specific space for your items so you’re more likely to keep the item in its designated space. It’s best to keep items in closed spaces so you don’t have to look at it.
  • Throw away things that you don’t use or that you don’t need. If you haven’t opened it or used it in a year, toss it!
  • Clean up your mess after you make it. It will give you a nice sense of closure and will be clean when you return to it.

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