How Does Clutter Mess up Our Lives

Clutter and disorganization can really do a number on your psyche. A cluttered space means a cluttered mind. My Dad had a really tough life as a kid and although he was a great Dad, I began to see the ramifications of that life spilling over into our lives. My Dad accumulated stuff…and lots of it. So much so that he built another room to keep all the stuff in. Now he was a pretty smart guy and he attached himself with a good woman, my Mom. If it got out of hand, she would get him to at least move things around so you never really saw all of his prized collections everywhere around the house.

After my Mom passed, that “stuff” exploded…and I mean everywhere. So much so that there was only barely a space to walk through the entire 3,000 square foot house. I knew something(s) had been eating at him for years and this is one of the ways it manifested.

You may not be at this level but clutter will keep you down. Here’s why from Rich Presta:

Effects on Physical Health

  • Exacerbates allergies by inviting buildup of dust mites, dander, mold and other allergens
  • Creates a germ haven
  • Increases risk of fire and injuries with the things like the bowling ball rolling off the shelf
  • Decreases odds of exercise (How can you go running when you can’t find your shoes?)
  • Makes you late for work and appointments when you can’t find things
  • Makes you fat, with organizational expert Peter Walsh finding a link between over-consumption of stuff and over-consumption of food
  • Depletes your energy with its overwhelming presence

“As people start to control the clutter, they begin to take better care of themselves,” according to professional organizer Lynne Gilberg. That better self-care hits both the mental and physical levels, WebMD adds.

Effects on Mental Health

  • Increases stress and anxiety
  • Exacerbates symptoms of paruresis and other mental issues
  • Blocks out new things from entering your life
  • Strengthens procrastination
  • Weakens decision-making skills, as you’re avoiding any decisions by letting all this stuff pile up
  • Prevents living in the moment

“If you have so much stuff it drags you into the past or pulls you into the future, you can’t live in the present,” Walsh tells WebMD.

It’s time to feel our best. Join me and De-Clutter expert, Allison Kero on my radio show on Wednesday, March 9 at 5pm, P, 8pm E at the Happiness Hangout™