Did you know it’s not just tidy freaks who are irked by clutter? Chances are, if you’re living in an untidy environment, it could be affecting you too, in more ways than you think.
The average household has over 300,000 items
That’s okay if you’re living in a spacious home and can store everything away neatly. Yet with the average British home having available floor space of only 85 square metres, many of us are not coping with our number of possessions. That suggests we should aim to minimise, or at least move some of these items out the way.
Clutter adds to stress
If our homes are cluttered, we feel stress. Cortisol is more present in people who feel their homes are too cluttered and it remains elevated throughout the day.
Clutter increases depression
Cortisol triggers other negative emotions such as depression. According to a survey by the University of New Mexico, having an abundance of possessions all over the house can lead to feelings of dissatisfaction with our lives.
Clutter makes you eat more junk food
Those living in cluttered environments tend to eat more junk food. This is put down to the fact that clutter actually makes us feel tired as it demands so much energy trying to focus. It literally overloads the brain. This tiredness then puts us into a “low self-control mindset” meaning it’s harder to resist sweet treats.
People in cluttered homes are over three quarters more likely to be overweight
This alarming statistic by the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists illustrates how all those sweets and biscuits we’re putting away to escape from our chaotic reality are harmful. Therefore, a more organised environment paves the way for a better quality of life.
Messy rooms stop you concentrating
According to Princeton University, all the objects within our line of sight are vying for our attention. Not knowing where to place our focus fatigues the brain. We’re essentially permanently distracted.
An untidy home suggests we’re putting things off
Lorie Marrero, author of The Clutter Diet, suggests that clutter is “delayed decisions and delayed actions”. If you have piles of post scattered around, you’re procrastinating by not dealing with your correspondence straightaway. This could be a personality trait we apply in work or in other aspects of our daily lives.
Clutter costs time
9 million hours per day is wasted in the USA by people who can’t find objects. This is indicative of a clutter problem. When you’re organised, you have a place for everything and you know where to find all your items.
If you’re surprised about how clutter in your home could be affecting you, perhaps it’s time to move some of your possessions into a storage unit. This can help you clear the decks in your home, enabling you to sort everything else out, or you could put your items into rotation or on a “time out” to see what you don’t miss. Why not try it out?