We all know that how we eat and how active we are affect our health, but what about our clutter? Can clutter affect health? The answer is unequivocally YES!
Can Clutter Affect Health? 5 Ways it Does
Clutter Can Cause Stress
Have you ever found yourself searching frantically for a pair of little girl shoes, or that important tax paper, or maybe a phone number? Have you been late because of it? Does the clutter cloud your mind and distract your focus? You betcha! And all of this equals stress.
In every way imaginable, prolonged stress cripples our health. It reduces immunity, causes sleeplessness, heart disease, gum disease, memory loss, obsessive-compulsive disorder, cancer, and many more.
Clutter Can Have a Negative Impact on the Brain
Some people say they work better when they are surrounded by their mess, and that being super clean thwarts their creativity. ALthough this may be true, there are limits to this. If you have all the mess from the project at hand out and scattered around to work on, then is it really clutter? I think not. But if you have the mess from several projects, and three nights worth of takeout boxes on the counter then it is clutter, and your mind is going to suffer from it.
So just how do you suffer mentally from clutter? Clutter impairs your ability to focus and process information. Clutter, whether it is physical or digital clutter (like emails, fb notifications, too many tabs open in your internet browser) competes for your attention. The result is a decrease in performance and an increase in stress. (source)
Clutter Can Make Allergies and Asthma Worse
More stuff equals more dust. More dust equals more allergies. More allergies equals a lessened ability to clean it up. But seriously, if you have clothing hanging in your closet that you never wear, it will gather dust, and contribute to allergies. If you are to busy picking up toys then you will never have the time to wash curtains.
Clutter Can Cause Depression and Anxiety
David Tolin, PhD, director of the Anxiety Disorders Center at the Institute of Living said, “Depression contributes to clutter by causing fatigue, giving one less energy and motivation, and impairing ability to focus.” Additionally, Tolin’s research shows a connection between clutter and anxiety. “Having a lot of clutter leads people to feel ashamed and socially anxious,” he says. “Or it could also be that people who are socially anxious to begin with surround themselves with clutter to feel more comfortable.” Regardless, whether it be cause or contributor, clutter is not a friend to happiness.
Clutter Can Make you Fat
“You can have the best intentions—you can go out and buy sneakers and healthy food—but if you can’t find them in your mess of a house, then what good are they doing you?” Pamela Peeke, MD, author of Fit to Live.
When the counters are covered, and the pantry dysfunctional, then you are much more likely to stop and pickup take out than you are to prepare a healthy meal. When the house is a wreak our ability to tackle even simple tasks, like dinner, become impaired. At that point, nutrition takes a back seat to convenience. In a cluttered home it is hard to practice mindfulness, which causes more mess and overeating. When we are in a mess we can’t focus on what we are doing which results in overeating.
How to Dig Yourself Out of a Chronic Mess
Being pregnant, makes all of my minor negative qualities turn into really horrid attributes. I’m a generally tidy person, but I still have plenty of clutter. It is mostly well-managed until I am pregnant. Then all chaos breaks loose and I’m capable of nothing. My most recent pregnancy adventure ended with me reading, The Clutter Trap by Robin Konie. I was ready to cry. The children’s toys had overwhelmed my life and I couldn’t even bend over to pick them up and trash them. After finishing the book, and birthing a beautiful baby boy, I was ready to take on her advice.
The best part is it is working! We are happier and spend much less time maintaining clutter!
Learn Why You Have a Clutter Problem
Some people are drawn in by a sale, and others are emotionally attached to their possessions. Regardless of the reason for your own personal struggle with clutter, you can learn to recognize it and overcome it in The Clutter Trap.
Make This One Simple Change
When you are burdened by clutter it is hard to imagine a way out. It could take all day or all week to overhaul your home and sell or throw out all the stuff you simply don’t need. I’m not going to tell you to do it that way. Instead take Robin Konie’s approach and focus on clearing the clutter for 15 minutes per day. That is it. Just 15 minutes. And after a week, or a few weeks the difference will be liberating!
The Best Part
The Clutter Trap is on a mega sale for the month of February. This book is name your own price! Not only that but all of Robin Konie’s ebooks are for sale at that same great name your own price. Check it out.
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