Clutter In Your Space Could Be A Trigger For Stress And Anxiety, Say Psychologists

Clutter In Your Space Could Be A Trigger For Stress And Anxiety, Say Psychologists

It's not that hard to clear it all away. All you need to do is tackle it, one corner at a time, and you'll see the difference yourself.

Imagine yourself coming back home after a long day at work. You see how messy your home is, thanks to your kids and your pets. As it is, your day at work was quite stressful and coming back to a messy home just makes you lose it. Frankly, there's nothing wrong with you, as psychologists suggest a cluttered space can actually act as a trigger for stress and anxiety. According to Curious Mind Magazine, psychologist Sherrie Bourg Carter says, “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.” So, why are stress and anxiety triggered by mess?


According to Carter, there are several reasons why stress is triggered.  We suddenly feel very overwhelmed when we see clutter because it exposes us to a lot of unimportant stimuli, which then causes our senses to work overtime and it takes our attention away from things we should actually focus on. With things around us messy, it makes it a lot more difficult for us to relax, both mentally and physically. 

Since we can't relax, it sends out signals to our brain saying that our work is not over completely which then gets us thinking about how we will proceed with cleaning the mess. With the mess around, it also makes us feel guilty for being so shabby and unorganized, especially when you know someone is set to visit you at home. Then it hinders our creativity and productivity because all we can think of is the mess at home. 


Within the mess, it gets really annoying when you can't find what you're looking for since it is not in the place you left it at. But the best part of clutter is that you can clear it out, unlike several other messy aspects in your life. If you're planning on clearing out the mess at home, then you could start off by including your entire family with the process. As a family, you could just assign one person to each room so it makes it faster, but if you're alone, start with one room and finish everything before you head over to another room. 


Create an order for the things you own. Find space for items or regular use and stash away stuff you hardly use. Find covered spaces for it, as that way you can just hide away the mess behind a drawer, or a cabinet. You wouldn't have to see it all the time. After you've cleaned things up, make sure to follow the systematic way in which you've arranged things to prevent yourself from creating more clutter.


What takes one minute today must not be left to complete tomorrow. So if you see a pile of papers lying on the table, just put it into a folder instead of waiting till tomorrow to do it, why wait when it hardly takes a minute to do. Always make it a point to clean up after yourself so the mess is minimized at all times. Whoever said cleaning up after your mess is boring has not had a little fun involved. Play some music and try working with the beats, you'll see just how much you enjoy working, as well as how quickly you get your work done as well. 


If you're unsure of where to begin with decluttering, all you need to watch is Marie Kondo's show on Netflix for some advice. The KonMari method is really helping people as it has been said to improve both work and personal life, as you can get more done in less time. To begin with, set aside one full day to 'declutter'. The KonMari method insists you tidy up everything at once than tackling it day by day. 


It's great you're tackling the physical clutter around you, but what are you doing about your mental clutter?  Make a mental list of all the obligations you have and remove the ones that no longer give you satisfaction. This way, you'll have a stress-free situation at work, and in life. Once you get used to having stuff in order around you, it will be quite impossible for you to go back to the mess!



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