Have you heard of decluttering? Did you know that living a decluttered life has benefits? Let’s take a look at why decluttering is important for your wellbeing.
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It’s easy to understand how clutter can affect your life. When you have trouble finding things because there is so much “stuff” everywhere, this can make you less productive. It can even cause you to be late attending events, getting the kids off to school, and handling any other obligation.
Physical clutter can be unsafe.
If your floor is covered with objects that don’t need to be there, and you have to cut a trail through them just to get through your room, you are causing trip and fall hazards. This is especially the case if you have to get up in the middle of the night.
Why Decluttering is Important for Your Wellbeing
Studies show that clutter can lead to mental problems.
Scientists at the Princeton University Neuroscience Institute in New Jersey uncovered some startling data regarding how a disorganized, clutter-filled environment can affect you mentally. They published their findings in the January 2011 issue of The Journal of Neuroscience:
“Multiple stimuli present in the visual field at the same time compete for neural representation by mutually suppressing their evoked activity throughout visual cortex, providing a neural correlate for the limited processing capacity of the visual system.”
In other words, clutter shuts down the ability of your brain to process even simple information. Your ability to focus is severely restricted because it’s distracted by the clutter.
Subconsciously, your mind tries to process everything that your eyes see on the periphery of your vision even though you may only be trying to focus on one task.
This can leave you feeling frustrated and angry. You may try to get a lot accomplished throughout your day, but your clutter makes you less productive than you could have been.
Cluttered House: Sign of a Problem
Kelli Ellis is an Orange County, California design psychologist. You may have seen her on The Learning Channel’s “Clean Sweep” TV show. The program helps families go from frustrated, cluttered and disorganized to organized, clutter-free and productive. The organization specialist states that clutter “follows” you into every aspect of your life.
Typically, if your home is cluttered-filled and unorganized then your workspace will also be clutter-filled.
Other areas in your life where clutter can follow you are in your personal and business relationships, and finances.
When you ultimately learn to control clutter, you create a more productive environment everywhere you go.
Clutter Can Negatively Impact Health
WebMD reports that clutter if left alone, can negatively impact your health.
Clutter creates a lot of stress. Why is that a problem? Stress elevates your heart rate, and if untreated, can lead to high blood pressure and even an irregular heartbeat called arrhythmia. Stress affects your respiratory system as well. In some people, this incredible strain on your lungs when you are anxious and stressed out can lead to a panic attack.
Stress keeps your digestive system in a constant state of agitation. This skyrockets the possibility that you will develop ulcers, nausea, acid reflux, irritable bowel syndrome and a number of digestion related issues.
Your skin, immune system, muscles, body weight, and even your reproductive system are affected negatively by stress.
As you can see, even if you believe a cluttered, disorganized, messy environment has no effect on you, it is causing physical and mental damage in a number of ways.
Have you struggled with chronic anxiety and stress, or other physical and mental problems your entire life? Have you tried in vain to alleviate those issues?
It could be that simply decluttering your home is the secret weapon that has been missing from your approach to health and wellness. Clean up your clutter, and you may just find yourself calmer and focused, happier and healthier.
Maintaining a clutter-free home is important so you can be healthier, both mentally and physically.
Remember, clutter can negatively affect so many areas of your life, and you may not even be aware that it is doing so. This is why decluttering is important for your wellbeing.
Read Next: How to Turn Your Toxic Home into a Healthy Home Environment
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Amanda @ Healthy House on the Block says
I know when I have a cluttered desk or kitchen, it feels really cumbersome to get work and cooking done. It’s like my brain can’t focus because there is so much around me. I love the points you made here about correlating clutter to health. It’s really important.
Thanks Amanda! Yes, decluttering is beneficial for so many reasons.