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Clutter Causes Stress.

It’s a proven fact.  Do you ever wonder how to declutter and why you feel the need to declutter?  There are reasons…
“Dishes in the sink, toys throughout the house, stuff covering every flat surface; this clutter not only makes our homes look bad, it makes us feel bad, too.

At least that’s what researchers at UCLA discovered when they explored the relationship between 32 families and the objects in their homes. Our over-worked closets are overflowing with things we rarely touch.   It turns out that clutter has a profound effect on our mood and self-esteem. CELF’s anthropologists, social scientists, and archaeologists found:

  • The more stuff, the more stress women feel.
  • The more dishes that pile up in the sink, the more anxious women feel.
  • Even families that want to reduce clutter often are emotionally paralyzed when it comes to sorting and pitching objects. They either can’t break sentimental attachments to objects or believe their things have hidden monetary value.”
    – House Logic

Does clutter cause stress?  Does a messy room cause stress?  Clutter & stress are linked… and now studies are giving us proof.

link between clutter & stress
“Clutter can play a significant role in how we feel about our homes, our workplaces, and ourselves. Messy homes and work spaces leave us feeling anxious, helpless, and overwhelmed. Yet, rarely is clutter recognized as a significant source of stress in our lives.

Fortunately, unlike other more commonly recognized sources of stress, clutter is one of the easiest life stressors to fix.”
– Psychology Today 

As a family of six, I know all about messes: toys, dishes in the sink, homework left on the counter and more.  I have also learned how to stop these little messes, after recognizing that clutter does, in fact, cause me to feel stressed.   I’ve even realized that when I yell, which I really try NOT to do, it is always when things aren’t as they should be:  The dishwasher wasn’t unloaded, so now dishes are piling up in the sink.  Shoes aren’t in the shoe basket, so now our son can’t find his shoes and we are going to be late.   Homework was left on the counter, so now it has spaghetti sauce on it and that child is crying and angry with the person that spilled the sauce.

It’s an ongoing cycle…  but there is a simple solution.

A photo of a front door with black wrought iron arch and stone steps.


Declutter your house, a little at a time.   I have a full-blown declutter course, if you are ready to jump in!  You can start today & have your entire house decluttered before you know it.  If you don’t know where to begin or if you’ve been putting it off, this is for you.  Find out more here. 

Hi there!

I’m Becky, a former elementary school teacher turned certified child development therapist and blogger. I work at home with my husband and together we are raising (and partially homeschooling) our four children in the Carolinas. I love diet coke, ice cream, and spending time with my family.

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  1. I’m already overwhelmed with various mental disorders My home stays filthy and it drives me into a deeper depression and causes my anxiety and stress to get more severe. I try to explain to my husband but it tells me to ignore it. I’m disabled and my last home healthcare provider says it’s not her job. I’ve tried so many times to try to clean or do laundry but my chronic back pain prevents me from doing more than 20 minutes of work. No one listens or understands. I have no one .I feel trapped in my filthy home I’m so depressed and in so much pain, I dont know how much more I can take

    1. It really is true- it weighs on you. It’s worth it to take a week & just tackle it.

    2. Rachael- Hire someone to help! The expense is so worth it, if it will lessen some of that anxiety. If cleanliness is the issue, look for cleaning companies, but if it is a matter of de-cluttering and organizing, google professional organizers in your area!

  2. How do I convince my significant other to allow me to help her her with the clutter in the house? She saves everything from food jars to pill boxes to ______. She creates crafts which is awesome, but then she says all the material she saves is for crafting, which is kind of true and kind of not true. All counter spaces “sprout” stuff. She says I need to relax and not be such a tight-wad, but it drives me crazy! If I ever move anything she gets very upset with me. I cleaned out the garage and an adjoining room when she was travelling and when she returned she was incredibly upset. Raged at me. Can’t even get into the status of the garage…..

  3. I grew up in a hoarder house. I constantly give away or throw away or recycle stuff. I travel with one small carry on bag and a small tote. I have very few
    clothes, dishes, or cooking pots. We have one small TV and one small car.