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Did you know that studies prove that Clutter & Depression go hand in hand?

When clutter is weighing you down with the toys in the living room, beds unmade, and dishes left in the sink… these things make us feel mentally cluttered.   It makes our homes look messy and it makes our emotions feel messy.

A woman leaning on a counter with her hands folded in front of her.

This newly updated post was originally published in 2017.  

Clutter & Depression are linked

In the book Life at Home in The Twenty-First Century   (This book was based on a rigorous, nine-year project at UCLA where middle-aged Americans are studied, watching how they use the space & things in their home), it states that clutter affects our mood.

I couldn’t agree more.

It affects our mood and how we feel about ourselves.   This clutter, which is mostly things that we don’t even use, is weighing us down.

In the book, they found that there is a connection between the objects in the house & the stress hormone levels.  More Clutter =  More Stress.   (Women were far more stressed by it than men).

Why?  Women are judging themselves and others on the cleanliness of their homes.   In their minds, a clean home meant a happy home.   It made them feel accomplished and put together to have a well-maintained clean home.

When we start to have too much stuff, it can really put a weight on us.  An emotional weight, but still a weight.  It makes us feel like we have a never-ending list of things to do.
A woman leaning on a kitchen counter with clutter around her as she holds her head in her hands.

It makes us feel frazzled and in disarray.  It makes our tempers high and our patience low.

Do you find yourself reprimanding your kids for not cleaning up?  Or for no reason at all?

It is because you are overwhelmed by the mess of it all, but having too much stuff.

Do you know who feels our stress the most?  Our kids. (It’s proven)

Why Does Clutter Make Us Stressed?

If you are thinking about how your house is cluttered… this is the time that you aren’t spending LIVING YOUR LIFE.    Once you are able to free yourself from the burden of these extra physical things, the ones that seem to tie us down, we can let them go and have more time to spend enjoying life.

Your home is where you should go to relax.   You can walk into a clean, fresh, sunlit home.  You can walk into a home that welcomes you and invites you to feel joyful, renewed, and calm.

We are going to get there.
You can start by decluttering your home.


What Can You Do About Clutter & Stress?

If you feel like your clutter is causing you stress, what are you going to do about it?

You need to get organized.   I have a declutter course that talks about how to declutter, clean & organize your home because I wholeheartedly believe that being organized saves my sanity.  I’ve realized that you can not organize clutter.  You have got to just get rid of it.

Did you know that over the course of our lives, we will spend an average of 3,680 hours (153 days) searching for misplaced items?  This study found we lose around nine items every day (which ends up being 198,743 items over the course of our lives.)

The items on the top of the list are keys, phones, glasses, and papers.  – Research & numbers come from The Daily Mail

You probably have too much stuff.  Most of us do.

You can take a Declutter Course (clear your home of clutter with the support of others!)  It’s the best thing I’ve ever done and thankfully it’s a way that others are able to declutter their homes, as well.

Why do people have SO much stuff in their homes?   There are usually four reasons:

1- Sentiment:  We don’t want to get rid of it and risk hurting someone’s feelings.

2- Fear Of Needing It: What if we want it ONE day?   Will it come back into style?  What if I want to make that fancy meal with that fancy appliance?

3- We have ‘backups’.   I literally had two crock-pots for about three years.   I had five cookie sheets… which was more than was even able to fit into the oven at one time.   Why?  It was my backup.

4. Aesthetics:  We keep things to make our house look “beautiful” but we end up keeping more than we actually want (and it makes us feel worse because it clutters our homes.)


Here are three options to get you started…

1-  Join Our Free the 30-day Declutter Challenge. (Print the calendar to help you stay on track!) 

30 Day Declutter Calendar

2- Print these Two Free Cleaning Schedule sheets.
Cleaning and Family cleaning schedule to print for free

3. Jump in with both feet & declutter the entire house with the Whole-House Declutter Course.  You will declutter & organize your ENTIRE whole home with my help.   It starts today, so join soon!

You Can’t Organize Clutter

No matter which option you pick, remember that you can’t just push your clutter under the rug.  You’ve got to get rid of that clutter and there is no time like the present!

Don’t be afraid to let go of things in your home… they are just things.   The people in your life matter more and when you get rid of the things in your home, you gain time.

You will stop looking for things, stop spending hours cleaning things and stop organizing by just moving things around, only to have to look for them later.  Decluttering & organizing will save you so much time and you can finally spend that time on the things that really matter to you.

A close up of text on a white background

1). This is how you can learn to LET GO of Clutter.  

let go of clutter

2- Get everyone involved. Check out some chores for kids, by their age. 
chores by age

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. My husband and I just went through some major decluttering as we just moved overseas with only a few suitcases to our name–and yes, it’s very freeing indeed to not have so much stuff!

  2. Great tips! Thanks for linking up to Sweet and Savoury Sunday, stop by and link up again. Have a great day!!

  3. I struggle so hard with this and have been slowly working on it. It has to get to a really bad point before it start to really weigh me down! Thanks for a great post and linking up with Family Fun Friday!

  4. You’re absolutely right to get rid of the clutter. My son’s quite a hoarder and I’m working on the 3 bag rule to declutter. Great way to condition mindset.

  5. Get rid of unused stuff. This will help you determine all stuff that you can still use and need to keep.

  6. God has blessed our home with seven boys. I used to be organized, but now I can’t seem to control the clutter! I know the clutter is causing stress and is making me feel overwhelmed. I’m too embarrassed to have people over, and I want to create a welcoming and peaceful home for our family. The problem is not my sons because they are learning from me. I was never taught how to declutter, so when I began having children, the clutter quickly became overwhelming. I didn’t know where to begin. I’ve been praying that I could get motivated and that God would show me where to find help. I am so excited to find you on Pinterest and look forward to learning! Thank you!

    1. Oh yay!! You can do it (and your kids will learn from you & take it to their homes as they grow up) 🙂

  7. After having counselling for years I realised I had Survivor Mentality and hoarded almost everything. I am trying to make everything transient. Having got rid of old technology, are tape and video cassettes ever going to come back into fashion? I have tackled my craft habit and my pencil collection-70 pencils are surely more than enough for one person, I have banned envelope and battery shopping. I have to tackle my clothes and work out what fits and suits. I make one trip to the tip / charity shop every week and must have the car packed to the hilt. I only accept things into the house if I do need it. If I already have one I give that away. One of my friends makes it the practice to give something away every day. I’m trying to do this too. Good luck everyone!

  8. I totally agree. I am not the most organized person, but I cannot stand clutter. On top of not being able to handle the clutter, I have found myself feeling like we’ve outgrown our house every time the clutter gets too bad. Drives me insane!

  9. de-cluttering is also about the mind. we must de-clutter our thoughts. get rid of the thoughts that disctrsct us from living free. lots of work, but it can be done! getting rid of things in the home is so important, too! love this post.

  10. My mother could get up, have her bed made, get breakfast, have a load of clothes wasing all in the morning,. My parents had five girls. I don’t know how Mom did it. Our house was never cluttered. Now Iam a grand parent myself, but have always struggled to keep our house from being cluttered. We were taught to save it you might need it. Iam sure my parents had stuff, but I don’t know where she put the clutter because I never saw any. Is there a gene Iam missing or something? HELP!
    Iam drowning in clutter!

  11. I was raised by a hoarder, who was also raised by hoarders. I find that now I am raising a hoarder. It is a tough cycle to break!! I am trying tho! I am finding that I DO NEED HELP!! I read the self help books, articles on the internet, etc, but actually putting them to work for me is nearly impossible! I was TAUGHT, while innocently enough, to hold on to EVERYTHING!!! You’ll NEED it one day….
    Well, I’ve found that partially true….but mostly UNTRUE!!
    I NEED HELP!!!!
    Any ideas??

    1. It’s so nice to know I’m not the only one, sigh. My mom and dad kept EVEYTHING. And now I’m.overwhelmed with STUFF.

    2. Once I got into the mindset that I am not throwing these USEFUL things out,but donating them to someone who has a USE for them, it allowed me to part with stuff without feeling guilty of getting rid of it.

  12. The older I get the less stuff I want. My husband, however, just keeps buying stuff at auctions. He recently renovated a garage into a place to put his treasures. At least now I can walk through the basement without taking my life in my hands! My delima now is that both my mother in law and my mother can no longer live alone and have moved into assisted living. How can I deal with two houses full of stuff without hurting their feelings?

    1. Just do not tell them what you do with what is left – comment on the positives, not the negatives! I am 82 yrs. old and I would be delighted if I could just enjoy a few of my special treasures – wedo NOT need to be surrounded with stuff!

    2. I am also wanting less stuff, but my husband is a”collector” of hats, knives, shoes, books, rocks/ crystals, music -including memorabilia, toys. You get the idea. I’ve asked him to go through his side of the closet, which encroaches constantly on mine, and get rid of the clothing he’s not worn on the three years we’ve known each other. He won’t and he won’t let me either. I’d really appreciate suggestions for dealing with my husband’s hoarding. It’s a huge stressor for me.

      1. I understand. I ended up giving my husband the entire closet for himself. It’s his space for his treasures and he’s happy. I got myself a really nice IKEA closet for me and I continue to declutter around the house, He is okay with me decluttering as long as I leave his man stuff in the closet alone. I can live with that. Lol

  13. If you have clutter you are not organized, if you are organized you won’t have clutter.

  14. I’ve started to tell myself that storing that object costs money for the square footage it all takes up
    So then it doesn’t seem worth keeping it