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How Clutter Affects Your Mental Health

Posted on June 22 2018

Clutter is unpleasant to look at and a pain to deal with - that much is obvious. But did you know that clutter could also be harming your mental health? It's true - a cluttered house, car, or office can sap your energy and your happiness. Here are a few reasons why clutter takes a toll on your well-being.

Clutter Stresses You Out

According to Recovery Resource Mental Health Services, approximately 1 in 5 adults in the United States battles with mental illness every year, and clutter could be part of the reason. Why? For one thing, it's hard to truly relax when you're surrounded by junk. Clutter is ugly, and it has a way of nagging at you, you know you'll have to take care of it eventually, but starting the task is too overwhelming for many people. The constant, gnawing stress of living in a cluttered environment can contribute to the development of mental health disorders down the line.

Your Clutter Might Be Harboring Harmful Substances

If you let clutter sit for too long, it might start to grow mold. Mold toxicity is a surprisingly common cause of mental health issues. Some of us can be vulnerable to mold, and thus express symptoms that are exclusively psychiatric. Mold is usually the result of water damage, and that can be covered by messes and clutter, so be sure to check around the nooks and crannies of your home.

Clutter Can Affect Your Relationships

It's hard to enjoy being home with your spouse or kids when you're surrounded by a jumble of mail, books, shoes, and other clutter. You're also less likely to invite friends over if your house is cluttered. This can strain your relationships, and your potential relationships as well, because there are some people who find messy homes a huge turn-off.

Clutter Makes It Harder To Live A Healthy Lifestyle

Are you inspired to cook healthy meals and workout when you're surrounded by junk? Probably not. Your environment affects your mindset, and a cluttered house tends to make most people feel lazier and more complacent than they would otherwise. If you value your health, clearing the clutter can help you make better health decisions on a daily basis.


Clutter is a sign that you're stuck in consumerist patterns of behavior.

If your house is cluttered, it's a sure sign that you've got too much stuff. The chances are good that you've been accumulating that stuff for a long time. Use your clutter as a wake-up call - you're buying more than you need, and it's time to scale back your shopping habits.

The Takeaway

Clutter is toxic for your mental health - it stresses you out, gets in the way of your relationships, and even influences you to make worse lifestyle decisions. If you have a clutter problem at home, why not start tackling it today? Grab your favorite soaps and begin clearing away the clutter, one piece at a time. You might be surprised at how great you feel afterward.

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