The Ugly Truth About Clutter

September 27, 2019 Organization Tips / Self Storage 101

Did you ever try to cook a meal in a cluttered kitchen? Dirty dishes, pots, and glasses are everywhere because the dishwasher is already full (but hasn’t been run in a month). You never finished putting away the groceries because the pantry is full of toys and dirty laundry, and your ice cream is melting because the freezer is full of snow from last winter. And this is just the kitchen. The rest of the house isn’t much better. This, of course, is a description of your neighbor’s house; your home would NEVER look like this because you are neat and careful. Or should I say sneaky. You hide everything under the bed and in the trunk of your car.

We spend our lives collecting. We are gifted with stuff, we buy stuff, and we inherit stuff. We go shopping at malls, flea markets, online, and in grocery stores. Yes, grocery stores, because they don’t just sell food anymore. Now you can buy kitchen ware, small appliances, toys, greeting cards, and even clothes: not Versace or Valentino, but still wearable. The point is that we accumulate things 24/7, 365 days a year. It never stops. We buy and receive items that we don’t want or need, and these objects are our eventual clutter. Don’t get me wrong. This is not a lecture; finding happiness in a new dress or a child’s toy is not strange or shocking. The trick is keeping it under control.


Let’s look at the ways in which clutter can produce tangible effects on your mental and physical health.


Clutter increases your stress.

According to a study in The Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, people who live in cluttered homes full of unfinished projects (and messy kitchens) have higher levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, than those who live in restful, uncluttered environments (like yours). Cortisol has been associated with greater chronic stress, disease progression, weight gain, and even mortality risk.


Clutter promotes overeating.

Dr. Eva Shalhoub explains that because clutter is stressful for the brain, you’re more likely to resort to coping mechanisms such as choosing comfort foods or overeating, especially in a messy kitchen. You’ll grab anything just to make more room in the fridge. If your kitchen is tidy, you’ll be able to find the healthy snacks.


Clutter triggers respiratory issues.

Cluttered homes are frequently dustier than orderly living spaces, especially when messiness makes it difficult to access certain areas of the home. As things accumulate, more dust is generated, creating the ideal living environment for pests like dust mites. The harder it gets to clean, the more serious these respiratory issues can become; and, when you do clean, you need to wear a hazmat suit.


Clutter jeopardizes relationships.

Clutter in the home can negatively impact the life of your significant other. To some people, the idea of parting with their belongings is distressing, and this can take a toll on relationships. When you live with a person who values organization, this can get ugly. Spouses or partners who are bothered by this clutter tend to be judgmental, angry, and irritable. They may resort to name calling and comments, which I cannot repeat in present company. Needless to say, this can create a toxic environment and an end to the relationship.


Clutter is isolating.

Sadly, children can also feel the negative effects of a cluttered home. They can be prone to elevated levels of distress and have difficulty making friends.The condition of your home can inhibit your desire to entertain. You will eventually begin to avoid social gatherings because you never cleaned up after your last party, which occurred two years ago. It will be hard for your children to make friends because they are embarrassed for the same reasons. This alone should encourage more order in your life.


Clutter threatens career goals.

People’s messy tendencies can also creep into their professional life and impact job performance. A disorganized desk, filing system, or briefcase can inhibit your ability to focus and decrease productivity, keeping you from moving forward with your career. And you wonder why you lost your job.


Clutter can encourage bad spending habits and create debt.

A cluttered environment makes it easy to misplace things like your child’s favorite toy or your sofa.If you lose something, it can be easier to merely purchase a duplicate. If this becomes a habit, you could end up with accumulated debt (and seven sofas). If you aren’t a fan of paperless billing and online banking, a cluttered home can also make it challenging to locate bills and bank statements. They’re probably in the sofa cushions or maybe the dishwasher. This can lead to late payments,additional fees, higher interest rates, and finally, collection agencies. 


You need to find a way to get this situation under control.

The bottom line is that everything has its place. Getting rid of physical clutter can be emotionally devastating to certain individuals, but there is a strategy. Don’t just relocate your possessions to another area of your living space. 


A practical solution to this problem is self-storageLocating a secure, affordable, convenient storage facility will resolve this problem. The clutter is gone—not gone forever—but removed to a secure storage facility where it will no longer negatively affect you and the people close to you. You can visit your belongings any time, but you don’t have to live with the mess and chaos. Please don’t get confused and store one of your children. There are laws against such things. And no food. You need to throw away the rotting veggies and last year’s Thanksgiving leftovers.


In all seriousness, please don’t wait any longer; find a reputable storage facility with a professional, caring staff that will assist you in making a plan and discussing your options. Your mental and physical health depend on it.

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