Clutter is One of the Easiest Life Stressors to Fix

by | Jan 2022

Hands placing clothes into a cardboard box.

Pexels/cottonbro studio

Mess equals stress. Without question, a lack of orderliness in our homes and workplaces creates consequential burdens. In fact, numerous academic studies link a cluttered environment to high levels of anxiety, depression and guilt. Clutter inhibits creativity, productivity and besieges our minds with excessive stimuli. (Tell me something I didn’t know.)

Generally, the burden of items out of place is a fairly obvious stressor, for some more than others. At a very basic level, our brains need order. Our biological and neurochemical systems are set up to operate in an orderly fashion. As such, when we live and work in a mess-free environment, our brains do not have to work as hard and our physical and mental health improves greatly.

Fear not! Clutter is one of the easiest life stressors to fix. As a professional organizer, having worked with countless clients on home and business organization projects, I can say unequivocally that my favorite part of the job is witnessing the amazingly positive effects of decluttering. Clearing the physical clutter clears the mental clutter.

Where to start?  Place boxes labeled “Donate, Sell, Recycle and Toss” in each room throughout your home. As you move through the rooms, slowly fill each box. Be sure to take the filled boxes to donation sites, consignment stores or recycling centers as soon as they are filled. Another way to address clutter is spending just 15 minutes a day tackling a problem area in your home, such as paper work or an overflowing closet.

Remember that reducing clutter can improve your overall physical and mental health. Small steps can lead to big improvements.

Kira Vanderlan operates a decluttering, organizing, staging and design company. Learn more at


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