(Natural News) Clutter can deprive you of your focus and reduce your productivity. The reverse is also true. According to Be Brain Fit, decreasing the amount of clutter around you reduces your stress levels.
Material possessions have come to represent hopes and dreams. Throwing something away makes the person feel guilty about abandoning it. Furthermore, the fear of regretting the loss in the future stops many people from disposing of items. This leads to the build-up of clutter.
One out of every three people are so afraid of the clutter in their home that they refuse to spend time there. But if they put in the effort to clear up the mess, they could save precious hours that would otherwise be wasted on looking for something lost in the clutter. (Related: The many ways stress makes you sick.)
Having more of everything also includes stress
A University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) study showed that physical clutter can disrupt concentration and cloud one’s judgement. It greatly affects the mood and self-esteem of a person.
It is especially stressful for women. Their cortisol levels would sharply rise whenever they had to talk about the clutter at their home. The more items found in their homes, the greater the amount of stress they experienced.
The UCLA study suggests that clutter floods your senses with too much information. It tires out your brain and distracts you from the thing you are supposed to be doing.
The human brain naturally prefers organization over clutter. It doesn’t have to work as hard in an uncluttered space. When the brain feels relaxed, it is better able to concentrate. The rest of the body benefits from this.
A cause of physical illnesses and a symptom of mental disorders
Clutter is also a cause for physical and mental disorders. It gathers up dust, which can cause symptoms of allergy when inhaled. Allergy victims are more prone to anxiety and depression.
Dust also contains many synthetics chemicals from various household products. These toxic substances can affect the vulnerable brain and behavior of children who are exposed to them.
The inability to get rid of clutter could also be a sign of a psychiatric problem. Depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder have been linked to the lack of organization.
Hoarding results in especially bad cases of clutter. Hoarders actually feel anxious and stressed if they try to stop themselves from increasing their collection. That makes it very difficult for them to clean up their homes.
How to remove clutter with a light heart
People who want to get rid of clutter have two ways to go about it. They can start with just one area at a time, beginning with the most troublesome spot. Or they can go all-out and clean out the entire house or office.
To prepare for the job, prepare enough boxes and garbage bags to hold the clutter. Work on reducing the mess for a maximum of one hour before taking a break.
You should keep items that you regularly use or bring you joy. If the object has monetary value but doesn’t get used, consider selling it or giving it away.
Useless objects go into the trash. See if you can recycle them.
Don’t waste too much time on any single item. If you cannot decide what to do with it, box it up and deal with it later.
Think positive. Instead of worrying about missing an object, think about how lucky you are that you have so many things to give away.
For more stories about the benefits of reducing the clutter in your home, office, and brain, visit Mind.news.