It is easy to look around your house and find the piles of things that need to be put away or picked up.  Sometimes our flat surfaces in our homes become more of a place to put things than what they were intended for.  Your dining room table was intended for, sitting and eating.  Clutter is defined as an accumulation of things lying around in an untidy mess. 

There are many different types of clutter you can be battling in your own home. 

  • Visual clutter which would be things sitting around your house untidy, knick-knacks on every single shelf or table. 
  • A full calendar with endless appointments, places to go, or events to be at can be a source of clutter. 
  • Digital clutter are things like a full email inbox, or documents that need organizing on your computer. 

Clutter is different for everyone, and clutter affects everyone differently.  Clutter can have negative impacts on your health and your mental well being.  Research has shown clutter can affect your anxiety levels, sleep, and the ability to focus.  

Clutter can sneak up on you.  You may not think you are a person who tends to hang on to things until you start to realize you are reorganizing your house every other day to try and fit all your stuff.  Clutter can happen to people for many different reasons. 

  • Some people can become overwhelmed with their things, which leads them to be frozen in the decluttering process. Being overwhelmed can halt any progress you may be able to make in getting rid of your things you don’t need or want anymore.
  • Sentimental items can also be hard to get rid of.  This could be items that were passed down from other people, or make you remember your childhood.  There are attachments we have to our things that make us have feelings or help us remember a certain event. 
  • A scarcity mindset can also cause you to hold onto your clutter.  Thinking that you may need that item at some point so why get rid of it.  Chances are you will have held on to that item so long when you finally do need it you won’t be able to find it. 
  • Comfort in all the possessions can also lead to clutter. 
  • Loving having all the things.  



Clutter adds more stress.  Women who describe their homes as cluttered and disorganized have higher stress hormone cortisol in their system than women who don’t make those claims.  Having to constantly search for things that can’t be found, ransacking a closet to look for one specific shirt, looking at the piles of things all around the house can raise anxiety and stress levels.  Your house is supposed to be a place where you come home to relax.  If your house is not giving you a relaxing feeling, it could be because of the amount of clutter around your home.  


Clutter can lead to procrastination tendencies.  If you always have things that need to be picked up and put away it becomes overwhelming.  When we are overwhelmed we have a higher chance of procrastinating.  Too much stuff sitting around can also cause more cleaning.  Knick-knacks are also called dust collectors.  If you find yourself sneezing, wheezing, or having itchy eyes only when you are at your house, it may be from the extra dust being collected by your things.  People with dust mite allergies may want to steer clear of the knick-knacks.  People who keep a neat house have been shown to have a more welcoming and higher generosity towards others. 

Inability To Focus

Clutter can make it hard for you to focus.  Visual clutter can cause your brain to have a poor working memory.  Your brain is programmed to only keep track of a few details at a time.  With too much visual stimuli to take in, it can cause the brain to be unfocused and unable to think clearly.  This can be just as true about digital clutter while you are working too.  If you constantly see in the corner of your computer screen the amount of emails in your inbox, it can be extremely distracting causing your focus to wander.  

Relationship Trouble

Too much clutter can cause trouble with relationships.  Roommates, spouses, and families can have countless arguments about the amount of items another person has.  If you’re embarrassed by how your house looks on a normal day and you don’t like having unexpected guests pop in can also affect your relationships.  You may start to isolate yourself from others, or not invite other people over.  


Safety sometimes can be an issue with clutter.  Tripping over things left on the ground.  If you have things piled up in places, stubbing your toe or running into them.  Piling shelves full to the brim could lead to them tipping over and crashing the contents down.  


Hoarding and having a cluttered house are two different things.  Hoarding is a psychiatric condition.  Having too much clutter is just the accumulation of more possessions than can fit into the available space you have. 


Decluttering can be harder for some people than others.  How clutter affects everyone may be different.  Too much clutter in our homes, calendars, or digitally can affect the stress levels, ability to sleep well at night, and the ability to focus.  



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