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  • Writer's pictureShruti GOCHHWAL

Is Clutter Causing you Stress?

Clutter is defined as having your possessions around you in a disorganised way. In Simpler words, it is the mess all your things make.

While some people like to lead spick and span lives, having every part of their lives organized, there are many of us who are not so organised. Lack of organization may be fine but if it leads to a clutter around you then it can cause you discomfort.

The answer to the question can clutter cause stress is Yes. There are various studies which have linked clutter to stress. Some explanations to why it causes stress are:

Increase in The Number of Stimuli

The presence of clutter increases the number of stimuli to the mind. These can be visual, tactile or olfactory. The presence of these stimuli affects the processing ability of the brain. This increase in stimulus has been linked with stress

Whenever we have tasks that we need to do there is a pressure that we have to complete them. Clutter items are things that are not in their place which means that have to be put in place.

This constant reminder that there is a task which requires work can cause stress because clutter eventually requires work.

A vector of a to do list.

Credits: Pixabay

Caption: Clutter acts like a to do list for the brain.

Alt text: A vector of a to do list.

It Draws Attention

If you have items out of place they are bound to draw your attention. When you are already having a tough day with lots to do, these things can affect your concentration and can cause you stress. To work efficiently it is important to be concentrated.

Decreases Productivity

Clutter increases the amount of time it takes for you to perform tasks because of being unorganized. It takes more time to find things that you need. It also decreases your workspace making it difficult to have ideal productivity.

Feng Shui

Feng Shui is a pseudoscience which originated in ancient China. It is also known as Chinese Geomancy. According to Feng Shui having clutter in your life has a negative effect. It says that it increases the negativity. Various other practices also suggest removing clutter from your life.

Clutter has a harmful effect on your mind. A small amount of clutter exists in everyone’s life but a vast amount can be damaging and you should ensure that it does not bother you.

What Can You Do?

Removing clutter from your life is easier said than done. If it was easy, it won’t have been there in the first place. Removing clutter once can still be done but the goal is to ensure that it does not come back. The following practices can be done:

  1. Start Small: If clutter is there in your entire house then start with one room. Do not try to do it all at once. If you just have one room with clutter then start with one table. Start small and build on.

  2. Use Organizational Skills: Making use of organizational skills means that you sort through items and put them where they are needed most. Designate places for each item and make sure they are kept there. For example, stationery supplies are required when you work, so put them on or near your work platform. This way it would increase productivity.

  3. Throw It Away: One main reason for cluttering is keeping things that you do not require. We all have items that are junk and should be thrown away but we do not. Throwing away junk is an important step to keep space for yourself and declutter.

: A vector of a person throwing stuff in a dustbin.


Caption: Throwing away things helps in decluttering.

Alt text: A vector of a person throwing stuff in a dustbin.

  1. Do Not Let It Pile Up: If you let clutter pile up, then it again acts as a stress trigger. Instead, have a proper schedule of when you want to organize. Depending on your requirement you can do it daily or weekly but it has to be done. Figure out how much time you need to spend in organising to ensure a clutter-free life.

 A pile of clothes.


Caption: The longer you wait the bigger the pile of clutter gets.

Alt Text: A pile of clothes.


Clutter can cause you stress but it can be dealt with. It is very easy to deal with clutter as compared to other stress triggers.

There are various other stress triggers in life today. Don’t let clutter be one and deal with it. Decluttering can be difficult in the beginning but once you get the hang of it you will see how beneficial it is

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