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September 19, 2018 at 12:19 pm · · 0 comments

Clutter Anxiety

September 19, 2018

Why Clutter and Anxiety go hand in hand

From an early age we are trained to clean our rooms, our drawers and our dressers. So it is almost instinctual for some people to want to clean up when they see a mess in their homes or offices.

A large volume of clutter can cause sensations of agitation, irritation and anger in many individuals, and even more so in women as suggested by a study conducted by the UCLA’s Center on Everyday Lives and Families.

To help you relive such a situation, let me recreate it for you. Imagine you come home after a long workday, tired and beaten down by your work or the poor traveling conditions, but you finally made it, home sweet home.

As soon as you step in you can’t help but be alarmed by the used cups of tea your fiancé left on the table, toys that your child forgot to pack up and all the dust that the maid didn’t clean.

You almost enter a state of panic and alarm.

Well maybe you don’t have that kind of a reaction, maybe you just say “Huh whatever” and roll into bed, or maybe you decide to clean it the next day and move on.

Good for you, but if you feel the desperate need to clean, it is very likely that you’re facing some form of anxiety. It doesn’t mean that there’s something wrong with you, a lot of women feel rage and sensory over stimulation from all the mess.

Some even feel a sense of dread and depression.

According to Psychologist Sherrie Borg Carter,

Clutter can play a significant role in how we feel about our homes, our workplaces, and ourselves. Messy homes and work spaces leave us feeling anxious, helpless, and overwhelmed. Yet, rarely is clutter recognized as a significant source of stress in our lives. 

  • Clutter overwhelms us because it causes an overload of stimuli to our brain
  • It is distracting to our brain as it makes us think that our work is not done
  • It makes it difficult for us to relax
  • It causes anxiety in anticipation of the cleaning up process
  • It impedes creating and workflow
  • It makes it harder for us to find our tools and resources

Such an issue arises because according to many women, the responsibility of caring for the family and keeping the house clean is solely on women. It is however not true, the responsibility of cleaning your premises can be shared with the family. So whenever you feel the urge to go ballistic after seeing clutter, take a deep breath sit down and relax for a bit.


Here are some quick tips to help you deal with this kind anxiety:

  1. As stated before, it is a team game, work with your family on cleaning the house, create responsibility in your fiancé and children to help split up the work. If it is not possible you can consider hiring a maid, however do keep in mind that cleaning the house is a good exercise and way to wind down.
  2. Organize your racks and storage areas. So when you need it, you can find it in a snap. And a Pro-tip from Sherrie Bourg Carter, ‘Store your stuff in closed racks, keeping them on open racks does not remove the visual stimuli of clutter.’ So storing it in drawers and cases where you cannot see it is a great way to avoid it.
  3. Recycle, Resell, or Donate what you don’t use. Having less things to worry about will help you manage your home better. A good idea is to sell anything that you haven’t used in six months AND don’t foresee yourself needing in the next six.
  4. Cultivate the habit of placing things you use in their designated spot once you’re done using them. Simple right? Takes time to train the habit.
  5. Create a reward system for your family, treat them for keeping the house clean. Heck it can be a great game to be played with the family. Your imagination’s the limit here.

If this help you come to ease with the sensation of panic when you see clutter, maybe you need help, first off its important for you to understand that everyone deserves to be happy, you too. So don’t hesitate to seek help. Anxiety can run much deeper than what is caused by clutter, it could be caused by some bad experiences or bad memories, to get help read more here.

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kailashmantry

kailashmantry

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