We live in a society where advertisements are everywhere. Research tells us that the average person sees more than 5000 ads a day, which is insane to think about, though I believe it. You see, I spend my days working in digital marketing. In this industry, we preach to our clients that a general rule of thumb is that if you market an item to someone 7 times they will buy it on that 7th time. I am the first to admit that buying items that are continuously marketed to us over time is easy to do…and most definitely attributes to the overabundance of clutter found in all of our homes.
Joseph Ferrari, a professor of psychology describes clutter as “an overabundance of possessions that collectively create chaotic and disorderly living spaces.” Ferrari studied the impact of clutter on age and discovered that the older you get the more clutter affects you mentally.
The old saying ‘a tidy house leads to a tidy mind’ definitely rings true. Rather you struggle with lack of focus, depression or strictly being overwhelmed, clutter should not be ignored as a potential culprit. It’s time for you to regulate your clutter and gain control of your mental wellbeing. In order to do this, you must first define why the clutter is there, to begin with. For me, clutter started in our house when our third child arrived. The clutter only worsened the feelings of anxiety and depression I was struggling with. Psychology Today says, “Messy homes and workspaces leave us feeling anxious, helpless, and overwhelmed,” and I couldn’t agree more.
(If you would like to read more about this discovery process, you can check out my blog where I talk all about it here.)
The amount of clutter that affects me may be different than what affects you, but let’s discuss the proven ways clutter affects one mentally.
It’s easy to see how clutter could cause isolation. For example, I am less inclined to invite people over if I am embarrassed by the mess that’s surrounding me. When I do invite people over, I am burdened with the day of prep it takes to make my house look not-so-awful as I anticipate their arrival. Knowing the work that goes into tidying your home for company, it is much easier to stay isolated within one’s own walls than do what it takes to ask people to come over.
When I am surrounded by clutter, all I see are constant visual reminders of what needs to be done. This mindset seems to sap my creativity and productivity levels greatly, leaving me not only unable to accomplish the simplest tasks but left with the inability to relax and enjoy those around me.
Clutter plagued me with feelings of guilt and inadequacy as I struggled to be everything for everyone. I allowed clutter to affect my mental wellbeing, even though I did not see that those two went hand-in-hand together.
Your home should be a haven from the stresses of the world. When my house is full of clutter my stress and uneasiness grow and I have nowhere to turn to get-away.
For most of us, especially those with young children, it is unrealistic to assume a house can be completely clutter-free. Minimalism hasn’t given me this life. What minimalism has given me is a home that can be easily tidied, freeing my mind and time to enjoy life on a deeper level. I want you to read that again because it is the one thing, I want to make sure you take away with you today… What minimalism has given me is a home that can be easily tidied, freeing my mind and time to enjoy life on a deeper level.
It’s time for you to take control of your mental wellbeing, and free yourself of clutter.