How Clutter and Stress Are Related

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Last Updated on February 7, 2024 by Share My Kitchen

Are you giving yourself the best chance of getting enough rest and relaxing or are you causing yourself stress unnecessarily? The clutter in our homes can contribute to stress, to feelings of unwellness, and to a heightened sense of anxiety. You may have trouble focusing because of how untidy your home is, and we want to explore some of these health issues, particularly mental health issues that arise from having a disorganized home.

The Mess Causes Stress

When your home is messy, it will affect your ability to focus, to find things, and to feel at ease. You may have trouble relaxing when your home is untidy, and there are a number of reasons why. First of all, our brains like order. They like things to be neat and in their place, even if we individually tend to be disorganized. Just because you leave the house untidy and don’t like cleaning, that does not mean your brain likes an untidy house.

Our brains are wired for order, but if someone is lazy, they get accustomed to disorder and tell themselves that they don’t mind if the house is messy. Then, they also tell themselves that they have trouble focusing and that they are naturally stressed and anxious. You may not realize that the issue of untidiness causes or contributes to these other mental health issues.

Why would a mess in the house cause us to be stressed? It’s because of the way our brains are designed. When there is disorder, our brains have trouble focusing, and that makes it difficult for us to be in the moment and stay grounded. We will constantly be distracted by the mess, even if we think we don’t care about it.

Boosting Mood in an Untidy Home

If you spend time cleaning your home, that will help your mood considerably. Instead of feeling stressed, you will start to feel accomplished. Instead of feeling like things are out of your control, you will start to feel like you have some control. Even if there are things outside of the messy house that make you feel like you have very little control in your life, just taking control of the mess will go a long way toward restoring your self confidence and your sense of agency.

You can get the mess in your home under control little by little. Any progress you make toward that end will be helpful. As you clean one room and then another, that will be one less room to worry about, one less place in the house that makes you feel anxious. Start with the rooms you spend the most time in, like your bedroom, living room, and kitchen. If you can get the mess cleaned up there, you will be making big strides toward a tidy home that doesn’t cause you to feel more anxious.

You can use cleaning to help you relax and also hire professional cleaners to do some of the work for you. That way, the responsibility isn’t entirely on your shoulders. If the house is very messy, it may take you a long time to get it all cleaned, but hiring some help will speed the process. That may be wise if you want to get things under control fast and stop feeling so stressed in your own home.

Cleaning is good for your mood because it helps you to stay active, and being active is really good for people who are stressed. As they start to move around, some of their stress just falls away because they can no longer focus clearly on it. The activity of moving their body will boost their endorphins, improve blood flow, and stimulate their brain, helping them to get out of the funk they are in. Try cleaning the next time you feel stressed, even if you are not stressed about an untidy house. Even people with clean houses can do this. Just find something to clean when you feel anxious and see how helpful that can be.

Stress Reduction through Relationship Repair

If you share a home with someone else, like a roommate, spouse, or anyone else, then your relationship can be hurt by keeping things messy. People get along better in a clean home since they can find things easier, they are less likely to blame each other for lost items. They get along better because the house is tidy and everyone is less stressed. When everyone does their part in cleaning the home and keeping it clean, that makes it easier to get along as well.

So, cleaning can help with your relationships in the home, and when you have good relationships, then you have less to stress about. Probably the biggest cause of stress in most people’s lives is their interpersonal relationships. If cleaning the house will help there, then that can have a big impact on your overall stress levels. You won’t feel as worried about what the other person will think or how they will react when they see the house looking messy. There will be less to argue about, and it will be easier for everyone to function in a clean home.  

No one wants to see their roommate’s or family member’s dirty clothes or dirty dishes. No one wants to be the person who always empties the trash that is filled by the other person or who finds the expired food in the fridge and has to toss it out. If you do your part in keeping the house clean, you will be able to get along better with whoever you are living with. If you have failed to keep your part of the house clean and to tidy up after yourself, then making that change can be great for your anxiety. You won’t have to worry about your roommate blowing up at you over those kinds of things, and that will make life easier on you all.

Your home’s tidiness directly affects your mental health in many ways, and perhaps this article has helped to shed some light on those for you.

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