Why Do Hoarders Have Such High Anxiety Levels?

Massive Clean Up Is No Cure For Hoarding : Shots - Health News : NPR

We have all heard the adage that “Your mind is cluttered when you bring clutter into your house”. Whether it is because we are too lazy to clean up or because we have a lot of junk in our house to begin with, simply the sight of the mess of junk has numerous detrimental effects on our health such as confusion, tension, and irritability. More specifically, here are 4 reasons why a cluttered home increases our anxiety levels:

Clutter is Distracting: According to the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP), “our brains are accustomed to some type of order which is disrupted by the visual clutter which, in turn, drains our cognitive resources”. Clutter, therefore, loses our ability to focus by developing cognitive overload. Simply a better organized environment can increase our productivity levels, so simply cleaning up your workstation will make you more productive and focused on your daily tasks.

Clutter Decreases Creativity: While studies have shown that some people increase their creativity levels in a slightly messy environment, a heavily messy environment has the opposite effect. Creativity beyond the human threshold has negative effects such as burning out our brains quicker and decreasing our creativity levels. So, if you want to increase your creativity level, at least clean up a little bit of the room so it’s not completely cluttered.

Clutter Increases Stress Levels: As stated, our brains were built to follow an organized environment. Simply the overwhelming sight of clutter leads to increased stress levels. According to psychologist Kyan Patten, clutter “can cause us to believe our work is never done. We can become frustrated which later develops into feelings of guilt.” These emotions accumulate when looking at clutter because the mess makes us unorganized. Therefore, the next time you’re inundated with college assignments and exams, create a schedule, even if it’s completing one assignment per day (but make sure you abide by it!)

Clutter Influences Decision Making: According to a study by the Harvard Business Review, those with a cluttered environment had indirectly affected their behavior and judgement. The study had found that “Messy environments led those involved in the study to consume more unhealthy meals than in an organized environment”. Therefore, clutter also effects our physical health as well as our mental health. Therefore, if trying to lose weight and be in better physical shape, cleaning your environment may be a strong place to start.

Clutter may be thought of as a minor inconvenience, but the long term effects are quite impactful. So, take a few moments to declutter your environment if it is messy. Remember, we are human beings, not pigs, so it’s time we act like them. By cleaning around the house, we may just feel better about ourselves and our futures.

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