Clutter and Stress: Decluttering to Lower Stress Levels

The Complexity of Human Emotions and Behaviors

Human beings are complex creatures; our emotions and behaviors are shaped by a multitude of internal and external factors. One such factor that has been gaining attention in recent years is the relationship between clutter, organization, and stress levels. The idea that our physical environment can impact our mental state is not new, but the extent to which this connection influences our well-being is still being discovered

The Connection Between Clutter, Organization, and Stress Levels

At its core, the connection between clutter, organization, and stress levels is straightforward: a cluttered space leads to disorganization which then leads to increased stress levels. Conversely, an organized space promotes a sense of calm and order which can reduce stress. Studies have shown that when people are in a disorganized environment – one filled with clutter or mess – they experience higher levels of cortisol (the stress hormone), lower mood states, decreased productivity, difficulty concentrating on tasks at hand or meeting deadlines on time

Many people have experienced firsthand how challenging it can be to work in an unclean or unkempt workspace due to reduced creativity. The relationship between physical clutter and mental clutter creates negative feedback loops on many different levels: physical discomfort due to the messiness itself as well as psychological discomfort caused by feelings of failure or low self-esteem from not being able to keep up with cleaning routines

The Importance of Understanding This Connection

Given the clear impact that clutter and disorganization can have on our everyday lives – from decreased productivity at work or school to increased anxiety – it’s important for individuals to understand this connection. When we realize how much control we have over our physical environments (and subsequently the impact they have on us), we can begin making positive changes towards a more organized lifestyle. The purpose of this article is to explore the complex relationship between clutter, organization, and stress levels

We will examine the impact of clutter on stress levels, the benefits of organization on mental health, and strategies for reducing clutter and improving organization. By deepening our understanding of this connection, we can create healthier spaces that promote wellness and foster creativity in our day-to-day lives

The Impact of Clutter on Stress Levels

Defining Clutter and Its Effects on Mental Health

Clutter refers to the accumulation of objects that are not useful, or that create a sense of disorganization or chaos in one’s living or working environment. It can take many different forms, from piles of papers and books to overflowing closets and drawers, to general disarray in a room. While some people may not be bothered by clutter, for others it can create a sense of anxiety, overwhelm, and even depression

This is because clutter causes sensory overload which makes it difficult to focus and relax. The effects of clutter on mental health are well-documented

Studies have shown that people who live in cluttered environments experience higher levels of stress than those who live in clean, organized spaces. Clutter can lead to feelings of guilt or shame for failing to keep things tidy which can further increase stress levels

Studies That Show the Relationship Between Clutter and Stress Levels

Research has found a direct correlation between clutter and stress levels. In fact, a study conducted by UCLA found that women who described their homes as “cluttered” had higher cortisol (a hormone released during stressful situations) levels than women who described their homes as “restful” or “restorative”. Additionally, participants with higher clutter reported increased symptoms associated with depression

Another study found that people who worked in messy environments produced poorer quality work than those working in clean environments. This is because physical clutter competes for attention with the task at hand making it difficult to concentrate

How Clutter Affects Productivity and Creativity

The impact of clutter isn’t limited to mental health; it also affects productivity and creativity. When there is too much stuff around us we cannot focus properly leading us to procrastinate important tasks resulting in reduced productivity. Moreover, a cluttered environment can stifle creativity because when the mind is busy processing stimuli in the environment it leaves little room for innovative thinking

A clear and organized workspace reduces distractions and frees up mental space to think creatively. Clutter can have an adverse effect on mental health leading to increased stress levels, anxiety, and depression

It also results in lower productivity and creativity as it competes for attention with the task at hand. With this information in mind, it’s essential to take steps to reduce clutter in our lives for improved well-being

The Benefits of Organization on Stress Levels

What is Organization?

Organization is the process of arranging, categorizing, and structuring things in a systematic and orderly way. It involves creating designated spaces for items or tasks, labeling them appropriately, and regularly maintaining them to ensure they remain in their proper place. When everything is organized, it becomes easier to locate items quickly, manage time more effectively, and reduce the feeling of being overwhelmed by the tasks at hand

The Relationship Between Organization and Mental Health

Studies have shown that organization can have a significant positive impact on mental health by reducing stress levels. In fact, a study conducted by the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin found that people with organized homes are happier and experience less stress than those with cluttered homes. The researchers observed that participants who were in an organized environment were more likely to feel relaxed than those in a cluttered one.

Furthermore, organization has been linked to better sleep quality as well. A study published in Sleep Science & Practice reported that people who sleep in an uncluttered bedroom have better quality sleep than those who do not.

The Relationship Between Organization and Productivity/Creativity

In addition to improving mental health, organization has also been shown to increase productivity and creativity. For example, when working from an organized space or using a well-structured task list or schedule it reduces distractions which allows for better focus on individual tasks at hand

Moreover, research shows that creativity thrives within limits or boundaries set within structures. By creating these boundaries through organization we allow ourselves greater freedom within these limits as we’re able to think outside of them without having our thoughts scattered all over the place with no clear direction

Tips for Improving Organization Skills

Improving your organizational skills can take time as it requires developing new habits but these tips can help: 1. Utilize storage containers and organizers – make use of labeled bins, baskets, or drawers to keep your space tidy and to help you find what you need more easily. 2. Create designated spaces for items/tasks – This will ensure that everything has a specific place and is easy to locate

3. Schedule regular maintenance – Taking care of organizational tasks regularly ensures that things don’t pile up over time, resulting in a cluttered environment. 4. Utilize digital organization tools – Apps such as Trello or Asana can be used to create task lists or schedules and allow for easy tracking of their progress

The Relationship Between Clutter, Organization, and Stress Levels

Explanation of how clutter leads to disorganization

Clutter is often the result of a lack of organization. When things are not organized, they tend to pile up and create clutter. For example, if you have a desk with papers scattered all over it, you may find it difficult to locate important documents when you need them

This disorganization can also cause stress as it creates a sense of chaos in your environment. Another way clutter leads to disorganization is by hindering productivity

A cluttered workspace can make it hard to focus on tasks at hand because there are too many distractions around. You may also waste time trying to find things that should be easy to locate but are buried under piles of clutter

The impact of disorganization on stress levels

Disorganization has been shown to increase stress levels in individuals. A study conducted by the National Association of Professional Organizers found that 82% of Americans feel more relaxed at home when it is clean and organized. When our environment is chaotic and messy, we experience higher levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) which can lead to anxiety, depression, and even physical ailments

Furthermore, disorganized environments often lead to procrastination which only adds additional stress as deadlines approach or tasks pile up. The constant reminder that we have unfinished work can weigh heavily on our minds causing us significant anxiety

How organizing can reduce stress levels

Organizing reduces stress by creating a sense of control and order in our lives. It helps us prioritize tasks so we can focus on what really matters rather than constantly trying to stay on top of everything all at once

By finding a home for every item we own (and sticking with that), we create an environment where everything has its place which makes locating items easier thus reducing frustration. Notably, organizing also creates a peaceful environment that can help reduce stress levels

When we surround ourselves with things we love and things that bring us joy, we create a calm atmosphere. A study conducted by UCLA found that women who described their homes as “cluttered” experienced higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol than women who described their homes as “restful”


Clutter and disorganization can lead to significant stress in our lives. By understanding the relationship between clutter, organization, and stress levels, you can take steps to declutter your environment and get organized. This process may seem daunting at first but with patience and commitment to creating an organized space you can help manage your stress levels

Consider starting small by tidying up one area of your home or workspace each day until it becomes a habit. Remember that the end result is worth it – a clean and organized environment will lead to less anxiety and greater productivity in all areas of life

Tips for Reducing Clutter and Improving Organization

Practical Tips for Decluttering Your Home or Workspace

Decluttering can be a daunting task, but breaking it down into smaller steps can make it more manageable. Start by identifying the areas of your home or workspace that need attention

Set aside a specific time each day to tackle one area at a time. Begin by sorting items into three categories: keep, donate/sell, and throw away

Be honest with yourself about what you really need and what is just taking up space. Another useful tip is to focus on one category of items at a time, such as clothing or books

This will help you stay organized and prevent feeling overwhelmed. Use storage solutions such as bins and shelves to keep your newly decluttered space organized

Strategies for Maintaining an Organized Environment

Once you have successfully decluttered your space, the next step is maintaining organization. One strategy is to designate specific homes for everything in your space so that items are easy to find and put away

Another strategy is to regularly reassess your belongings and get rid of anything that no longer serves a purpose or brings joy into your life. Make it a habit to put things away after using them rather than letting them pile up

Using technology can also be helpful in maintaining organization. There are many apps available for creating digital checklists or tracking daily tasks

Mindfulness Practices to Reduce Stress Levels

Incorporating mindfulness practices into your daily routine can help reduce stress levels and promote overall well-being. Mindfulness involves being present in the moment without judgment. This can include practices such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, yoga, or simply taking a walk outside

Mindfulness practices can also be applied when decluttering and organizing your space. Take breaks when needed to avoid feeling overwhelmed and focus on the task at hand without distractions


There is a clear connection between clutter, organization, and stress levels. Studies have shown that reducing clutter and improving organization can lead to decreased stress levels and increased productivity. By incorporating practical tips for decluttering, strategies for maintaining an organized environment, and mindfulness practices into your daily routine, you can improve your overall well-being

It is important to remember that decluttering and organizing are ongoing processes. It may take time to establish new habits and maintain them consistently

However, the benefits of reduced stress levels and increased productivity make it well worth the effort. Start small with one area of your life at a time and be patient with yourself as you work toward a more organized and peaceful environment