The Negative Effects of Clutter: How it Affects Your Mind

Have you ever stopped to consider the negative effects of clutter and how it could affect your mind? Do you even realise that it does have an effect? Just imagine the following.

There’s a pile of magazines in the hall that you keep meaning to go through before you recycle them. In the corner of the living room there is a small mound of toys that has been sitting there for over a week now, waiting to be sorted and either put away or discarded. In the garage you have several boxes of ‘stuff’ to go through, when you have the time …

Does This Sound Familiar?

Do you realise that these belongings are having a negative effect on your mind? And more to the point, what that effect is?

Any items that aren’t in their correct place are sending you subliminal messages, every time you pass by and look at them. It can be a subtle nudging that you need to get something on your To Do list and get around to actually doing it. Or it can hit you like a sledgehammer because looking at it has a massive negative effect on your mood.

Imagine someone sending you negative messages twenty times a day. Do you think it would affect you? Absolutely it would! And definitely not in a pleasant way.

But I Don’t Have Time …

We can often let small jobs build in our minds until they become insurmountable tasks, requiring enormous effort. But there is another way. A simpler one that doesn’t need an hour, an afternoon, or even a full day to get the job done.

Rather than waiting until you get time – that elusive thing that most of us these days complain we don’t have enough of – try this instead.

Next time you pass those magazines, take the top one from the pile. Flick through it for a few moments. Use your phone to either scan or take photos of any articles you’d like to go back to, or resources you think could be useful in the future. (This is much better than the old method of tearing out the page and creating another paper pile, made up of articles to go through … sometime. Or was that just me? 🤔 😊) Next, immediately take the magazine to the recycling bag or box. So simple, easy, and time-efficient!

Making It A Regular Occurrence

If you do this each time you’re waiting for the kettle to boil, or before heading upstairs for a bath – or just every time you walk past that damn annoying pile – how quickly do you think that pile will disappear? And without you having to actually invest any spare time or energy into it!

The same thing goes for the toys. Just pick up one item, decide whether your child still plays with it* or if they’ve outgrown it, then either put it straight into its rightful place or drop it in the charity/selling bag (which you can set up right now if you don’t already have one).

Open the lid and remove just one item whenever you are close by one of your boxes of stuff to sort. Going out to put something in the rubbish bin? Open a box. Enjoying your coffee in the garden? Open a box. You get the picture.

*This applies mainly to younger children. You may prefer to ask older children what they want to do with their toys. Often they’ll say they would like to give it to another child who doesn’t have as many toys as they do. Children can be so unselfish, which really is a lesson to us all. 😊

This may seem straightforward and so simple that everyone should already be doing it, but you can bet that some people won’t have thought of it. Instead, they just let their belongings pile up and cause them stress, probably without even realising it.

Tackling Clutter

Some people make tackling clutter over-complicated but it doesn’t have to be this way. If you currently don’t have time to take everything from your wardrobe, sort through it all, then put back what you’re keeping and dispose of the rest, guess what? You’ll procrastinate over it so long, waiting for that ever-elusive spare day you think you need, that it’ll never get done. But removing one item from your wardrobe every day, or even every other day, is manageable. And before you know it, there will be space around your clothes and you’ll be able to see exactly what you’ve got to wear!

Reduce The Negative Effects Of Clutter

Clutter is predominantly negative, and anything we can do to reduce negativity in our lives is always beneficial.

Do you have clutter in your home? Is it confined to certain spots, or do you get rid of it diligently on a daily basis? Let me know in the comments.


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