We all have our ways of sorting stuff. Some like keeping things tidy, while others have their own ‘creative mess‘ to deal with. But where do we draw the line when it comes to clutter and creative mess? Unlike being messy from time to time, clutter affects your brain and body on a grander scale. Little by little, it steals your space and time while making it harder to function. If this mess comes back fast even after spring cleaning, consider it a wake-up call and take steps to enhance the practicality and use of your living and working space.
Keeping your place messy can affect your health
You’re prone to allergies, but you’re not sure what’s causing it? Even though your allergies may come from hundred sources, one of the most common allergens is the dust mite. And guess what? It’s everywhere, particularly on unattended, cluttered surfaces. In order to improve your health, make sure to take steps when it comes to preventing allergy triggers, especially if you plan on doing extensive spring cleaning or renovation anytime soon. Having such a significant change and getting rid of unnecessary things will surely make you feel different. There is nothing like putting your feet up after a thorough cleaning. The fresh smell, the brand-new look of the room, makes you feel satisfied and even proud in a way!
Wake up! Your body and brain are suffering
Having a lot of things lying around is never a good thing. And seeing it all around you might make it more difficult to focus. Even though you’ve put those things there, your brain will constantly wonder why they aren’t in the right place. Believe it or not, our brains are programmed to organize and make an order of things. Imagine reading a book in a cluttered room. Every time you’d raise your eyes somewhere else, you’d see some reminder, and your mind would wander off.
Not to mention the effect it has on your everyday life. How long does it take you to find something in all that mess? Losing extra time on routine stuff, like finding your keys or additional papers, makes us stressed and agitated, and it accumulates over time. And as we know, stress can trigger many mental and physical illnesses, like anxiety and depression. Also, the unnecessary loss of time might lead us to potential carelessness regarding our self-care. These things have a domino effect on our lives. Therefore, to improve our quality of life, it’s time for some re-organizing!
Do you really need all that stuff?
Things you haven’t used in ages or ever, paper wrap from a candy you ate on a first date with your third boyfriend, someone’s shirt that has been lying in your apartment forever, etc. Some things are decorative, other things are practical, but how would you call those? We understand that they might evoke some memories, and you’re associating them with a pleasant time in your life, but you don’t need the material stuff to have those memories with you! By decluttering your living space, you might declutter some unresolved past issues in your life. As Eleanor Brown said:
“Clutter is not just physical stuff. It’s old ideas, toxic relationships, and bad habits. Clutter is anything that does not support your better self.”
There is a way to keep your things and live in a clutter-free space
Letting go of things can be challenging, but knowing that clutter affects your brain and body in so many ways might make you re-evaluate your possessions and change some habits. Still, there are ways to keep your things and live in a healthy, well-organized environment. One way to do it is to rent a temporary or long-term storage space. When you finally decide to sort out your living space, you will need to select which things to store. If you have some stuff that needs extra protection, make sure to find the best possible unit based on your needs. Special valuable items and collectibles need to be handled differently than regular items in order to be preserved properly. By renting high-quality storage space, you can relax knowing your stuff is safe and well taken care of.
Don’t let clutter turn into hoarding
Mess and an unclean living environment are stress triggers for most people. And a million little things can turn into one big problem. People usually keep the clutter in the attic, basement, storage, and that mess might be unnecessary, but it doesn’t affect household functioning. However, when it comes to hoarding, things are kept everywhere. The main difference between clutter and hoarding is that people with a habit of cluttering have a sentimental attachment to their things, while hoarders tend to collect mostly everyday items, even harmful things that might be health hazards. When things are getting out of control, it’s time to admit you have a problem. If you’ve noticed any significant change in your behavior, there are ways to work on your mental health to improve the quality of your life.
Clutter affects your brain and body, but your social life as well
Sharing a living space with someone makes it everyone’s concern. When keeping the mess, you’re not only harming yourself but the people you live with. Your mess is their mess as well. Everything that might affect you also affects them. And if you live alone, this concerns you as well. Every time you have a visit from a friend or someone you don’t know that well, you’ll leave a bad impression. The way we behave, dress, think, and habits all affect the overall impression we leave on people around us. No matter how much you thrive in some aspects, your personality comes as a whole package.
Learn to let go
Remember, they’re just things. And they are replaceable, no matter how hard it might be to let go sometimes. Subconsciously we hold onto material stuff when we fear to forget dear memories. But you are forgetting one thing: our mind is the most powerful force of nature, and it can do anything! So don’t worry, memories can’t be forgotten, just safely put in some storage unit in our mind. Knowing that clutter affects your brain and body might make you reconsider old habits and achieve your highest potential. Memories are important, but they are always with you. Still, if you need a reminder of them, you can always keep a diary! It occupies less space, plus you won’t forget even the smallest details.