Getting rid of clutter is something that we all want to do. We want to do it today, right now! We can all look around us and find things that we know we should clean up, better organize, or just plain get rid of. What you may not immediately realize is that the clutter around us and filling up our homes affects us on many levels and can be a large source of stress in your life.
Clutter in our homes can be a problem for us on many levels. At the first and most immediate level is what we see and interact with. When we walk into our homes we
may see a mess, we might see a shelf or cabinet overflowing with extra books or trinkets, or we may notice that the entryway is in complete disarray. Right away this can cause us to feel overwhelmed, tired, and exhausted – and we just walked into our homes! If we choose not to deal with the issue it can fester inside us and constant annoy and irritate us even though we are not consciously aware of the exact problem.
The result of all of these symptoms is stress. A recent study on clutter by a UCLA group found that the situation in many homes is getting worse and can represent all sorts of problems. If you are interested in reading more about this study on American clutter, the article can be found here.
The worst part of clutter related stress is that it will leak into other areas of your life. You may get frustrated when at home. You might find yourself not wanting to have people over to visit at your home and feel uncomfortable when it is suggested. The accumulated irritation may hurt your relationships with the people you love. All of these things build up and result in more stress. So far this sounds pretty bleak, doesn't it?
The good news is that we can work our way out and around the stress. Imagine coming home to an organized home. Your entryway isn't a warzone; you kitchen doesn't look like a dish bomb went off, the bathroom isn't a dirty mess! If we work on these things one day at a time we can make huge changes. It doesn't happen overnight and it won't always be perfect – that's life! However, if we never attempt to make the changes, then they will never happen. That is why I always go back to the first step in decluttering – get started! It's the most important and hardest part. Just taking that first step can be tough, but once you do you will have the momentum to keep going.