The Costs of Clutter

I don’t tend to focus on the costs of clutter. Instead, I prefer to explore the far reaching benefits of decluttering, organising and simplifying homes and lives. Every so often though, I think it’s useful to look at the downsides, so as to remind myself why I feel so strongly about the concept. There are reasons why I bang on about this stuff!

So why does mess lead to so much stress?

1) Lots of physical possessions in homes bombard people. Much like a baby who feels overwhelmed with all the colour and noise of a large array of toys and instead chooses to play with a simple cardboard box, the senses can become overloaded and a longing for simplicity prevails.

2) Clutter also distracts and steals the focus away from what is most important. That could manifest itself in owning too many craft materials and therefore overlooking the most beautiful piece. Or too many social engagements could mean that the most important people are not given sufficient time and energy.

3) How easy can it be to relax at the end of the day in in a cluttered home? Surely this environment would send signals to the brain that there is still work to do? And create anxiety because it feels like such a huge mountain to climb.

4) Lost time spent searching for misplaced possessions is very common. Time is the most precious commodity people have and it is such a waste to spend it like this.

5) Clutter costs money – no doubt about it (read about how decluttering can make you richer here) It’s common to buy a duplicate if a possession is misplaced. I also regularly see people buy more possessions to make themselves feel better about living in a cluttered home.

6) Possibly the most insidious cost of clutter is the guilt and embarrassment it can bring upon people. This may cause a reluctance to invite others into the home, or anxiety when people drop by unannounced. Or thinking of it in terms of social over commitments; when too many plates are kept spinning, it’s inevitable that some or all of them will fall. That’s when people let others down, then feel guilty for not living up to expectations.

It’s not always easy to declutter, which is why professional organisers exist. They go through the process in a structured, systematic way. They have the right materials, the best storage solutions, ask the right questions. Most importantly, they don’t feel overwhelmed, no matter how extreme the situation. They see straight through to the benefits of the end result. There is nothing wrong employing the services of the professional declutterer and organiser!

Thanks so much for reading!

A Tidy Mind x

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