How Clutter Can Affect Your Mental Health

How Clutter Can Affect Your Mental Health

Have you ever noticed that your house is filled with too many items that you don’t need? Do you have trouble finding what you are looking for without having to turn your house upside down? How about your email inbox? When was the last time you organize your inbox to make sure that your priorities are sorted out? Cluttering involves the collection of possessions that are more than they can fit into the available space. For example, if your belongings are enough to fit into a 10-room mansion but not your single-bedroom apartment, then it means that you have been cluttering.

All kinds of clutter, whether mental or physical, can disrupt your ability to move and think. In fact, your mental well-being can be affected in many ways, including the following:

Poor Sense of Well-Being

Your home is supposed to be the place where you can escape from the outside world. However, if your house is full of clutter, you will not feel as comfortable in your home environment as you are supposed to. This can impede with your sense of well-being in general.

Bad Eating Behaviors

One study has shown that people will more likely to eat unhealthy foods and snacks in a chaotic environment as it causes them to feel stressed. That is because a disorganized and messy environment can put an individual in a low self-control mindset, causing them to lose control and engage in unhealthy eating behaviors. In short, you are more likely to eat more sweets in a cluttered space as you are not feeling in control.

Diminished Mental Health

Research on stress and well-being suggested that a comfortable environment is crucial to one’s mental hygiene. Also, it has been shown that workplace satisfaction is associated with the employees’ perception of their surroundings. If they feel that the surroundings are cluttered, they will become stressed out, which in turn causes their mental hygiene to decline. As a result, their workplace satisfaction levels also drop.

Inefficient Visual Processing

When your visual surroundings are cluttered with too many random stimuli, your ability to read people becomes compromised. One study looked into the impact of clutter on perceptions of scenes in films, and the results showed that viewers find it harder to make out the emotional expressions on the faces of the characters when the scene is highly cluttered. This finding suggests that you will not be less likely to accurately analyze how others are feeling when you are seeing them in a cluttered environment.

Inefficient Information Processing

Mental clutter is when your mind cannot inhibit information that is not relevant. In fact, studies supported that mental clutter is one of the leading causes of age-related memory losses. This means that once your neural networks are clogged up, you will take more time and will be less efficient in processing information. For example, if you find that you are having difficulty trying to recall the names of the people that you should know by heart, chances are you are experiencing mental clutter.


Now that you know the impact of clutter on your mental capabilities, it can be a good idea to start keeping your house and workspace free of unnecessary things. Clearing the clutter can be beneficial for both your physical health and mental abilities. You can start by throwing away all those items in the house that you no longer have use for.

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