How an Organized Home Reduces Stress

IMG_0761In a well organized home, there is no mail or school work lying on the counter. There are no laundry baskets in plain sight, no backpacks, shoes, or coats lying around. The dishes are done and put away. The table is clear, ready for a new task to begin.

In other words, there is no work staring us in the face when we walk in. When we see pictures of organized homes, or walk into a beautiful vacation home with none of our clutter around us-we feel none of the stress or anxiety that we feel when we walk into our own cluttered homes.

The benefit of an organized home clearly goes far beyond the time savings generated from not having to look for things. It goes far beyond money you recover when you are not paying late fees on bills or purchasing unnecessary items. It’s been scientifically proven that an organized home is a stress reducer.

Researchers at Princeton University found that a clutter environment restricts your ability to focus. It also limits your brain’s ability to process information. Clutter distracts. You simply cannot process information as well as you do in a serene, uncluttered environment.  Using functional magnetic resonance imaging and other physiological measurement tools scientists mapped the brain’s responses to organized and disorganized stimuli and monitored task performance. The evidence was strong that an uncluttered environment reduces stress, while a cluttered environment increases it.

The effect of stress on our health is well documented. WebMD reports that 43% of adults suffer adverse health effects from stress. And, while we can’t eliminate a lot of stress in our lives, our environment is something that we can control. Clutter is something that can be controlled.

The irony is that while reducing clutter sounds so simple, it also requires change and change can be difficult. People who are chronically disorganized are sometimes even more challenged with letting go of clutter. According to the Institute of Chronic Disorganization, a professional organizing coach can help you make the changes needed to improve your environment. Your goal should be long-term success. If you have tried on your own without success I encourage you to get the help of a professional organizer.  Your health is worth it.

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