Does peeking into your closet or walking into your garage leave you feeling overwhelmed? You are not alone. Millions of people deal with clutter on a daily basis, and it is a bigger problem than it seems. A cluttered home doesn’t just leave a bad impression on your guests, it can actually affect your health.

What is clutter?

Merriam-Webster defines clutter as “a large amount of things that are not arranged in a neat or orderly way”. Generally speaking, there are two types of clutter: memory clutter and someday clutter. Memory clutter is stuff that reminds us of important events, such as old birthday cards or newspaper clippings. Someday clutter refers to items we hold on to in fear that we might need them someday.

How does clutter happen?

There are a variety of reasons that we may be reluctant to get rid of an item. Maybe it has sentimental value. Maybe you think you will use it at a future date. Or maybe you spent too much money on it that you can’t bring yourself to throw it away.

Whatever the reason, your brain has problems coming to terms with the fact that you can live without it. According to LifeHacker, two areas in your brain are associated with pain: the anterior cingulate cortex and the insula. Researchers at Yale have determined that both of these areas light up in response to letting go of items you own. In other words, your brain associates the loss of your valued possessions with physical pain – the same as if you were to stub your toe or get a papercut.

How can clutter affect your health?

Clutter does more than take up space on your coffee table – it can actually take a toll on your physical and mental health. Here are some ways that clutter can negatively affect your well-being:

Mental Health

  • Increases stress and anxiety

  • Overloads our senses

  • Decreases mental performance

  • Prevents living in the moment

Physical Health

  • Worsens allergies by allowing dust, pet dander, and mold to accumulate

  • Increased risk of fire and injury

  • Depletes energy levels

Click here to learn more about the many negative health effects of clutter.

Need an extra hand de-cluttering your home? 866 We Junk It is here to help. We offer dumpster rentals and junk removal services to homes and businesses across New York City and Long Island. Visit our website to learn more or give us a call at 866-935-8654.