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How Does Clutter Affect Your Health?

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.

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The Dangers of Hoarding

to TLC’s popular TV show, many people are now aware of the mental
disorder known as hoarding. For those of you who have never seen the
show or heard the term, hoarding is defined as, “the persistent
difficulty to discard possessions because of a perceived need to save
those with a hoarding mentality suffer from extreme anxiety at the
thought of getting rid of their items – regardless of their value.
After several weeks, months, and years, this leads to an excessive
accumulation of stuff, and it begins to take over their homes and
people find the television program entertaining and even amusing,
many don’t realize the effects that hoarding can have on a person’s
safety and health. Severe hoarding can lead to some legitimate
dangers, such as:
  • Fire hazards.
    Hoarding creates fire hazards
    in more ways than one; stored objects can be flammable, and the
    amount of clutter can block escape routes and prevent firefighters
    from finding victims.
  • Homelessness. If
    the hoarding becomes too severe, the Department of Public Health or
    a landlord can order the person out of the building. Shelters have
    also been known to ban those whose hoarding puts others at risk.
  • Risks to Children
    and Pets.
    In some cases,
    hoarding can lead to the forfeiture of children or pets, hefty
    fines, and even imprisonment. This happens when the court deems that
    a home’s living conditions are unacceptable due to the mess that
    hoarding has created.
  • Mold. Mold
    can grow anywhere moisture is present, and exposure to it can cause
    allergic reactions, headaches, nausea, and even respiratory
    infections. A hoarder could have a mold problem and not even see it
    due to the vast amounts of clutter.
  • Structural
    Depending on the
    type of objects that are hoarded, stacking too much weight could
    actually damage the structure of your home.
you need a hand getting rid of your excess junk? Whether or not you
qualify as a hoarder, we could all stand to clean up our homes a
little and reclaim our space! 1-866-We-Junk-It offers junk removal
services to Long Island and New York City, including dumpster
rentals, demolition, and clean outs. Call us today for a free quote
at 866-935-8654.