5 Reasons Why Clutter Causes Stress

Many people are raving about Marie Kondo’s Netflix series The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and with good reason. Tidying up is about creating space for more than just cleanliness, it’s also for joy. Clutter, whether it be on the desk, in the closet or drawer, or on the kitchen countertop is unsettling and may cause overwhelm and stress.

Have a good look at this living/dining room and see how it makes you feel.

5 Reasons Why Clutter Causes Stress

You may be feeling agitated at the site of this or at least you’re not feeling warm fuzzies. We all know how good it feels after tidying-up especially in your living room or bedroom when relaxing. So why does mess have a negative effect on us?

  1. Clutter reminds us and our brain that work is not done leading to that uneasy feeling.
  2. It causes feelings of guilt and embarrassment – guilty that you’re not being organised and embarrassed when others see your mess.
  3. Clutter makes it difficult to find things we need leading to frustration.
  4. Open spaces are beneficial to the brain as it allows room to think so when clutter invades a space, creativity and productivity are hindered.
  5. Clutter is a major distraction taking us away from what is most important.


Luckily though, clutter is easy to control keeping those negative feelings at bay. If you’re not sure where or how to start, here are some ideas.


  1. Recycle! If you no longer need something, donate it to charity by bringing it to your local opp shop. As they say, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. There’s no reason to hold on to something that you do not use nor something that does not bring you joy.
  2. Team work! Your household should be working together to keep the home tidy and this makes it so much easier and less time consuming. If you live alone, work on one room at a time and do not start another until one is finished.
  3. Have fun! Tidying up, decluttering, and cleaning are not fun tasks, but who said they can’t be? Turn up the music and maybe even have a cheeky wine or beer! The more fun you make it, the faster time will fly.
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