Clutter and Anxiety: How to Break the Vicious Cycle this Spring
Clutter and anxiety unfortunately go hand-in-hand. Clutter is both a sign of stress and anxiety, as well as a trigger. The outcome usually being a vicious never-ending cycle of one another. The good news is that there is a way to break it, and spring is the best time to do it!
If you’re struggling with clutter and anxiety, Pro Waste Inc. is here to help. First let’s take a deeper look into the relationship of clutter and anxiety, then discuss ways to free yourself from them.
The Science of Clutter
There is actual scientific evidence that links clutter and stress. In 2012, researchers at the Yale School of Medicine discovered that the two parts of your brain associated with conflict and pain overreact whenever you try to let go of possessions that you’re emotionally connected to. The stronger that connection, the more difficult it is to let go of those items because it’s more “painful.”
There are also two additional forces that drive clutter and stress — the endowment effect and loss aversion. The endowment effect is the tendency to place higher value on items that we own, than on the identical items we don’t own. Loss aversion is our tendency to avoid the pain of loss, more so than the benefit of gaining.
These brain connections and tendencies interacting with each other drive people to keep clutter, even though it causes stress and anxiety.
The Link Between Clutter, Stress, and Anxiety
The more clutter or possessions you have to deal with, the more overwhelmed you will feel due to the anticipated pain of loss. It makes it difficult to relax, physically and mentally. It can also make it difficult to be productive, as it distracts our focus to the mess around us rather than what’s really important. This, combined with a messy environment, can make us feel like we’re never getting anything accomplished. Clutter also causes us to consistently misplace important items, such as our keys, wallets, and phones, which can be a significant source of stress.
In extreme cases, all these factors combined may even lead to depression. In turn, that leads to less motivation to clean up, which results in the piles of clutter getting even larger and more widespread across our homes. At this point, it becomes very difficult to tackle the mess on your own. That is where professionals, such as our team members at Pro Waste Inc, come in.
Getting Rid of Clutter and Anxiety
When the clutter gets overwhelming, it’s a good idea to jump-start the cleaning process by getting some help with the process from a reliable, trustworthy junk removal company. At PWI we are a locally owned and operated company, proudly serving Chicago and the surrounding suburbs with junk removal services. We provide full labor, sorting, and transportation of your unwanted items.
When it comes to emotionally difficult situations, like home clean outs, we are here to help ease the pain and make the mess go away. We have handled many types of these situations and are here to clear a path through it all. We will not pass judgment on you or your affected family members.
There are also many ways to conquer clutter on your own! Here are some concrete ways to break the cycle of clutter and anxiety once and for all!
- Tackle one room at a time. If the clutter has spread to multiple rooms, trying to clean up all at once will only be more overwhelming, adding to the stress. Instead of trying to clean up different areas at once, just pick one room to start with.
- Separate, sort, move on. Once you’ve gotten into it, separate the items from the room into three groups: get rid of, keep, maybe keep. Next, bag up the ‘get rid of items’ and throw them out. Remove the ‘keep’ and ‘maybe items’ from the room for a later decision. If you’re stressing about getting rid of any sentimental items, just keep them! As we said before, you don’t want to add to your anxiety. Additionally, you don’t want to spend too long thinking about the items. Once you’ve decluttered an area, move on to the next to keep the process flowing.
- Deep clean and make repairs. Sometimes when clutter has gotten bad enough, you might not have noticed how dirty a room has gotten, or if items have broken. When a room is open, you want to deep clean from the top down. Start with the ceilings, lights, fans, etc. Then move on to walls and appliances, and always clean the floors last. Things that need repaired can also be assessed during this time.
- Put things away when you’re done using them. As simple and silly as it may seem, clutter actually builds pretty easily when you don’t put back an item after you’re done using it. It takes repetition to form a habit. Try to be conscious of putting things away when you’re done with them, and it will become second nature sooner than you know it.
No one wants to deal with clutter and anxiety in their life. If you’ve been dealing with this cycle, you’re far from alone. We’ve just discussed a few ways to get rid of clutter anxiety, but there are a number of effective strategies. But sometimes the easiest way is to hire a professional company. Allow the PWI professionals to take care of all your junk removal needs. See a full list of our junk removal services, request a quote today, or call 800-220-7057 with any questions!