We talk about organization a lot around here, but for good reason! Recent studies have shown a significant relationship between clutter and overall health and well-being. Let's take a closer look.
Feelings of Displacement
An article by Psychology Today discussed the findings of Catherine Roster and colleagues from the University of New Mexico. They identified a sample of 1,500 adults with mild to moderate cluttering problems. Each participant rated their own clutter-related behaviors, in addition to other (seemingly unrelated) factors including the extent to which they felt attached to their homes and felt their home gave them psychological comfort. After analyzing the correlations between responses, the researchers concluded,
“Clutter is often an insidious and seemingly harmless outgrowth of people’s natural desire to appropriate their personal spaces with possessions … when [clutter] becomes excessive, it can threaten to physically and psychologically entrap a person in dysfunctional home environments which contribute to personal distress and feelings of displacement and alienation.”
Higher Stress Levels
Researchers at UCLA's Center on Everyday Lives and Families discovered, among other things, a link between high cortisol (stress hormone) levels in female home owners and a high density of household objects. They also determined that women associate a tidy home with a happy and successful family.