Do you feel the effects of clutter?
Are you living in more clutter and disorganization than you’d like?
You’re not alone.
Fifty-four percent of Americans are overwhelmed by clutter. And, 78% percent of them aren’t sure what to do with it.
Thanks to the ease of online shopping and smart advertising, we find ourselves with more stuff than ever before. In fact, the average American home now contains more than 300,000 things AND 80% of those items are never used!
It’s not a surprise that the fashion industry is worth $2.4 trillion when the average woman owns more than 20 pairs of shoes. But, what is a surprise is that they’re only wearing about 20% of those shoes and 20% of their entire wardrobe.
So this begs the question …“Do we really need all this stuff cluttering up our homes”?
The answers may lie in Science.
Let’s take a unique look at the effects of clutter and disorganization on different aspects of our lives.
We work hard for our money, yet we are spending it on things we don’t need! For example:
- Seventy-eight percent of U.S. workers are living paycheck to paycheck with the average American spending $18000 a year on nonessentials.
- This year alone, Americans will spend $37.5 billion on storage units for their household items.
Clutter may also be reducing our paychecks:
- Nearly 25% of us are late for work looking for lost items with possible loss of income. Does “where are my keys?” ring a bell?
Do you carry credit card Debt?
In Canada, credit card debt totalled 2.2 trillion in 2021. 40-50% of those with credit card debt carry a balance and pay high-interest rates. On top of that 25% of people say they pay their credit card and other bills late and incur fees because they can’t find the bill!
When we are living in clutter, we have an increase in visual stimuli and the eye has nowhere to rest. This can lead to feelings of stress and chaos.
Too much clutter sends a signal to our brain that the work will never be done making us feel defeated, and anxious and can even lead to depression.
This clutter stress doesn’t affect a small percentage of the population. 84% of Americans say they stress over their home’s disorganization.
In one particular study, they found that mothers in cluttered homes have higher levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, than mothers who live in well-organized homes. This high level of chronic stress can lead to many serious health problems.
Not only does clutter increase cortisol levels which can increase cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure and blood sugar- all risk factors for heart disease, but it makes it more difficult for the immune system to fight off infections.
A study by Pamela Thacher out of St. Lawrence University found that “people who sleep in cluttered rooms are more likely to have sleeping problems.” Including falling asleep and waking up in the middle of the night and not being able to get back to sleep. Sleep deprivation is linked to serious health problems such as stroke, heart failure, and depression.
And the stats don’t lie – people with extremely cluttered homes are 77% more likely to be overweight and less active while those who have more organized homes are more likely to be active and in better shape.
On average, 3,680 hours of our lives are spent looking for misplaced items or 2.5 days a year. (By the way, we spend up to $50 a year replacing those items we can’t find- only to find them later when we declutter or reorganize our homes)
Joseph Ferrari, a professor of psychology at DePaul University, found that the more clutter you have in your home, the more likely you are to be a procrastinator.
He suggests that when you have a disorganized and cluttered home, you’re procrastinating or putting off tasks such as picking up or tidying up, finding a home for things and letting go of items you no longer need or use.
When we procrastinate, we look for distractions like Social Media. As of 2022, the average amount of time spent on social media a day, worldwide, is 1.5 hours. That’s 10.5 hours a week! It’s even more in Canada and the U.S.
Eliminating disorganization is not an overnight process. Being organized requires a set of skills that need to be developed over time. There’s nothing wrong with asking for a bit of guidance from people who have already acquired these skills.
If you’re ready to get organized but need a little help, contact us to learn more about what our professional organizers can do for you.
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