the negative effects of clutter

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  1. I am in the process of decluttering my life. I just went through a box of mail that I’ve been moving around with me from place to place for 7+ years, and it was absolutely healing and freeing. I related to the wives in the study mentioned in this article who viewed the clutter as unfinished tasks that needed to be addressed but unfortunately “not today, or the foreseeable future” because it requires so much time and thinking, which is a thought that adds even more stress. However, I’m at my tipping point as I am moving on to a new phase in my life where certain things of the past need to vanish, so that I can level up physically (outside and inside), digitally, mentally and spiritually.

    1. Hi Latreil, I have no doubt the changes you’re about the make will create a new canvas for the next phase in your life. Thanks for sharing your experience and all the best!

  2. Billie Bowman says:

    My parents were born during the great depression. They were raised in a small community in the south where they were taught to work and be creative with what was on hand. Nothing was ever wasted or thrown away because it might have purpose. Growing up with two very productive/hardworking parents, my siblings and I were taught to follow suite. As a result the four of us have had our own issues with collecting and saving things. We each have had to cope with letting go of “things”. I am overwhelmed with what I have and it causes stress for my family. You and others are saying those things I wake saying to myself daily. I am encouraged!

  3. Exactly. Thanks for the reminder! Clutter free feels so new, so Zen. Spring is my favorite time to have a major de-clutter session. 🙂

      1. Karolina Luleczko says:

        I’m mum of 2 under 2. Toys prams bottles(- even tho we used only 2 on each of my children and it was just enough) milk Bibs clothes bla bla.. proper over whelming stuff. I noticed my doughter just emptying everything in a middle of a room(toys) and then looking for pans forks bags etc to play with. And I was feeling very stressed and everything over a mess we are living with. So over week ago I started ordering books etc to help me out and honestly.. we vegans for 3.5years now but minimalism.. oh I’m taking it closer to my heart than ever. Since I hiden half of her toys she still plays with little what’s left and we all happier bcos I have time to play with kids instead of cleaning!

  4. Brilliant article. I massively decluttered last year when downsizing, but still have way too much stuff: books and papers…. the info in the article about the stress and distraction of clutter was challenging/good to know.

    1. I’m glad you found this article helpful as you look to finish off you’re decluttering efforts. Great progress by the way!

  5. I think minimalism is wonderful for those who live alone, renters, small home dwellers, or with housemates on board. When you live with others, it’s not a simple five step process to cull through things. Often I choose relationship sanity over a half empty shelf. The ability to maintain focus while getting rid of things can be difficult for many. I have had wonderful, rich friendships with hoarders and dealt with an incompetent supervisor with a neat office because so many important things were “accidentally” thrown away to keep the desk uncluttered. I’ve had regrets after throwing away sentimental photos and have electronically lost photo images over the years of many experiences. The cost and hassle to repurchase items, often of lower quality than the item donated, recycled or trashed, is frustrating. There is a need for better room design in homes, as I think about my “pizza delivery” eat-in kitchen. I call it that because the counter space is minimal and storage is poorly designed. I mention this as there are bloggers advising to keep items put away out of sight, but if your home doesn’t have an office or a garage, for example, you make do. As a lifestyle vegan living with family not vegan, we have two types of food in the kitchen and different hygiene/grooming products. This is also not minimalist. As I’ve had training in mental health, I understand how clutter can elevate stress levels. Having the feeling of being in control is important as well. Thank you for letting me share my thoughts!

    1. Hi Rhea, you make some valid points regarding how hard it can be to live clutter-free with others who may not share the same mindset. I’m experiencing this now as we’re not currently living in our own environment. I’m presented with much more clutter than I’m accustomed too, and it’s quite challenging. But as you said, we must find a balance to accommodate others. Thanks for sharing your experiences with us.

  6. Great article. Nice to hear about the science behind my madness (as some call me)?. I’ve been a minimalist for over 10 years. For me Even as a teen I was never a messy person but the older I got the more calm I needed in my life. Physical clutter created internal chaos for me. At beginning I just felt excess furniture needed to go to create more space (for my mind) and keeping my cupboards neat and half empty made me feel less chaotic. Over those 10 years back when I first found Minimalism in my life I started feeling more calm and peace in my life so then I started culling every inch of my entire life bit by bit, including a divorce, (not necessarily recommended for most?) , sold my extra large house moved semi rural smaller home with Mountain View’s. I culled my home, my schedule , my phone apps my wardrobes, my mind and my finances. It’s been an amazing ride to live in calm & peace for past 10 years (I’m now 46). And over those years I’ve managed to create a lifestyle where I get to work my own hours in my Business all thanks to Minimalism and being intentional.

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed the article, Karena! Wow, what incredible intentionality you’ve applied to your life. I’m not surprised that you feel calm and peaceful after the decisions you’ve made. Thanks for sharing with us 🙂