You’re probably familiar with the notion that clutter is expensive – costing you money in buying things you already have and costing you time from inefficiency. Turns out clutter can cost you your health as well.
A recent study by researchers at UCLA’s Sloan Center on Everyday Lives of Families (CELF) shows a link between women’s stress hormone, cortisol, and the amount of clutter in their home. According to the study:
“Mothers who use key words in their self-narrated home tours indicating that the home is messy or cluttered actually experience a higher rate of depressed mood toward evening, based on cortisol measures over a number of days.” Life At Home In The Twenty-First Century, Arnold, et. al.
The groundbreaking 4-year study looked at the living habits of 32 families with school age children in the Los Angeles area. The objective was to get a real picture of how middle-class families live.
An article and video from KCET highlights a few interesting facts from the study:
- The United States has 3.1% of the world’s children and purchases 40% of the world’s toys
- Our society has the most material possessions per household in global history
- 75 percent of Angelenos are parking their cars in the streets or in the driveways and they’re using their garages as storage units
- Family photos on display: an average of 85. Home offices: typically, over 2,000 non-paper items. Garages: 50 to 700 objects. Refrigerator doors hold an average of 52 doodads.
So what’s our take away? REDUCE THE VOLUME! Any effort you make to reduce the volume of stuff in your home will boost your mood and lower your stress level.
Meet the challenge! Grab a donation bag, see if you can fill it and drop it off this week.