Tag Archives: depression

The Hidden Costs of Clutter for Women

Decluttering is good for your health!

Decluttering is good for your health!

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.


Filed under Bedroom, Closets, Decluttering, Garage, General Organizing, Kids, Kitchen, Living Room, Memorabilia, Perspective, Reduce/Recyle/Reuse, Strategies

Tapping Spring Energy To De-clutter

Saturday Evening Post article: "End Clutter Now"

Does Clutter Have You Feeling Trapped?

Spring is the season of renewal and freshness. We think of spring cleaning, good weather, beautiful flowers blooming. The March/April 2013 issue of the Saturday Evening Post has a great article describing the connection between our state of mind and the state of our homes. Here are 3 key quotes from the article, End Clutter Now, by Iyna Caruso:

  • “‘A systematic pattern of home neglect is really a form of self-neglect,’ says Dr. Holly Parker, a practicing psychologist and faculty member of Harvard University.”
  • “As a nation of affluence, we buy without thinking what we’re going to do with it, how we’re going to use it, and where we’re going to put it. And because we’re busier than ever, we have less time to figure it all out.”
  • “Clutter is an energy sapper that takes its emotional toll and steals domestic joy. If home is where the heap is, it’s a good bet family members are more stressed and less productive.”

Clutter can be a symptom of depression but it can also cause it.

Take advantage of the energy of new growth that comes with spring and tackle the clutter in your home.  Iyna Caruso created a list of seven steps to do this.

7 Steps to Clutter Control

As the author points out, “If the task still seems daunting, or the situation has gotten a bit too out of hand, consider hiring a professional organizer who’ll come to your home to help you prioritize and systematize.”

Got a good spring cleaning story?  Share it with us!

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Filed under General Organizing, Holidays, Perspective, Strategies, Time Management