Clutter causes stress, contributing to weight gain, depression, strokes and more. (Cleaning and organizing)

Many Realtors and home builders acknowledge that requests for one story homes are
increasing, especially from Baby Boomers who no longer desire to climb stairs. Making the move to a more desirable one story home can provide a wonderful opportunity to declutter as one downsizes.


  • Money is spent (wasted?) to replace misplaced items that you are unable to find, simply because your home is too cluttered.
  • Maybe you have been storing, in your garage, junk that you don’t need, in order to save a monthly mini-storage fee. However, you are paying huge price to save a $60 mini-storage fee, while your expensive vehicle sits out in the weather, where the hot sun bleaches the paint as the interior bakes. In other words, while your car is rapidly deteriorating from the sun’s heat you are storing, in the garage, junk you don’t use or need and you are paying real estate taxes and insurance for the garage that houses that junk. That is an expensive mini-storage you have attached to your house, partner.
  • Moving companies price by weight not volume. Why pay for transporting something when you can buy something similar in the new location? 

Many younger people today are choosing a minimalist lifestyle, finding it liberating and more comfortable by having less unneeded items and thus, more space to enjoy.

Now, imagine for a moment that you have passed… leaving chaos behind for your loved ones who are overwhelmed for months, even years as they must deal with cleaning out the enormous mess you left behind. They may feel resentful  as they must decide what to throw out, what to donate and how to get things sold. While sentimental items are often the most difficult to let go, they can become an albatross to your children who might feel an obligation to keep things like that out of guilt, believing that it must have meant something to you or else you wouldn’t have hung on to them. (
Letting go of your dad’s old bowling trophies doesn’t mean you loved him any less. Professional organizers advise us to take pictures of things that mean a lot to us and then let them go.)

  • Physical clutter has been shown to raise levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which can lead to weight gain and depression. Stress levels rise right along with that heap of clothing on the bed, a chair mounded up with items to be taken to the cleaners or mended before they can be worn again, closets that look like a tornado aftermath inside, wadded up laundry on top of the dryer, old receipts and papers stuffed into drawers, magazines piled high on the back of the toilet, dishes on counters, droopy plants that nobody tends, cupboards full of old spices and pots and pans shoved back in the cabinet that you haven’t seen since you moved in, bathroom closets with hair products you aren’t ever going to use, outdated medicines, cookbooks that you won’t use, newspapers stacked up, leaving surfaces and corners of the room uncleaned for a long while. Frustration mounts when we are unable to locate misplaced items and must spend money to replace them.  We become not only more worried about about keeping the home clean, but also more stressed out in general.  Studies show that people are significantly more likely to not care about putting things away in already-messy environments. However, when they have a clean, uncluttered home they’re more likely to keep it that way.
  • Mentally the cost of clutter can play a significant role in how one feels about themselves.  Clutter creates feelings of guilt and embarrassment. Messy homes leave us feeling anxious, helpless, and can be more overwhelming for those with adult ADHD. Physical clutter is often an outward manifestation of emotions like guilt, along with grief, shame, and fear.  
  • Research shows a direct correlation between clutter and strokes. One of the primary causes of stroke is stress, which can be brought on by clutter and disorganization. Brain scans were used to map the responses of participants as their minds  were bombarded with excessive stimuli (visual, olfactory, tactile) which limited their ability to focus and process information. The more disorganized (cluttered) the images, the more the sensory overload, drawing the brains attention away from where the focus should be, to stimuli that aren’t necessary or important.   Too much stimuli around us,  such as an excess of things in our home or other environment, drags us down psychologically by constantly reminding us that our work is never done; stifling the ability to think, brain storm, and problem solve, thus, inhibiting creativity and productivity, while making it difficult to relax, both physically and mentally. When one cannot relax, they will not rest well which can cut years off of ones life. 


  • Better emotional health. Letting go of things we really don’t need provides more space and allows for a well organized home making it easier to find things, to clean, with less to dust or move to dust and safer if there aren’t objects to trip over.  Simplifying your life will make you calmer, healthier, happier.    
  • Money made from stuff you don’t use can fund other purchases, put some extra money in your pocket or pay for a great vacation.  According to Tim Luke from HGTV’s “Cash in the Attic,” the average household has $1,000 to $2,000 of potential cash in items that no longer have any value to the owner.   Closets and cupboards bursting with possessions that you think has no value at all, might be worth big bucks to those who want or need them.  The amount of money you’ll make may pleasantly surprise you. Canadian Kyle MacDonald identified people who valued his stuff more than he did. Starting with one red paperclip, Kyle then bartered item for item until he ended up with a two-story farmhouse. 
  • There are those eager for virtually anything that clutters your house, garage, or storage unit, including aluminum can pull tabs which sell on eBay or you can donate them as Ronald McDonald House wants them.  Natural disasters such as a hurricane, tornado, fire or flood, also present opportunities to give things to people who can use them. Doing something small may not save a life, but it can change someone’s life.


  • Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: Matt 6:19 KJV
  • Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.  Luke 6:38 
  • It is more blessed to give than to receive. Acts 20:35 
  • Sell whatever you have and give to the poorMatthew 10:21
  • Blessed is he who considers the poor; the Lord will deliver him in time of trouble. Psalms 41:1


Enjoy a cleaner, clutter-free home by sharing things you don’t need with those who do need them: How to quickly get rid of off of the things you don’t need and feel great about it.

This entry was posted in Baby Boomers, clutter, Declutter, Disaster, Downsizing, Food, Get Rid of Junk, Grandkids, Grandparenting, Great ideas!, Oklahomans helping Oklahomans, stress, strokes, weight and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Clutter causes stress, contributing to weight gain, depression, strokes and more. (Cleaning and organizing)

  1. C.C. says:

    Mess causes stress. Clutter can weigh you down and make you feel overwhelmed- which zaps your energy.
    It causes people to secrete cortisol, a hormone that, if chronically elevated, is linked with anxiety and agitation. Chronic stress can speed again and increase risk of heart disease and stroke.

    So spend at least 10 minutes a day decluttering your space at work and home. It will help you feel more in control. The more material things we have to clutter our lives and homes the worse we are.
    It is suggested that we put 10 items that we no longer, use, need or want into a box and donate them.

    When stressed-we can elicit the relaxation response. Deep breathing stimulates the brain stem an triggers the release of mood modulation brain chemicals like endorphins and neuro-peptides. It slows the heartbeat and can lower or stabilize blood pressure. Just a few seconds of slow, deep breathing can counteract stress, counters the increased heart rate and blood pressure that stress causes. and alter your brain’s chemicals enough to create a sense of peace.

    When we are stressed, we take shallow gulping breaths that increase our physical arousal and the feelings of stress even more and the process becomes a kind of vicious kind of circle. When you are awae of it happening stop ad adjust your breathing so you don’t trigger your body’s fight or flight stress response.
    Inhale slowly through your nose and exhale long through your mouth.

    Stress-Chili pepper release mood boosting endorphins. the more fiery the better.

    Sing! Choir members got a 240% increase in immunoglobulin A (disease fighting protein)

    Laughter even forced lower cortisol and blood pressure instantly.The artery diameter increases 22% during laughter even when faked. The physical act is what creates the destressing.

    Be grateful- Write down your blessings. Exercising gratitude daily results in higher levees of enthusiasm and alertness.

    Spend time with friends. Eye contact and conversation with someone you care about causes same kinds of positive physical changes that a massage does.

    Exercising lifts depression!

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