Home » Personal Organizing » The Psychology of Clutter – Part II

The Psychology of Clutter – Part II

The more I research the effect that Clutter has on the brain, the more interesting the topic becomes.  If you haven’t already, take a moment to read The Organizing Story.  It gives a unique perspective on the challenge that an organizer may face.  When I look back on all my clients, I found that about 60% or more were very enthusiastic and motivated when they called me.  Some maintained their motivation throughout the process, but others lost interest, primarily the result of time and or money … or was it just too much for the brain to handle??


As I read more in the article,  How Clutter Affects the Brain (and what you can do about it), it said that “Whether it be your closet or office desk, excess things in your surroundings can have a negative impact on our ability to focus and process information.  Similar to what multitasking does to your brain, physical clutter overloads your senses, making you feel stressed, and impairs your ability to think creatively.”

According to Brian Wallace in his article, De-Clutter and Improve Your Life, he believes that clutter can result in “strained relationships, due to arguments over lost items, missed appointments, forgotten errand and cluttered spaces.  Disorganization is affecting our life more than it should. These conflicts may even affect our sex life.”   Hhhhmmmmm…..

Lastly, Dr. David Tolin, director of the Anxiety Disorders Center at the Institute of Living and an associate professor of psychiatry at Yale University, says “that a cluttered and disorganized lifestyle can also point to deeper psychological and emotional issues”.  (see link* below for more info)

I am by no means, suggesting that if you have too much clutter that you need to go out immediately and get medical attention. 🙂 …Nor do I believe that professional organizers need a degree in psychology.  But as Dr. Tolin has suggested that “by focusing on understanding the root cause of the clutter, we are more likely to create lasting change when we do implement a plan to de-clutter our life”.   De-cluttering can decrease our stress, clear our mind, help you find more time for fun and allow you to breathe a little easier.


So if we know this, the question remains why not stick with it, once we make up our minds.  It can be as simple as … I know that I really need to drink more water, I put a bottle water in the frig, take it out, put it in my cup holder in my car … and still don’t drink it.  We can lead a horse to water, but we can’t make it drink!

So for those that may need a little help with the chaos and to us who are trying to provide a little order, we must all understand that the more we know, the more successful we will be.  One day at a time!

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