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Can clutter affect your mental health?

Have you ever noticed how, after you have cleared something away you have felt lighter? You feel you have accomplished something and it looks great. But you also feel a weight come off of you.

Why is this? Well when I was a social worker, we talked about this thing called "stressors". Stressors are, just as they sound, something that stresses you. They can be a job you aren't happy in, a health issue, a traumatic event, a toxic relationship etc. They can also be a physical environment you are in. The thing about some stressors is you don't realize it's creating anxiety or worry because it might not be an obvious thing like PTSD from a traumatic event. But that doesn't mean it's not there. When I think of the clutter in homes, I think of a low whisper - something that is there and maybe is a little annoying - but it's not at the forefront of your mind. It stays that way until someone is coming over or you can't find what you are looking for or you tripped over a box of stuff - then it comes front and center. And you see the clutter and handle what you need to at that time and it might be quiet for a bit but then the clutter goes back to a loud whisper.

We all know stress isn't good for you physically or mentally. And when you have multiple things going on in your life that are overwhelming and create anxiety, it just all keeps piling on top of each other. So when you clear the clutter, you are alleviating one of the stressors - and that is why you feel lighter and a little bit more free.

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