Is less really more?

Yes it is!! Think about it. We live in a time in history where we own more things than any generation past. Our homes are crammed with things. Our children have more toys than they could ever play with, let alone have a place for. Our kitchen cupboards are so overcrowded that things fall out as soon as we open them. And our counters are cluttered with gadgets we no longer use. Yes, less is more!

Having so much stuff comes with it’s own set of problems, primarily the problem of knowing how to maintain it all and keeping it all under control. The only way to do that is to have a place for everything, and therein lies another problem in that our homes aren’t big enough for everything to have it’s own place. So where do we put it all? We don’t! We leave it where it lands.

Research has shown that when we are surrounded by clutter, we experience stress. Here’s why.

Why does mess lead to so much stress? In an article in Psychology Today, Sherrie Bourg Carter Psy.D., says clutter can play a significant role in how we feel about our homes, our workplaces, and ourselves. Messy homes and work spaces leave us feeling anxious, helpless, and overwhelmed. Yet, rarely is clutter recognised as a significant source of stress in our lives.

  1. Clutter bombards our minds with excessive stimuli (visual, olfactory, tactile), causing our senses to work overtime on stimuli that aren’t necessary or important.
  2. Clutter distracts us by drawing our attention away from what our focus should be on.
  3. Clutter makes it more difficult to relax, both physically and mentally.
  4. Clutter constantly signals to our brains that our work is never done.
  5. Clutter makes us anxious because we’re never sure what it’s going to take to get through to the bottom of the pile.
  6. Clutter creates feelings of guilt (“I should be more organized”) and embarrassment, especially when others unexpectedly drop by our homes or work spaces.
  7. Clutter inhibits creativity and productivity by invading the open spaces that allow most people to think, brain storm, and problem solve.
  8. Clutter frustrates us by preventing us from locating what we need quickly (e.g. files and paperwork lost in the “pile” or keys swallowed up by the clutter).

So you see if more stuff causes us so much stress, what will less do?

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