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The Link Between Clutter and Depression

Edited By: David Borg
 If you’re at home right now, take a minute to observe your surroundings. Do you see a tidy home or utter chaos and disorganization? If it’s usually the latter, then there may be something more serious than just a lazy afternoon going on.

 

clutter

Research discussed in the book 'Life at Home in the 21st Century: 32 Families Open Their Doors,' shows that people who live in cluttered homes experience higher levels of stress hormones, which can end up leading to depression.

This phenomenon was outlined in psychiatrist Dr. Audrey Sherman’s 'Dysfunction Interrupted' column on PsychCentral. There, she revealed that she finds chaos and disorganization to be “the biggest problems to be reported by depressed individuals,” and that “emotional baggage has a way of building up then expressing itself in an outward display of turmoil."

It’s true that being around cluttered areas does nothing for nurturing good mental health, but often the problems are so interconnected that it’s tricky to work out what came first – the clutter or the depression.

clutter

The photo above was uploaded by Brittany Ernsperger, to accompany a story outlining her experience leading up to this sink full of clean dishes. Apparently, she didn't have a massive party, but that this mess is simply the result of two weeks of letting things pile up.

The mother of four then explained that, after several tearful attempts in the days before, she eventually emerged from the fog of depression that prevented her from getting it done in the first place.

clutter

Now that you are aware of the relationship between clutter and depression, let’s look at how to solve the problem. Here are a few of our favorite Feng Shui-inspired tips to check off your list as you clean:

1. Donate or throw out anything you haven't used in the past 6 months.

2. Only keep objects which elicit positive memories or feelings.

3. Only keep things which you currently need in your immediate space, and store everything else.

4. Ensure that your home is a welcome place for guests.


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