Sometimes a cluttered house is the result of stress and mental illness, but other times it can be the other way around. Your cluttered house may be causing unneeded stress in your life.

When someone lives with mental illness, they may be tired more often and therefore might not have the strength to clean their house regularly. When people live in a cluttered space (whether they have a mental illness or not), this could lead to elevated levels of the stress hormone cortisol which can lead your body to think you are in a chronic state of stress.

As you can imagine, when we have clutter in our everyday lives, our brains have trouble staying focused. When the brain is focused on processing all of the items around you, it uses up a lot of energy normally used for processing information and staying on a task at hand. This can lead to more stress when it takes longer to do certain things.

Hoarding often overlaps with mental illness and a cluttered house. When clutter in the house is so bad that people are afraid to invite others over, it can affect social lives and lead to isolation. It is a downward spiral that is often hard to get out of alone, so here are some decluttering tips:

  1. KC Davis, a licensed professional counselor, encourages a strategy called “five things tidying.” With this theory, there are only five things in any room: trash, dishes, laundry, things with a place, and things without a place. Focusing on one of those things at a time will make cleaning an entire area more manageable.
  2. Another strategy is to set a timer on your phone each day for 10 or 15 minutes. The goal is to clean as much as you can during that time, and then leave the rest for the next day.
  3. Partner up with a friend or family member who is willing to help. It is often hard to get rid of things you find sentimental, but if you have someone who is willing to be strict with you, throwing things out may get easier over time.

It is rare to find a house without any clutter, and a small amount can be healthy and normal. However, if you find yourself in need of additional resources and support, reach out to a professional for help.

Full article found: Author Jake Newby