Ugh – does this feel like a punishment? Like when you were a kid and your mom said, “clean your room and don’t come out until you do!”
When you look at clutter, you get stressed. Even when it’s your clutter, it registers as unfinished business, which causes a stress response in your brain. You may be so used to it that you don’t even feel it, but the stress is real.
Why does mess lead to so much stress? According to psychologist Sherrie Bourg Carter…
- Clutter bombards our minds with excessive stimuli (visual, olfactory, tactile), causing our senses to work overtime on stimuli that aren’t necessary or important.
- Clutter distracts us by drawing our attention away from what our focus should be on.
- Clutter makes it more difficult to relax, both physically and mentally.
- Clutter constantly signals to our brains that our work is never done.
- Clutter makes us anxious because we’re never sure what it’s going to take to get through to the bottom of the pile.
- Clutter creates feelings of guilt (“I should be more organized”) and embarrassment, especially when others unexpectedly drop by our homes or work spaces.
- Clutter inhibits creativity and productivity by invading the open spaces that allow most people to think, brain storm, and problem solve.
- 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).
Confession time – this tip is one of those “physician, heal thyself” moments for me. Paper slays me. I have file systems, organizers and plenty of places to store things in my office, but nine times out of 10, if you were to walk into my office, you’d see a messy desk. As soon as I post this, I promise to go “clean my room and won’t come out until I do!”
By taking the time to clean off the piles of paper, re-arrange the tools you need, and excavate the little personal things that make you smile, you’ll relieve the stress, plus have a nice, neat work environment. Give yourself time in your schedule each week to clean your desk. Pick a day and time that you’re not usually busy, and busy yourself with doing something good for your happiness. You’re worth it!
I’d love to hear how this tip increases your happiness – please contact me here or on my Facebook page and share your wisdom. And if you’d like a happiness quick tip to show up in your “in” box to start each week off right, sign up and it’s yours. Just scroll to the bottom of any page on my website – sandy j weaver dot com – the sign-up form is in the footer. Have a happier day!