If you are like most people, there are times that your home is more cluttered than it is at other times. This usually means that you need to find some time to set things back in order and clean the areas that need cleaning. But if your clutter has gotten out of control it can cause numerous physical, as well as psychological, problems. Understanding how this clutter can affect you may be the first step in helping you to make the decision to eliminate some of it. 

What Is Clutter?

It is estimated that the average American household has an average of 300,000 things in the household. This number includes everything from cotton swabs to fine china. But how much of it really has some type of value?

Clutter is hard to define. What may be clutter for one person may become a part of a collection or a valuable treasure for another. The word is defined by Merriam-Webster as "to fill or cover with scattered or disordered things that impede movement or effectiveness." The pieces that cause the clutter can often be divided into two different categories. They are:

  • Memory clutter - These are the items that remind us or bring back memories of significant events in our lives. These often include pictures, programs, or other mementos.
  • Someday clutter - These are the items that you may get around to using or you actually may need someday. This type of clutter can be comprised of almost anything. The items may not currently have value, but you can see the potential value in them if you ever need them.

How Does Clutter Affect You?

Clutter Can Cost You Money - Have you ever had to go out and purchase an item that you know you already owned but could not find, or have you paid a late fee because you could not find the original bill? If so, you are not alone. It is estimated that these unnecessary costs of being disorganized can increase your budget's bottom line by as much as 20%.

Clutter Can Cause You To Be Less Productive - It is estimated that America on a whole spends approximately 9 million hours per day searching for items that they have lost or that have been misplaced. When you transition this to the workplace, you can lose as much as 40% of your workday when you are not organized. 

Clutter Can Cause You To Gain Weight - You may have difficulty believing this, but when you are surrounded by clutter, or you are chronically disorganized, it causes a high degree of stress. This stress can cause you to turn to other outlets, such as emotional eating, as a means of relaxation or in an effort to reduce your stress. Because emotional eating often causes you to eat when you are not hungry, this can quickly pile on extra calories, which in turn will quickly lead to weight gain.

What Can You Do?

If you want to save money, be more productive, or even lose weight, one of the first things you may want to do is get rid of some of the clutter in your life. There are ways to make this easy.

Have a dumpster delivered directly to your home. Not only will renting a dumpster from a company like Tri-State Disposal provide you more space to discard your clutter in, it will also save you time. You will not have to load up your vehicle and drive your discarded clutter to another location. You will be able to simply discard it into the dumpster outside. Once the dumpster is full, call your rental company and they will either empty it or bring you another one.

Start with the items that are obvious clutter. These include:

  • Trash
  • Broken or damaged items
  • Duplicates of items

In addition to these, consider getting rid of any items that you have not used in the last year. This should include clothing that no longer fits or that you do not feel comfortable wearing. 

Ask a friend to help you with your decluttering process. Your friend will not have a sentimental attachment to your things and will keep you from getting bogged down or stuck in the decluttering process.