Psychology Explains How Too Much Clutter Holds You Back

Psychology Explains How Too Much Clutter Holds You Back

clutterBetter Life

If you find comfort in obtaining items, you could be holding yourself back. Collecting items might seem like a sign of doing well, or it could be a sentimental habit. Either way, you’ll be surprised to learn that too much clutter interferes with your life.

As you fill your home with items you enjoy, it can quickly lead to the habit of saving other things, too. You might place things on a shelf, forgetting about them soon after. It eventually turns into owning so many things that you don’t even need or want.

Take a look around your home and see how many items you don’t need. You likely don’t have to go far to find at least a handful of things you don’t need. Psychologists explain that too much clutter holds you back, so you must get it under control immediately.

If you ever feel burdened by too much stuff, you might need to get rid of some. You might notice that your desk has piles of papers and drawers are full of junk. If this is the case for you, you’ll benefit from getting rid of some of it.

Clutter Holds You Back in These Ten Ways

You might be surprised to hear that clutter holds you back in life, but psychologists reveal that it’s true. Once you know how it happens, you’ll be ready to make a beneficial change in your life.


1 – Clutter Gives You More Commitment and Obligation

The more items you know, the more commitment and obligation you have. When you have too much stuff, it adds more responsibility to your already busy life. With less clutter, you can focus on what you want to spend your time doing.

2 – You’ll Feel Stuck

When you own lots of things, it’ll make you feel stuck. Eventually, you might feel trapped because you have so many things keeping you where you are now.

3 – It Takes Time to Manage the Clutter

By obtaining fewer things, you free up your time. You’ll have less housework and upkeep, and you’ll experience less oversight. The more stuff you have, the more time you’ll spend cleaning, dusting, putting things away, and sorting.

Having too much stuff can also slow down your daily routine. It’ll take you longer to find things and get ready for the day.

4 – It Decreases Productivity

It doesn’t set you up for productivity if you start your day frantically searching for things. Instead, it causes you to feel unfocused, even after getting to work. The decreased productivity worsens if your desk is cluttered, too.

You’ll get less done around the house, too. It’s hard to know where to start when you have so many things to take care of and deal with. It’ll quickly become overwhelming, causing you to miss out on productivity.

5 – Clutter Might Prevent You from Socializing in Your Home

If you have too much stuff, it might prevent you from entertaining in your home. Whether you’re embarrassed or don’t have the space, it could hold you back from hosting get-togethers.

Once you declutter, you’ll be excited to host for the first time in a while. You won’t have to hide your mess because it’s already gone, giving you a sense of lightness. Another bonus is that you won’t panic about unexpected visitors because your home is always ready for guests.

6 – It Makes It Harder to Relax

Clutter makes it hard for you to feel at ease in your home. You’ll see stacks of papers, overflowing baskets, and items strewn around. When you see these things, it is hard to enjoy your time.

7 – You Could Develop Health Problems

Too much clutter can interfere with your sleep, and research shows that it leads to health complications. An untidy home can cause anxious thoughts that keep you awake at night. If your bedroom is cluttered, too, it can intensify those anxious thoughts as you lay in bed.

Additionally, clutter tends to collect dust, triggering allergies and asthma. Dust mites are a common reason for year-round symptoms. Minimizing how much stuff you have can drastically improve your health.

8 – It Wastes Money

When you have so much stuff lying around, you waste money. Things will go bad before you use them, resulting in buying new and waste products.

Plus, you must buy storage for everything you own. You’ll constantly have to pay for more storage if you have too much stuff.

9 – It Can Interfere with Your Relationship

Living with a partner has its challenges, and too much clutter can be one. If your house is always untidy, it could cause tension in your relationship. It can also cause disagreements over the value and usefulness of the items.

10 – It Causes Stress and Disappointment

The unused items lying around your house serve as a constant reminder of the things you haven’t accomplished. These items remind you of failed goals, making you feel stressed and disappointed in yourself. There’s no reason to keep the items if you aren’t using them, so go ahead and remove them.

Nine Minimalist Tips for Eliminating Clutter


Knowing how clutter holds you back is only the first step. Next, you must learn to eliminate some of the stuff you own.

1 – Ask yourself if It’s Functional

If an item isn’t functional for your lifestyle, get rid of it. You don’t need to hold onto things that have no use in your life. Additionally, if an item isn’t functional because it doesn’t work, you can do without it.

2 – Eliminate Things That Don’t Reflect Who You Are

The things you own should reflect who you are today, not who you used to be. If your items keep you rooted in the past, it’s time to get rid of them. Keep things that help you focus on where you’re heading next in life.

3 – Don’t Keep Clutter Out of Guilt or Obligation

You might hesitate to get rid of things if you feel obligated to keep them. The guilt you feel at the thought of parting with it might threaten to hold you back each time.

However, urge yourself to get it over with, and you’ll soon feel better about it. You’ll quickly forget about the item and the guilt after getting rid of it.

You might convince yourself that getting rid of your late relative’s things means you didn’t love them. That thought isn’t true, though, and you know it. Separate the person from their possession, and remember that the love is still within you.

4 – Separate Items That Clutter Your Space

As you tackle the clutter in your home, you’ll need a place to start. Focus on one room at a time, and separate everything into different categories.

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