How a Cluttered Home Affects Our Ability to Relax

For many people, the heavy responsibilities of home and family and earning a living absorb all their time and strength. Yet such a home–where love is–may be a light shining in a dark place, a silent witness to the reality and the love of God.
Olive Wyon

My home is not perfect, it’s rarely spotless, and it’s very well lived in.

I believe so many of us fear having others over because of the state of our home.

Today I want to share and highlight some great posts that talk about decluttering. I mean, who doesn’t have this problem? I know I have many irons in the fire with my blog, work, 3 teens, helping my husband with his non-profit.

It’s really hard for me to stay up on the paperwork alone! And to be honest, sometimes it affects my ability to relax …

Melissa shares about starting 5 new daily habits, and also gives us a chance to WIN $500 from The Inspired Room (you have until midnight tonight to enter).

“When my home gets cluttered and out of control, I feel personally out of sorts and out of control. The state of my home really affects my emotional well being and my productivity.” -Melissa

10 Ways to Declutter your House, from Making This Home.

“The less you need, the freer you become.” – Katie

Simple Steps to Declutter your Home from Passionate Homemaking.

“If it can stay in boxes for several months, is it really needed?” – Lindsay

Organizing with Purpose from The Complete Guide to Imperfect Homemaking.

“An uncluttered space creates an environment where we can learn and explore.” -Kelly

This is an interesting perspective. I like it!

Don’t Declutter from My Simpler Life.

“I have been seeing a lot of people sacrifice time to take care of themselves for decluttering time.” – Beth

Beth asks a good question … thought provoking, for sure!

Do you feel you need to complete everything before relaxing? Do you feel clutter makes it impossible to relax in your own home?

12 comments

  1. Clutter can stress me out at times. This is challenging for me because we move so often and each house is so different. This apartment we’re in currently is the largest place we’ve been in square footage-wise, but Europeans don’t have the American closets, so I feel like a lot of our stuff is so visible. I’ve had to do the best I can and just move on…but I am looking forward to returning to American-style living!

  2. To me, clutter equals stress. It’s not so bad now that I’m not working outside the house. But when I was working (60+ hours per week), driving 1-1 1/2 hours home in heavy traffic and knowing that I still needed to feed the family, walking into a cluttered house just sent my stress level through the roof.

    Oh I still get that feeling sometimes on a Saturday morning when my husband has created his “pile” (newspapers, mail, books, kleenex, coffee mugs and breakfast dishes) on the side table where he sits. But he knows now, so it’s all good.

  3. I definitely believe clutter hinders relaxation. It is the opposite of calm. A cluttered home produces a cluttered mind. How can you relax amid clutter? At least, that’s my humble opinion. I wrote a whole chapter about this in my book, “Home Improvement.” I don’t believe we can declutter emotionally, until we declutter literally.

    Thanks for posting this.

  4. Thanks for all the links and the easy to follow tips. I really need to declutter my closet..in a big way!!! Oh, nd my purse, yeah, I tend to let receipts and things pile up in there. Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather :)

  5. It depends for me … I completely ignore the clutter in my kids rooms because their things are important to them. My friends’ kids rooms look much different (nicer to a grown-up’s eyes), but in their own way my kids are making thier own spaces beautiful to *them*. So I let it be as long as the floor stays clean.

    We have a huge island in our kitchen that is a clutter magnet, and it bothers me when that gets filled with things. It bothers me when the bathroom counters get cluttered, too.

    For the rest – we live (because we want to!) in a much smaller house than most of our friends, and our family is larger than most of them, too. Our house will look different than another house that is 3x the size with fewer people. We don’t have a lot of “stuff” but in a small space it looks cluttered by comparison. I’ve come to accept it as part of the choice we made, and have made the choice that I won’t let it bother me. Most of the time :)

  6. I don’t need to finish a project in order to relax…yet when I have several unfinished projects laying around at once, that only adds to the clutter. And that definately does NOT make me feel relaxed. There have been times when there has been so much clutter that I don’t even want to be in my own home. How sad!

    Fortunately, I’m getting married soon and he’ll be moving into my house. We are both both using our engagement time as an opportunity to thin out our junk, finish up half-done projects, and make room for each other’s things. It’s actually freeing, the fact that I’m being “forced” to get rid of junk. I’m looking forward to coming back from our honeymoon to a RELAXING home that has room for us both!

  7. I find that clutter DEFINITELY makes it more difficult to relax. Sadly I married a pack rat. I’m trying to break him of the habit. ;)

  8. Oh your post is so true. A clutter free house is a great way to clear your mind and feel better about life in general. As I type I notice my not so clutter free handbag falling over with the weight of receipts and junk I carry around. :D I’m going to start on this right now. Thanks!

  9. I seem to have come across a great technique for decluttering….I’ve moved houses 11 times and each time shed masses of clutter that just tends to creep up on you. I’ve been an expat for the last 22 years!
    Drastic measure, I know but it has helped….I have to admit there are boxes that have followed us and they have remained closed for the duration of those moves, so I think they have reached their resting place. They won’t be moving on with us next time :D

  10. Sandy, thank you for all the good links on this subject! I need to read all these articles. . . but mostly I just need to DO some of the things they suggest! Because it’s true–clutter does affect ability to do lots of things, especially to relax. I need to put aside my pride. I need to be humble enough to admit that I have not already done what I need to do in this area and then just start HERE!

    It’s been too long since I’ve visited with you. I hope you’re doing well. I can tell you that we surely did miss Kyle Singler here in Durham this year! :)

  11. I work from home and have a young family – I find I can’t think if there is clutter around. I work from the kitchen table on a laptop and it’s been liberating in the sense that working this way makes me keep my clutter to a minimum.

    I find technology really helps me, particularly with my work paper clutter. I scan science papers, buy e-books, write electronic notes, scan my work receipts all instead of having hard copies. I also use skype on the computer which is better than having a landline phone cluttering up a desk. The bonus – no clutter means I am able to think clearer plus I don’t spend my time getting distracted by the stuff on my desk!

    Funnily enough, I had forgotten that the purse is a clutter magnet – mine is enormous and has so much junk inside. This will be tomorrow’s project!

  12. Hi Sandy. I believe that cluttered home affects my ability to relax – it’s true, at least for me. I feel that when my house is cluttered, I get stressed out easily because I’m always thinking, “need to clean this, need to clean that… and downstairs, oh, what a mess”. Just thinking about it makes me stressed already. Plus, I feel that it also affects the atmosphere around your house. It gives out negative energy to you and the other people living in your house which in turn makes you stressed as well.

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