According to Joseph Ferrari, a professor of psychology at DePaul University in Chicago, “clutter is an excessive amount of possessions that collectively create chaotic and disorderly living spaces.” Clutter can be defined as “an overabundance of possessions.”
According to the findings of a study that was recently published in the journal Current Psychology, there is a significant connection between procrastination and the difficulties associated with clutter in the following age groups: college students, young adults in their 20s and 30s, and older adults, primarily in their 50s. As a result, a large number of people experience difficulties with clutter, and the level of frustration associated with clutter tended to increase with age. (Information obtained from The New York Times, January 2019)
According to research conducted by Dreamtown in the United Kingdom, the typical child of 10 years old has 238 toys, but only plays with 12 of them on a daily basis (The Telegraph). The accumulation of clutter in the home, which may include toys, clothing, shoes, and even electronics, results in an ongoing requirement to clean up, which, in turn, may result in a feeling of stress. Do you have any experience with this sensation?
Over the course of our lives, we will spend a total of 3,680 hours, which is equivalent to 153 days, looking for items that we have misplaced, such as something that we have merely filed away in a drawer. According to the findings of the study, on average, we lose nine things each day, which adds up to 198,743 over the course of a lifetime. The most important items on the list are cell phones, keys, sunglasses, and paperwork (The Daily Mail).
The use of mobile phones is one of the primary contributors to clutter. At the end of March 2013, official data from ComReg Ireland shows that there were 5,432,182 active mobile phone subscriptions, and you can add lots more over the course of the past number of years. It’s a well-known fact that all of us are purchasing additional electronic devices, which results in the accumulation of older or unused items in storage spaces such as drawers, cabinets, and closets.
A study that was conducted in Ireland in 2015 found that on average 38 percent of Irish adults consider themselves to be hoarders, which means their homes are becoming overcrowded with unnecessary items (Empathy Research) Additional research that was commissioned by NESTA revealed that 58 percent of respondents found it difficult to get rid of their possessions, which indicates that they do keep them!
According to research conducted by the National Association of Professional Organizations, there is a one-to-one relationship between disorganisation and levels of productivity. When there is an increase in clutter and chaos, productivity goes down. Over time, your home will become dominated by heaps of paper, a disorganised kitchen or playroom, outdated receipts and bills, and paperwork that is crammed into boxes or drawers.
“one of the obvious advantages to having a tidy house is that being able to easily locate things will cause you less stress,” says Chris Stiff, a lecturer in psychology at Keele University. There is evidence to suggest that clean and organised spaces enable us to think more clearly.
How to De-Clutter Your Home
Clutter can consist of things like books that have not been read, old electronic equipment, files that have not been filed, letters and cards, clothes that have been thrown on the floor, and other things that you no longer require, desire, or make use of but still own. Keep in mind that clutter is rarely confined to a single location; rather, it tends to spread throughout the entire house.
What should one do?
You should, before doing anything else, make a straightforward plan that outlines clear and uncomplicated objectives that will help you feel less frustrated and stressed.
As you begin the process of decluttering your home, here are a dozen suggestions to keep in mind:
- Create a list in writing of all of the areas that require you to perform decluttering.
- Determine which areas or zones need to be decluttered first, and then schedule your time accordingly.
- Take care of one section at a time.
- Determine the beginning and ending dates for each area.
- Be sure to choose dates that are actually going to happen in order to successfully finish the job.
- Make the time, and if necessary, enlist the assistance of others, to work on specific areas that may take longer, such as a garden shed or an attic.
- Make use of a system to cut down on wasted time and effort.
- Make a plan for how you will lift and move items that are heavy.
- Do some research and decide how the clutter will be removed for recycling after the assembly has been completed.
- Check to see if things are still functional!
Apply the 80/20 rule: Since we only use about 20 percent of the things we own 80 percent of the time, we should ask ourselves if we truly use or require the remaining items.
You need to get over the fact that you spent money on things you will never use. After you have done that, it will be much simpler to either reuse or recycle the material.
After the items have been prepared, you will be able to choose how to proceed with the removal. We have compiled a list of potential options that could solve your problem.
Following the Clearing of Clutter, Some Tips on Reducing and Recycling
- Once an item has been added to the box, it should not be kept out of it.
- Sell some items online, e.g. eBay, Done Deal or Adverts.
- Reusing old items can be done with some do-it-yourself and the assistance of friends.
- Make a contribution to local thrift stores.
- Share things with your family, friends, or coworkers, like the clothes or toys your children have outgrown.
- Give your items away to family members, close friends, or coworkers who might enjoy them.
- Donate items for others to use at no cost. Get on the internet or locate a trading network.
- Recycle any and all electrical, electronic, and battery-operated items that are outdated.
- Going forward, recycle materials as soon as they are used up or reach their end of life.
- Take into consideration the state of the item before gifting it.
After you’ve finished cleaning out your space, give some thought to the things you buy and how you recycle on a daily basis.
Scanning old photos and documents is a good idea. Eliminating clutter is best accomplished by avoiding its accumulation in the first place.
The most difficult aspect of decluttering may be coming to the conclusion that it is time to get rid of certain items. You might have a hard time getting rid of things that you once treasured or used, just like a lot of other people. Because you bought the items with money that you worked hard for, they do have value for you because of this investment. These are real and valid feelings; however, regardless of how difficult the decision may be, it is necessary to declutter, and doing so helps reduce stress levels, in addition to creating space.