In general, people who keep their homes clean are healthier and happier. Reports even suggest that women with cluttered homes are more likely to produce higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol and be depressed and fatigued.
What is true at home is also true at work simply because clutter can actually make it more difficult to focus on a particular task. We can be overwhelmed by too many objects which make it more difficult for us to focus which is why we are less distracted in clean and tidy working environments. Common sense suggests that we can be more productive if we spend less time searching for things we need. Similar to how a clean home makes people feel better, a tidy working environment can lead to a happier workforce with good morale.
So what is at the root of our obsession with order?
According to Psychology Today, “The human body is made up of tens of thousands of integrated biological and neurochemical systems, all of which are — yes — organized. Many of our cells operate on strict schedules, or circadian rhythms. Even at the atomic level, we are well-regulated and well-organized. Without this organization, our bodies would collapse into chaos.
It wouldn’t be surprising, then, if the reason we crave symmetry and cleanliness in our homes is to mirror the organization within our very own bodies. Neatness and order support health — and oppose chaos.
Regardless of the why, however, it’s clear that staying clean and organized is a good thing. It helps us feel better about ourselves, it keeps us productive and it may very well keep us physically fit. The next time we bemoan having to clean our home, let’s try to keep these things in mind. We’ll feel much better when everything is organized.”
Why do people get bogged down with clutter?
It’s easy to add another book to a bookshelf and to leave your in-tray till it’s overflowing, by which time it seems like such a big job to sort it out that we keep putting it off. It becomes a mountain that’s just too much effort to tackle.
Many people also form attachments with objects that feed empty emotional spaces for them. They rely on things to bring them some kind of comfort and the thought of disposing of those objects is stressful for them and makes them uncomfortable. Once they are able to deal with the clutter, they are also more likely to deal with their issues. It’s almost as if sweeping out the clutter also sweeps out the cobwebs of our minds.