Clutter    Depression-Anxiety Cycle

Here is the cycle: Anxiety and depression can cause a cluttered home. A cluttered home can cause depression and anxiety. The cycle perpetuates and less gets done.


  • Overstimulates our system (visual, olfactory, tactile), causing our senses to work overtime on stimuli that aren’t necessary or important.
  • Draws our attention away from what our focus should be on.
  • Makes it more difficult to relax, both physically and mentally.
  • Constantly reminds our brains that we still have a huge to-do list.
  • Causes anxiety because the idea of sorting piles is overwhelming
  • Creates feelings of guilt and embarrassment, particularly when someone drops by unexpectedly.
  • Frustrates us by making it hard to find anything we need- keys, bills, checkbook, etc.

Our culture promotes an over-abundance of household items. And cortisol levels show that women are affected much more than men. Studies show that men are not bothered by messes, but women become depressed.

In the U.S. our homes are “child-centered” and a large number of children’s toys spill out into other rooms in our homes. The guilt that parents feel from working long hours to make a better life for their families makes parents give toys as a concession. This contributes to even more clutter and more depression.

Many become paralyzed when they decide to declutter.  Reasons range from being sentimentally attached to the items.  Or they have trouble justifying what was spent on the item when purchased. And of course, the time involved to declutter is a big hurdle.  For the amount of time it takes to get cluttered, it takes 2 times longer to declutter. To accomplish the goal of decluttering the decision to focus on purging the clutter.  And continue to purge until you have a place for all items left.

After decluttering there must be a daily routine set.  Continue with your new routine and when you see problem areas.  Address those areas at that time.  If you ignore the area, it will become a magnet to draw in more clutter.  Trying to get your family to help on a regular basis is imperative. But, if they don’t or won’t, the mission falls on your shoulders to maintain.

Hope this helps – happy decluttering.