How Clutter Affects Your Health

Spread the love

Your home isn’t the only thing affected by over-accumulation of stuff. Clutter also has proven, tangible effects on your mental and physical well-being.

too much stuff

Too Much Stuff

If your closets are bursting, your drawers are hard to shut or your counters or desk are topped with piles of disorganized papers, you may want to take some steps toward a neater home or workspace. Some say a bit of chaos might have some upsides — at least one study suggests that a messy room spurs creativity — it has many more downsides. It can even be damaging for your physical and mental health.

launch pad ready

Mess Equals Stress

When everything is in order, you know exactly where you put your glasses and keys so you can grab them and go on with your day. That is the very reason for habit 9 Launch Pad Ready of 9 Daily Habits . That saves time and a whole lot of hassle. In one studywomen who saw their homes as cluttered had high levels of the stress hormone cortisol throughout the day, while those who described their abode as a well-organized, restful space had lower levels. High levels of cortisol may lead to weight gain.


It Doesn’t Get Easier

If you’re a bit scatterbrained because your space is scattered, don’t wait to neaten up. Start a timer and declutter for 15 minutes. Habit 5 ‘Declutter 15 Minutes’ of 9 Daily Habits helps you start. Marilyn’s Way system is set up to make it easy to start. The 4th module of the system is Monthly Decluttering Events. It is set up where working on decluttering your entire home is held 3 times a year and decluttering clothes, paper and kitchen are held twice a year. Having the Monthly Decluttering Events also helps with maintenance once you get your home decluttered.

Join The Group
Roadmap to a Clutter Free Home

Clutter has a way of showing up in our homes and needs to be addressed daily. Research has shown that adults in their 50s who have too many piles of stuff are more likely than younger folks to put off making decisions about what to get rid of. The study also found that those piles can make you less satisfied with your life. This the very reason there are so many home keeping systems and books available to help you sort your stuff.

I have struggled with home keeping and decluttering my entire life. I was unsuccessful with any of the home keeping systems out there until I had enough and decided to study them. What I found was unnecessary repetitive tasks creating busyness. If I couldn’t get all of it done in a day like suggested, I always felt behind.

I took my Bachelor of Science Degree of Home Economics and minor in Marketing, along with training from Fortune 500 corporations I worked for and lots of books I read on the subject. The ‘light bulb’ finally went off and my conclusion to success with home keeping is in having a set of Daily Habits to establish FIRST before any major decluttering can take place.  From there came Weekly Home Keeping Habits to keep you on track with a Weekly Home Tidy that helps you reset your home each week. I created an e book that gets into more detail as to how the easiest way to go about it. It is available at Amazon.

Weekly Home Tidy
Get Your Copy Today!


Pass The Tissues

There’s a reason people often call knickknacks “dust collectors.” Too much stuff makes it harder to keep your space clean. If you’re allergic to things like dust mites or pet dander, decluttering should make it easier to dust and vacuum and get symptoms like sneezing, wheezing, and itchy eyes under control. For the knickknacks you simply cannot part with, dusting with a Ostrich Feather Duster makes it easier and picks up the dust. Just shake it outside when you are done.

Get it on Amazon.


Embarrassment and Isolation

A neat, tidy house feels inviting, both for the people who live there as well as guests. A cluttered home may feel the opposite. But shutting people out can take a toll on relationships and make you feel sad and lonely. That could be one reason a hoarding disorder tends to overlap with depression and anxiety disorders.

This is the very reason I added the category ‘Self Care’ to my system Marilyn’s Way.  As I established a daily routine, and worked the system I created, I found myself to start an exercise program where I joined a gym, began eating healthy and understanding the importance of sleep. I found myself enjoying my gardening more and have classified it as a way to take care of myself. It gets me outside taking in Vitamin D, fresh air and listening to the sounds of nature. Then there is that ‘miracle’ of planting a seed and watching it grow.

Today I never have to worry if someone stops by and not let them in because of my mess. Today I welcome anyone into my home.

slips and falls

Slips and Falls

Living with lots of clutter puts you at risk of getting injured. When your floor is covered with boxes, heaps of clothing, or even too much furniture, it’s that much easier to trip. Shelves stuffed to the brim with books and knickknacks can also be a hazard if something falls off or a piece of overloaded furniture topples over. Before getting my home in order I was always having accidents. It was a daily affair. I haven’t taken a fall in over 3 years now.

brain activity

Memory Issues

Some people who live in cluttered homes have a poorer “working memory,” according to researchYour brain is wired to be able to keep track of only a few details at once for a short period, so it can get overloaded when there’s too much going on. This is the very reason the foundation Marilyn’s Way is 9 Daily Habits. It is set up to improve your “working memory”. There are 9 habits broken into 3 parts with each having 3 habits. Your working memory is only capable to remember 3 things simultaneously. This is why establishing a set of daily habits is so important. You can make all the lists you want but you will only remember 3 of them simultaneously.

unsafe kitchen

Safety First

If you’ve gone overboard on papers and other flammable items, your home can be a fire hazard. Even if a fire starts in the most common of ways (cooking oil goes up in flames or a burner catches the edge of your dish towel), clutter makes it harder to get help. Not only will you have more trouble getting out in time if your pathways and exits are blocked, but firefighters will also have a harder time putting out the blaze.

weight gain

Linked to Weight Gain

People who fill their homes with so much stuff that they may have a hoarding disorder also appear to be more likely to overeat and become obese. One study found that as hoarding got worse, so did body mass index (BMI) and binge-eating symptoms (eating large amounts of food in a short time).

Since I decluttered my home, I have lost 80 pounds on me! It didn’t happen overnight as getting decluttered won’t either. Each is a process and by incorporating decluttering into your daily life you will get there too!

woman unable to sleep

Up All Night

People who have a hoarding disorder also seem more likely to have insomnia. The link between the two isn’t totally clear, but sleep is important for clear thinking and decision-making. If you’re sleep-deprived, you might be more likely to make questionable decisions, including ones that involve getting more stuff you really don’t need.

I was the worst at insomnia. In fact I have sleep apnea and use a sleep machine at night. I remember when I was so sleep deprived I found myself at the dollar stores. It was there that I thought I could afford things. What it was is a way to feel better. I would buy something thinking it would make me feel better when actually all I needed to do is get on a regular sleep schedule. With the help of my pulmonologist giving me suggestions and documenting my sleep I was able to break free from insomnia. Again, it didn’t happen overnight. It was a process.

In Conclusion

As you can see, there are ten areas how clutter affects your health. The system Marilyn’s Way that I created is the easiest home keeping system to get you started. It is basic and is doable. I struggled for years taking care of my home and my health was affected by it. Slowly and surely and lots of work (I won’t lie) my home is company ready AND my ‘Health’ has improved for the better! Do you know where I started? By getting dressed .  The entire system is based on ‘Habits’. I chose 9 Daily Habits  breaking them down to 3 habits for each part of our day, morning, afternoon and evening. Using your ‘working memory’ is what makes it successful.

Don’t Know Where To Start?


100 Things To Get Rid Of In Your Home
The Simple Way To Begin Your Decluttering Journey

Also Available in PDF Digital Download Here


Want Extra Help? Hire Me!


I have a very reasonable coaching program that will help you get started and be on your way! Fill out the application and schedule a ‘Free Video Chat’ today! Are you ready to improve your health?




Tags: ×


  1. 9 simple steps to conquer the 10 reasons! Love it. Thanks, Marilyn!

  2. Love this! It’s so informative and insightful. Your program continues to help me, daily. Thank you!

    • You are very welcomed! I am hoping to write more about this in coming posts. It is part of ‘Self Care’ aspect of Marilyn’s Way

    • You are very welcomed! The longer you use the program the more you value it and learn new things about yourself. I know I have! Thanks for commenting!

  3. Denise L Hall says:

    I am thankful for your system ! I tried other websites but was overwhelmed, as you said busyness. I enjoy the fellowship of the groups. It also easier to follow with a chronic illness and adult OCD and ADD. Thank you and God bless you.

    • You are very welcomed! Yes, chronic illness and other issues I believe are the reason we can stay stuck. I know it was for me before I created the system. Having a supportive group helps and I am so proud of all my members! Thank you for commenting!

  4. Raven Hunter says:

    This is exactly what I needed to encourage me to overcome my chronic health and mental health issues, and get my house, and my head straight. Thanks so much!

    • Happy it is a post that you can put into action. I have been living with fibromyalgia a chronic pain illness since 1989. I have other issues too and through time and patience I have managed to take care of my home using the system.It is set up no matter what you do in a day you can be proud of. Because it is set up in levels with the 9 Daily Habits Home Keeping Made SIMPLEbeing the foundation you can do what time you have allotted for the day. In a year it all averages out. Thanks for commenting!

  5. Love it

  6. Paula Bankester says:

    So true, I find myself stressed and exhausted when I look at the area around my husband’s desk or his garage. I don’t have control over those but I can create other areas for me to escape. All in good time. In the mean time the 9 steps keep me sane. Thanks Marilyn.

    • Yes! It really is about the space we have control over. Having nice spaces you have created for yourself helps. We hope he catches on.

  7. Bonnie Spruin says:

    I love your website, Marilyn!

  8. Hey Marilyn,
    Great post. Why? because you connected aspects of life to clutter. Some I have not thought of like, embarrassment!

    • Thanks! Yes, I have been meaning to write a post about this subject. Makes a lot of sense doesn’t it. I like to bring awareness in different ways to help to understand the connection between clutter and health. Thanks for commenting.

  9. Julie Kelly says:

    So grateful for your program, Marilyn. It helped me gradually restore order to my life during a long period of illness and still helps me every day. It’s simple and doable and the perfect antidote for a world of overwhelm. The logical progression of the program encouraged incremental improvement. I believed I could do it and that positive perspective kept me going. Your persistent and encouraging reminders are always appreciated. You are generous with your time and support. I’ve continued to apply the principles you’ve taught over many years. It’s a foundational system that I often recommend to others. Thanks so much! ❤️🙂

    • You are very welcomed! Thank you for explaining how it has helped you. May your comment help others and give them the courage to try the program. Happy I have met you and thank you for believing in me!

  10. I’ve been following Marilyn for several months and I’m so very grateful I found her and her way! The 9 daily habits have truly changed my life for the better and greatly reduced my stress.

    • Happy you found me too! I worked really hard at creating a system that is doable. I was tired at failing too. I spent a good year studying the systems out there. When I found myself going into confusion with all the tasks they wanted me to do, I knew it was too much. After doing research and adding my experience in other areas of my life along with education I came to the conclusion in order to become successful, having a set of daily habits that become automatic is the way I was able to begin. I never wanted to ever feel behind again. Because the system is set up in levels you can add each level when you are ready. Thanks for commenting!

  11. Gosh,
    And there I thought I was just being careful saving things in case they came in handy later.
    Hmmm – recognise a few traits of my own there.
    I’m not TOO bad at the moment, because when I moved house two years ago my sons came round and ‘helped’ me de-clutter – finally stopping when I was in tears. It had to be done I suppose, and it probably save me a fortune in removal costs. But the trick now, two years on, is not to re-clutter!

    Joy Healey – Blogging After Dark

    • I used to be the same way. Then I started a major decluttering of my home back in 2011. It didn’t happen overnight. It took a good 3 years for me to get decluttered. I was wall to wall and had pathways in my home. Today I declutter 15 minutes a day to keep clutter at bay and also have Monthly Decluttering Events in my group that helps maintain.

      I have also lost 45 lbs and am the healthiest I have ever been living with chronic illness fibromyalgia and all the goes with it. Of course like many, I didn’t think my health had anything to do with the clutter in my home. Because of this known fact I have added the category ‘Self Care’ to my system. Thank you for commenting.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.