Research shows that a person working in a cluttered office loses an average of one and a half hours of productivity per day compared to the person with an organized office. This difference is largely due to time wasted in the search for things difficult to find and in being distracted by clutter related items. The loss of time also applies to home inefficiencies, when we consider the time wasted looking for misplaced items or getting to items which are ineffectively stored.
Source: Productivity Institute, Dr. Donald Wetmore, President, www.balancetime.com
If you own your home, it is probably your largest investment. Cluttered space is costly unusable space.
Here is how you can estimate this cost:
Total house value divided by total square footage = Value of one
Square feet of clutter (length x width) x value of one square foot = Cost of dysfunctional space
If you have a 1,500 square foot house worth $300,000, every square foot is worth $200. If you have a 10X10 foot room you can’t use because of clutter, that’s a $20,000 storage room. You could be spending 7% of your mortgage on that space. Are the things in that room worth that much money?
Source: Conquer the Clutter: Reclaim Your Space, Reclaim Your Life, Melissa Bigner, 2005, Meredith Corporation.
A cluttered environment impacts on one’s emotions. Many people living in disarray express feelings of shame, guilt, embarrassment, anger, anxiety, sadness and hopelessness/helplessness. They are confused about how or where to begin and may just “give up”. This becomes an endless spiral of despair which intensifies the lack of motivation and sense of powerlessness. The emotional heaviness of the person becomes an emotional heaviness affecting every member of the household, even pets.
Emotional clutter often results in excessive spending. Clutterers tend to overspend, using their purchasing power to substitute for a sense of personal control. When excessive spending is controlled, a household budget becomes much more manageable.
The mental confusion of clutter reduces efficiency and effectiveness. A system of denial may take over, in which the person finds it too painful to admit to or “see” the real problem. School-age children often under-perform when their homes are cluttered, as study space can be jeopardized and assignments lost. Disorganized households often create people who are chronically late, contributing to social stressors.
Spiritually, there is a disconnect when one lives contrary to one’s beliefs and values. For example, if a person believes that family is a primary value, it can be spiritually devastating to realize how the family is being dishonored by the clutter. Often this becomes the inspiration for change - our love for the well-being of another.
There is good evidence to show the relationship between cluttered homes and significant physical health problems of its inhabitants. The primary culprits are dust and dirt, mold and mildew, mites and other insects, rodents, germs and bacteria. These have been shown to impact on allergies, asthma, chronic cough and other respiratory ailments, congestion and nasal problems, headaches and migraines, sleep disturbances, skin conditions, higher rates of infection and decreased energy.
These factors translate to higher health care and medication costs, many of which can be reversed when proper cleanliness is restored.
There is an increased risk of accidents in cluttered homes, such as falls due to tripping. The risk of fire is heightened. Pest invasion can cause structural damage to a home, as can mold and mildew, resulting in costly repairs.
Emergency response teams (fire, police, ambulance) have impaired ability to respond when their path is cluttered. Often people will delay calling for emergency help, even when very necessary, due to their concern of being judged by the condition of their home. Difficult and expensive civil actions are feared, such as eviction and child, adult or animal welfare investigations.
If you are living with these kinds of burdens, it is time to seek compassionate, professional assistance. Clutter To Comfort has been designed to meet your needs.