Is Clutter Bad for Your Mental Health?

In a recent survey conducted by OnePoll for The Container Store, it was found that despite 82% of Americans considering themselves organized, a significant number of homeowners struggle to keep their homes clutter-free. The survey, which involved 2,000 homeowners with garages, revealed that nearly a third of respondents find it difficult to maintain organization in their homes.

The survey also highlighted the impact of home organization on mental health. Approximately 45% of respondents stated that the organization of their home influences their mental health, and 80% feel more motivated when their home isn’t cluttered. Conversely, 73% expressed feelings of being overwhelmed when their home is untidy.

Interestingly, while 35% of those surveyed enjoy organizing, a quarter feel the opposite. The survey also revealed that one in seven homeowners currently have disorganized homes, with an average of 25 items out of place, often in bathrooms. Half of these respondents delay finding the right spot for these items, sometimes indefinitely.

The most challenging storage areas to keep organized were identified as the garage, closet, and drawers. Common items taking up the most space in Americans’ storage spaces include home and holiday décor, old documents, and clothes or shoes.

The survey further showed that 46% of respondents would feel embarrassed if guests saw the current state of their storage areas, with the garage being the most common place for “junk” to be stored. On average, it’s been at least a few months since 35% of respondents last organized the “junk” areas within their home, and another 23% claim they attempted to organize their garage at least a year ago.

Gretchen Ganc, Executive Vice President of Strategy and Analytics at The Container Store, emphasized the potential within these cluttered spaces and the need to tackle organization, especially when clutter has already taken over.

The survey also highlighted the versatility of garages, with many homeowners using them for various purposes such as car storage and indoor golf simulators. However, the garage is often used as a dumping ground for unused items, with 37% of respondents describing their garage as a “nightmare.”

Ganc suggests outlining goals for the garage, including what to store, what to do with the freed-up space, and how to maximize the available space. She also emphasized that garages are not one-size-fits-all and offered custom spaces and complementary organizing solutions.

The survey concludes that storage solutions can significantly improve the organization of homes, leading to benefits for mental health, productivity, and overall home management.

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