Most homes contain at least some physical clutter, and lives in general become more cluttered every day. Experts agree that a cluttered home can be exhausting, damaging, and may even negatively impact your overall health. Why is clutter so bad for you, and what can you do about it?

Psychological impact of clutter

Even minor amounts of clutter may leave you frustrated. Excessive clutter gives the perpetual illusion that your house is too small, that it's messy, and that you simply don't have the space to do the things you need to accomplish. This is one of the major reasons that cluttered houses have been linked to depression, as well as other severe productivity-killing and joy-sapping side effects.

Physical damage caused by clutter

Clutter traps moisture and offers the perfect living place for assorted pests such as mice, cockroaches and wasps. Piles can crush your carpet, fall over and scrape the walls, or otherwise damage your home. Not to mention, simply walking through a cluttered home exposes you to the danger of trips and falls – or at least painfully stubbed toes. Left neglected long enough, your unused possessions turn into far more of a liability within the home than they're worth.

Failure of clutter organization strategies

The automatic response to clutter is often organization. Although file cabinets, cool little compartmentalized boxes, and vertical closet organizers can be used to organize the clutter, and everything looks better, the clutter is still there. By adding organizers to the mix, there's even more clutter and extra surfaces to pile additional clutter. No matter how nice or how well-packed the stuff may be, it's still clutter if you're not putting it to good use.

Constructive ways to deal with clutter

Intuitively, the best way to deal with clutter is to simply get rid of it: sell it, give it away, donate it to a worthy cause, recycle it, or just plain throw it away. However, that's not always easy or practical. You may spend weeks or months just properly disposing of the clutter. Seasonal items such as holiday decorations, coats, camping gear, and gardening equipment may be clutter right now, but are essential at the right time of year.

One attractive option for quickly busting clutter self storage. Move everything out of the home at once, and then commit to sorting through the stored items as time permits. Simply putting clutter out of sight isn't enough to correct the problem, but storage units free up your household space and gives you the time to deal with those unused items.

No one truly appreciates the effect of clutter on their lives until it's gone. By separating clutter from everyday living, you can start on the road to "clutter recovery" and get your life back in order.