Seeing a cluttered room can make those with anxiety feel overwhelmed. Everything is so out of place and dirty. By cleaning up that mess, you are getting that control back and making your space exactly the way you want.

How Does Clutter Affect Your Brain?

Subconsciously, our brains believe that clutter is associated with negative emotions like irritability, tension, and worry. Cleaning, on the other hand, is associated with positive emotions like happiness and calmness. When space is cluttered, it is like unfinished business and a lack of completeness. When you keep staring at it, it is like a reminder of what needs to be done that still is not done. This is why real estate agents encourage buyers to clean up their homes if they want them to be sold since prospective buyers visualize what their new home will be like. Seeing so much clutter will make them feel uncomfortable to live in this house. 

When you clean, you are not only taking control of cleaning your space but you are also making your environment soothing. Psychologists Sherrie Bourg Carter, Psy.D and Alicia H. Clark, Psy.D believe devoting even 10 minutes to cleaning every day can reduce your anxiety. It can be things like unloading or reload the dishwasher, cleaning off your counter, your closet, etc. 

What is the Psychology of Cleaning?

According to a Mindfulness study, participants who smelled the scent of the soap when dishwashing and allowed their skin to absorb the warmth of their skin had a 27% reduction in nervousness and a 25% improvement in “mental inspiration.” When we get anxious, we want to be able to do something about it to feel better. We may have to accept situations in our lives that are beyond our control, but what our space looks like is something we can fix. Some anxiety is considered healthy when we put our energy into something good. We take a deep look at our house and we see a lot of dust and objects in places they should not be. It is important to wake ourselves up and realize that we can pick up a dustpan, broom, and towel and get rid of the clutter. You do not need to overwhelm yourself doing everything in one day. Cleaning up your space one day at a time will help you regain the control you thought you lost.

Located in Georgetown, Texas, Alma Loma is a transformative living center to help those struggling in early recovery to transition out of our Psychiatric and Substance Abuse residential center. Alma Loma believes that addiction is born from an untreated mental illness in which our facility is here to help you. Our facility offers residency, medication management education, individualized treatment, life skills education, 12-step support, and more tools to bring patients the confidence to be able to live an independent life. For more information, please call us at 866-457-3843.