If your messy junk drawer is the most organized place in your house, be warned! Being surrounded by clutter can hurt you at home and at work. Here are the facts:

  • Clutter kills your mood. Research shows a strong link between clutter and depression. And getting rid of clutter can be a huge mood-booster. Psychotherapist Dr. Joyce Marter says that most people who do a major purge say it made them feel more energized, more optimistic, and much more satisfied with their lives.
  • The junk that surrounds you also clutters up your head. Researchers at Princeton University used an MRI machine to see how the brain reacts to a messy environment. The result? Clutter actually limits a person’s ability to process information! A messy environment also makes it harder for people to focus. And it decreases activity in the part of the brain responsible for short-term memory.
  • It decreases your chances of being promoted. A survey by Career Builder found that 33% of managers say they’d never promote someone with a messy workspace.
  • Clutter makes us less productive. One study found that as people’s offices got neater, the amount of work they got done increased. In fact, the neatest people did six times more work than the messiest employees.
  • It’s expensive. According to the National Association of Professional Organizers, it costs about $10 per square foot to store stuff in your house. And 1-in-10 families rent storage units, paying more than $1,000 a year in rent. Also, 23% of us end up paying our bills late – and incurring late fees – because the piles of paper around us literally swallow up our statements.

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