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Clutter's Effect on Relationships

Updated: May 28

For most of us, our home is our sanctuary, a comfortable place where we can relax and spend time when life gets too busy. Clutter can stand in the way of this feeling of peace. A clean and organized home is a happy home. Living in a disorganized home can cause tension and conflict in relationships, especially if the clutter is primarily coming from one partner.

1. Generalized Stress

Clutter can cause irritability, anxiety and a feeling of being overwhelmed. This can lead to stress in relationships with those we live with. If your partner is constantly stressed by the clutter in your home, this can overflow into your relationship. If your partner is feeling stressed, you probably are too. With changes to the organization of your home, you both can feel a lot calmer.

2. Arguments

If you have a disorganized home, clutter will often be a topic of discussion. When these conversations move to arguments, frustration can arise and lead to arguments on unrelated topics. It is important to open up an honest conversation around clutter and to admit when there is an issue. Work towards understanding the source of the clutter and how this causes stress for the other person. Compromise is key in relationships, and this is no different. Work towards a plan together around how you will address the clutter in your home and hold one another responsible for making changes.

3. Feeling Disrespected

If you partner is continually telling you that clutter in the home is bothering them and nothing changes, this can lead to that person not feeling like their opinion, feelings or wishes are being respected. It is important to acknowledge and talk about this stress even though you may not understand it.

4. Shift in Your Activities

Clutter can actually change the activities that take place in your home. If you are continuously having to sort through clutter to find things or feel stressed due to your living environment, you may not have the time or energy to put into doing the types of things you enjoy. A cluttered space can cause avoidance and demotivate us. You may lose the drive to participate in activities or have company over. This can lead to partners feeling disconnected or resentful.

Hiring a professional organizer is very helpful when there are disagreements around clutter. An organizer is an objective third party that will work with both partners to determine an organizing strategy that will work for everyone.


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