Study: Americans have clutter-induced anxiety

Photo By ClosetMaid

OCALA, Fla. - A&E's long-running series "Hoarders" has shown the challenges of excessive clutter. But while most Americans may not experience something as extreme as what the reality TV series depicts, mounds of clutter in the closet or other parts of the home impacts a significant number of Americans. According to a study released by ClosetMaid, approximately 47 percent of Americans have clutter-induced anxiety with the average person stockpiling 23 unnecessary items in their homes.
The study of 2,000 people commissioned by ClosetMaid, also found the state of the home is so bad that one in five have been accused by a friend or family member of being a hoarder. Additionally, 57 percent keep things for sentimental reasons, while a third procrastinate throwing out items they no longer need.
With the start of the new year being the time many homeowners look to get organized, ClosetMaid offers the following tips on how to make the process more productive and less stressful:
  • Remember that consistency is better than intensity, so be sure your resolutions for decluttering and organizing are reasonable and not so ambitious they are destined for failure. 
  • Create a drop zone for things like briefcases, purses, totes and backpacks that come in and out of the home frequently. 
  • Fight the paper war by discarding catalogs, solicitations and advertisements you get in the mail and set up a system for addressing personal correspondence, bills, etc. on a regular basis. 
  • Organize clutter digitally by scanning old photos and documents and storing them on your computer instead of boxes or file cabinets that take up precious space. 
  • Select a single project and stick with it until complete rather than taking on multiple ones at the same time. 
  • Get a system in order that will help manage and organize your belongings.  There are plenty of products on the market that meet all needs, budgets, lifestyles and tastes. 
  • Be ruthless in your closet and get rid of things that are out of style or no longer fit.  Treat yourself to ultra-thin hangers to make more room and take away the visual noise. 
  • Don’t make the mistake of simply moving stuff to new locations.  Evaluate what you have and if it’s worth keeping.  If it’s not, do not procrastinate, discard it immediately rather than relocating to a new space. 
  • Learn to delegate chores and hold family members accountable for managing their own belongings. 
  • Don’t get tripped up in nostalgia and hold onto things just because they evoke memories.  If it’s that sentimental, take a photo of the item and then toss it away.
  • Getting organized is a team effort so get everyone in the household on board with the program. Understand it is a commitment of time and patience, and the results, while they don’t have to be picture-perfect, are well worth it.  The happiness and satisfaction you feel from being organized will hopefully be all the incentive you need to stay that way.
For more information about getting organized in the New Year visit

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About the author
Michaelle Bradford | Editor

Michaelle Bradford, CCI Media, is Editor of Closets & Organized Storage magazine and Woodworking Network editor. She has more than 20 years of experience covering the woodworking and design industry, including visits to custom cabinet shops, closet firms and design studios throughout North America. As Editor of Closets & Organized Storage magazine under the Woodworking Network brand, Michaelle’s responsibilities include writing, editing, and coordinating editorial content as well as managing annual design competitions like the Top Shelf Design Awards. She is also a contributor to FDMC and other Woodworking Network online and print media owned by CCI Media.