Why We Get Stressy When Things Are More Messy

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Why We Get Stressy When Things Are More Messy

Have you ever felt like a dirty, cluttered environment was directly affecting your stress levels? Well as it turns out, you wouldn’t be wrong. There are many ways that unclean environments affect our state of mind — both consciously and unconsciously.

At Clean Pro, we sure do love to be clean, and we love helping other people to be clean in their homes and commercial buildings as well. We know very well how stressful it can be when you’re living or working in a dirty space, but many homeowners don’t know the full extent of how it may be affecting them.

Here are some reasons why messy equals stressy.


One of the most detrimental effects of clutter is the tendency it has to distract our brains. This occurs on a conscious level, but it also happens behind the scenes in ways you may not notice.

Consciously, it’s easy to explain why clutter is distracting. Even if we’re not looking at it, it’s likely to draw our gaze eventually. Whether it happens often or rarely, it’s easy to get distracted by things which aren’t part of our current task.

But distraction can also occur on a subconscious level too. You may not notice, but your brain is working overtime pretty much every minute of every day. Your peripheral vision takes notes of things that aren’t at all in your scope of attention, and the subconscious mind is constantly taking in stimuli and processing it. Just because you don’t notice or think about it doesn’t mean it’s not actually happening.

Well, clutter basically causes overstimulation. There are so many things in the immediate vicinity that your brain is “tracking,” that it’s actually mentally taxing and it makes it harder to focus. Do your brain a favor and take care of it!


Working hard doesn’t only come down to diligence and grit, despite what motivational quotes would have you believe. There are a lot of external factors which can influence the productivity of your brain, and the immediate environment is one of them.

It is pretty well-known that our work environment can have direct effects on how we think and feel. Everyone is different, but as a general rule of thumb, clean and open spaces are usually conducive to productivity. Messy areas can make us feel constrained and restricted. Clutter can invade our personal space, and for whatever reason, it just makes the brain a little less effective.


Worry, doubt, and fear are the antitheses of relaxation. It’s hard to truly put yourself at ease when you know there’s work to be done, and messes create those exact feelings. This is true for both big and small things. If you’re about to go perform on a stage in front of 500 people, it’s easy to understand why you can’t truly be at ease until it’s over. Until it happens, it’ll constantly be in the back of your mind.

Well, messes may be a much smaller issue, but they still produce the same effect. When there are messes all over the house, it’s just yet another reminder that there are chores that need to be completed. Sure, you could take some time off and relax, but should you? We would argue yes, but your brain likes to say no.

It’s just harder to enjoy things when you know you’re putting off important work. Messes, unfortunately, are very good at causing that.



It’s safe to say that most people don’t want to live in a messy, dirty, or cluttered environment. There’s a social stigma around unkempt or dirty spaces, so for many people, having a messy living space created feelings of guilt and embarrassment which make people feel more self-conscious.

The obvious implication of this is being ashamed of other people’s perception of you. Nobody wants to feel judged by their friends, families, or acquaintances. While that’s probably not actually happening, it’s easy to feel like others are looking down on you. It’s only human to hold yourself to a high standard, and it’s a major bummer when you feel like you’re making yourself look bad in front of people you care about.

It’s important to note, however, that guilt and other similar feelings can occur even when there’s no one around to see the mess. “I’m better than this,” people tend to think. “How do I always let it get like this?” We don’t think anyone should tear themselves down with those kinds of thoughts, but the unfortunate reality is that it’s human nature. Luckily, these feelings can be reversed if the mess and clutter is taken care of — something we’re all too happy to help with!


Nobody is ever actively trying to make their place messy, but unfortunately, it just kind of happens, and sometimes through no fault of your own. Sometimes messes seem to happen just as quickly as we can clean them. We don’t know how or why this happens, and sometimes the only feasible solution is that there’s some kind of ghost following you and messing things up just to spite you.

While that’s obviously not true, there are plenty of reasons why messes and clutter just kind of happen. Anyone who’s ever owned a puppy or raised children can attest to this; you may not be the one causing the problem, but you’re still the one who has to fix it.

Whether you work so long and so hard that you don’t have time to clean up before collapsing into bed, or you have other people (or pets) at home making a mess, it is completely human to feel overwhelmed and exhausted. This, of course, has an impact on your overall stress levels.


The last annoying side effect of clutter and messes is that it can affect our productivity and workflow. Sure, even if you’re subconsciously distracted by your surroundings, it might not stop you from outputting a lot of work. But sometimes clutter directly interferes with what we’re doing, and that adds stress.

A desk is a good example. It’s one thing to have way too many desk toys, but it’s another to have important files and paperwork all strewn together in a mess. Clutter can cause those situations where you need to find something, and you end up taking far more time than you should because you have to dig through piles of disorganized junk.

This can manifest itself in many ways. Whether you’re losing stuff inside the mess, or losing productivity because you slip on a kitchen spill, the bottom line is that messes, clutter, and junk can get in the way of your work.


The bad news is that messes and clutter are a constant in life. Nobody will ever reach the point where they’re permanently free from such burdens forever, but the good news is that there are solutions. Most messes and clutter situations are easy to take care of on their own, but if the problem gets bad enough, there are always professionals who are more than happy to lend a hand, such as our team at Clean Pro.

We offer a smorgasbord of cleaning and home improvement services, and you can bet that we have several ways to help with messes. Residential cleaning services are an option to handle stuff that needs deep cleaning, and we also have junk removal services if there’s just too much clutter in your life. While we’re headquartered in Gloucester, we serve folks in Essex, North Shore, Manchester, and other nearby areas in Greater Boston. Contact us today to get started!



"Thank you CleanPro. Getting my estimate to wax floors/carpets on a Holiday was a plus but now I don't have to clean my office (junk room). Found out clean pro helps with that, they have trailers and will help load up... I'm so thrilled CleanPro to my rescue..."

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We are very happy with the services provided by CleanPro Gloucester. Their technician cleaned our rental unit after the tenant moved out and the space looks brand new! They were extremely thorough and efficient. And working with the administrative office to schedule and provide payment was easy.

- Mercedes