Clutter Clutter Everywhere!

Stress and Clutter

Clutter is an overabundance of possessions that collectively create chaotic and disorderly living spaces,” said Joseph Ferrari, a professor of psychology at DePaul University in Chicago.

A 2017 study, published in Current Psychology found a substantial link between procrastination and clutter challenges in the age groups; college students, young adults in their 20s and 30s and older adults, mainly in their 50s; so lots of people face clutter challenges and frustration with clutter tended to increase with age. (Source: New York Times, Jan 2019)

Office Clutter
Office Clutter


Research by Dreamtown in the UK found that the average 10-year-old owns 238 toys but plays with just 12 daily (The Telegraph). The build up of home clutter including toys, clothes, shoes and even gadgets creates a constant need to tidy up which in turn can create a feeling of stress. Do you recognise the feeling?

Over the course of our lifetime, we will spend a total of 3,680 hours or 153 days searching for misplaced items, something we just stuck in a draw! The research found we lose up to nine items every day—or 198,743 in a lifetime. Phones, keys, sunglasses, and paperwork top the list (The Daily Mail).

Store Room Clutter
Store Room Clutter – Computers – Monitors – Cables

One of the biggest clutter offender are phones. Official data from ComReg Ireland shows that there were 5,432,182 active mobile phone subscriptions at the end of March 2013 and you can add lots more over the last number of years. It’s a fact, we’re all buying more gadgets with the older or unused items building up in boxes, draws, cabinets and store rooms.

In Ireland a 2015 study found that on average two in five Irish adults (38%) consider themselves to be hoarders, meaning homes are filling up (Empathy Research)  Further research commissioned by NESTA outlined that 58% of respondents found it hard to get rid of their possessions, meaning they keep them!

The National Association of Professional Organizations shows there is a direct correlation between productivity and clutter. Productivity declines when clutter and chaos rise. Piles of paper, unorganised kitchen space or play rooms, old receipts, bills and paperwork stuffed in boxes or drawers will take over your home over a period of time.

Clutter-Garden Shed
Garden Shed Clutter

How to Reduce Clutter

Clutter can include unread books, old electronic equipment, files which have not been filed, letters and cards, clothes thrown on the floor, stuff that you no longer need, want or use but you still possess. Remember, clutter is not usually confined to one area can be spread across you home.

What to do?

Before anything else, make a simple plan with specific and simple goals that will reduce your frustration and stress.

Here are a 9 tips to keep in mind as you start de-cluttering your home:

  1. Make a written note of all the areas you need to de-clutter.
  2. Prioritize the areas and assign your time.
  3. Do one area at a time.
  4. Set a start and finish dates for each area.
  5. Be sure to pick dates that are real so you get the job complete.
  6. Make time and get help to work on specific areas which may take longer like a garden shed or attic.
  7. Use a system to save on time and energy.
  8. Plan how you might lift on move heavy items.
  9. Research and decide how you will have the clutter removed for recycling once assemble

Once the items are in ready you can decide what you want to do about  removal. We have a list of some solutions of which might work for you.

Donation Box
Donation Box

11  Reduce and Recycle Tips after De-cluttering 

  1. Don’t hold onto items once they have made the box.
  2. Sell some items online, e.g. Ebay, Done Deal or Adverts.
  3. Repurpose old stuff with some DIY and help from friends.
  4. Donate to charity shops.
  5. Share items with family, friends or colleagues e.g kids clothes or toys.
  6. Gift your items to friends or colleague with an interest in them.
  7. Share items free for reuse. Go online or find an exchange network
  8. Recycle all old electrical, electronic and battery operated items.
  9. Moving forward, recycle stuff immediately when used or end of life
  10. Consider gifting items based on condition.
  11. After the clear out consider what you buy and recycle one day at a time.
Clutter Before & After
Before and After Clutter

Making the decision to get rid of your old items can be the hardest part of de-cluttering. Like many people, you may have trouble getting rid of  items you once used or loved. You have also spent your hard-earned money on the items so they do hold a value for you. These are real and valid feelings but no matter how challenging the decision, de-cluttering is necessary and helps reduce stress levels and it will create space!

About Recycle IT

Recycle IT is an award-winning not for profit social enterprise providing a collection and drop off service for all types of waste electrical, electronic and metal items. During 2018 Recycle IT offered drop off and collection services to approx. 90,000 homes and businesses across Dublin and surrounding areas collecting a range of WEEE which includes thousands of computers, cables, monitors, microwaves and TV’s.

The Recycle IT electrical community collection service is provided in partnership with WEEE Ireland. Recycle IT are supported by Pobal, South Dublin County Council and authorized by the National Waste Collection Permit Office and the local authorities across Dublin, Kildare and Wicklow.

Recycle IT are Repak Community Recycler of the Year 2017

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