Classically Organized Blog

The Clutter - Depression Connection

The Clutter - Depression Connection

The other week I posted this Houselogic article: The Link Between Clutter and Depression on my Facebook page. It got over 700 views. Clearly, this is a topic that many people struggle with or can relate to in some way. Because of the great deal of interest this article generated, I've rounded up 5 more articles having to do with the connection between clutter and depression.


1. Why Mess Causes Stress: 8 Reasons, 8 Remedies from Psychology Today.

2.  The Link Between Clutter and Depression That Could Be The Clue To Your Happiness from Juicing for Health.

3. Clutter and Depression from Care2

4. The Link Between Clutter and Depression from WebPsychology 

5. A Clutter Too Deep for Mere Bins and Shelves from The New York Times.


As these articles demonstrate, clutter is more than just a house problem, it's a head problem as I like to say. Clutter is often a symptom of a larger health issue. These health challenges can be both physical and mental: trauma, depression, chronic pain, grief, traumatic brain injury, or attentional difficulties.  


You can't just clean up your house to fix your fears, worries, stresses and anxieties. In order to truly make a change you need to change the person and that means examining one's thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. At the most basic level, you need to change your actions in order to succeed in tackling your problems.


The majority of Professional Organizers are not trained therapists (though I am), but they do know enough to spot signs and symptoms of a bigger issue. Therapeutic services may be helpful in addition to the hands-on organizing, and Pro Organizers are more than happy to collaborate with mental health treaters to make sure everyone is on the same page in getting a client's head and home in harmony.


Don't struggle with your clutter alone and in sadness. Seek out a Professional Organizer by starting at the National Association of Professional Organizer website ( There you can search by geographic location and by specialty. Some of the specialty categories include: ADD/ADHD Support, Chronic Disorganization, Hoarding Tendencies Support, and People with Disabilities. The Institute for Challenging Disorganization (ICD) is another great resource ( The ICD has Organizers not only in the US, but in Canada, Australia, The Netherlands, and Japan. 


The connection between clutter and depression is real and we can help.




Categories: Mental Health


  • Great resource round-up! I have to say, I really admire you and the work you do.
    5/2/2017 10:25:56 AM Reply
    • @Janet Barclay: Thanks, Janet. And I have submitted this to the POBC! :)
      5/5/2017 12:28:22 PM Reply
  • Thank you for sharing the articles that give further insights into the core sources of clutter and resources like NAPO and ICD for finding organizers that are trained in working with both the physical and emotional side of organizing. It's so important that you clarified that most organizers (unlike you) are not trained therapists. However, many organizers do work collaboratively with therapists and coaches. Just as important is finding an organizer that has the right background and training to handle more complicated issues that can surface with disorganization. We like to say in the industry, "do no harm." Without having some understanding of our client's possible mental health issues, organizers could inadvertently do more harm than good. ICD is a great resource for education around mental health and other issues that are often present with our clients struggling with clutter and ongoing disorganization.
    5/2/2017 8:11:19 AM Reply
    • @Linda Samuels: You point about 'do no harm' is crucial. Thanks for chiming in, Linda.
      5/2/2017 9:37:05 AM Reply
  • It is so helpful to offer a word of help and encouragement. We are a caring professional community, and want to bring supportive resources to bear. I so agree... don't suffer in silence.
    4/28/2017 7:23:54 AM Reply
    • @Seana Turner: Validation, empathy, and support are a large part of our work with clients. They should not struggle alone.
      5/2/2017 9:36:18 AM Reply

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