3 Reasons Clutter Leads to Wasted Time

If you’ve ever been late for work because you couldn’t find your keys under all the junk in your house, you know how clutter can waste time and increase stress. Be honest, who hasn’t done this a time or two? 

By sorting out the clutter in your life, you’ll free up your time, reduce stress, and make it easier to move through your days. 

If you still need convincing, consider these examples of time wasted:

Searching for Lost Items

If your house is organized and everything has its place, it’s easy to grab your keys, wallet, and phone on the way out the door. When items are set down randomly amidst clutter, however, it can be a daily struggle to find what you need. After a while, this time can really add up. 

Take the first step: Start your decluttering process by creating a dedicated space for your most frequently misplaced items, whether it’s your phone, keys, wallet, or something else. Once you experience the joy of finding your keys within seconds, you’ll be motivated to tidy up and create a space for the rest of your items as well. 

Making Decisions Again, and Again, and Again

Do you find yourself picking up an item of clutter, thinking about what to do with it, and then putting it right back down again?  I know I do. Whether it’s unopened mail, old clothes, a book you haven’t read, outdated electronics, or any one of a thousand other items, thinking about it doesn’t change anything – but it does waste your time. It can be difficult to decide what to do with your clutter, but you can’t make any progress until you start making those decisions.   

Take the first step: You don’t have to deal with all your clutter at once. Instead, start small. For the next week, commit to sorting your mail the second it arrives. Whether it is junk mail that should be recycled, a bill that needs to be paid, or a magazine that wants to be read, deal with it all as it comes in. Once you get the hang of dealing with a small category of items, pick another category and start deciding. 

Clutter Breeds Stress

Our physical spaces influence our emotional states, and vice-versa. If your home or office is messy, unorganized, and out-of-control, there’s a good chance you feel the same way. 

In fact, studies show that people in cluttered homes have higher stress levels than those who say their house is tidy. High levels of stress waste your time by preventing you from resting and relaxing. Without rest, your stress levels climb even higher, and life starts to feel a lot more difficult.  

Take the first step: If getting your whole house in order seems daunting, start with one quiet corner. Clear off your desk or create a meditation area with a comfy chair and a beautiful plant. If you find it soothing, pick another area to tidy, and then another. Soon, your home will be neat, and you’ll feel a lot better. 


Which of these have you experienced – searching for lost items like misplaced keys – this is a big one in our house; making the same decisions over and over again instead of busting your clutter issues before they start like sorting through and dealing with the mail as soon as it’s in your hands; or feeling stressful when you think about the disorganized area in your home?

Let me know. I’d love to hear. Feel free to share any tips I left out. 


Need more self-care tips including info on incorporating more laughter into your day, head on over to A Cup of Positivity on Facebook join the discussion.

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Self-love is not selfish.

Self-Love JournalLearning to love yourself is on of the most difficult things you will ever do on this journey called life. It’s okay to take care of your needs first. This doesn’t mean you aren’t going to take care of your To-Do list. It simply means you’re changing priorities so that you put yourself first.

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Patricia “Pat” Bumpass is a ghostwriter, self-care advocate, author, and parent coach.
She encourages and empowers women and parents with special needs kids to love themselves.
Pat is North Carolina “born and bred” and loves coffee — hot or iced. You will often hear her say, “Twertles make me happy.” 🙂 

Join my newsletter at www.patriciabumpass.com.

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