Delivery alert

There may be an issue with the delivery of your newspaper. This alert will expire at NaN. Click here for more info.

Recover password

Clutter Costs Space

Organizing tips from Elizabeth Tawney Gross

Clutter costs you in space. A cluttered home has no room to do things, whether routine or fun things like hobbies. Treasured items like photos and mementos have no place to be displayed and get lost in the chaos.

When clutter spreads, it leaves you no space to relax. A cluttered, chaotic environment has no place for your eyes or your brain to be still. Even though we are not be conscious of it, our eyes and brains see the clutter and try to process it. If every space is full of things competing for our attention, our brains get overwhelmed and tired. When decorating, creating an art piece or designing a print layout, the artist always leaves some “white space,” or calm area to allow your eyes and your brain the room to relax and slow down to enjoy it. One of the many reasons I love living in New Mexico is the wide open spaces that allow me to relax and expand my horizons.

Even simple tasks are difficult to complete when you don’t have room to put the tools and supplies you need for the project. Making a meal takes much longer, and is much harder, when you first have to move things around on the counter to make room for a bowl or a cutting board. Who is going to make the effort to cook when you first have to hunt for tools and ingredients in the clutter? Many people with cluttered homes can’t eat at their tables. They prepare meals not based on their nutritional needs, but on the requirement that it can be fixed and eaten in whatever small space they have available.

A cluttered environment makes doing a complicated and paper intensive task like preparing taxes much more difficult. Even starting the process a huge task. Important papers are most likely lost in the clutter and take a long time to find. There’s no clear space available to sort papers, and when they are put down in the clutter they get lost again in the chaos.

Clutter robs you of the space to live the life you want.

Copyright© 2015 Elizabeth Tawney Gross, Organizing For Everyday, LLC

About Elizabeth Tawney Gross

Ask the Experts panelist Elizabeth Tawney Gross is the owner of Organizing for Everyday and a certified professional organizer in chronic disorganization. Send her a question at Find out more about her at

Ask the Expert a question

To ask Elizabeth a question, type in the comments field below. Or ask a question by emailing