by Kate Safin, Marketing and Member Services Manager

A recent study by the University of Minnesota found that participants with messy desks came up with more creative ideas than participants working in tidy spaces. While a cluttered desk may be a sign of creative genius, this same philosophy does not seem to translate to a cluttered home. In fact, clutter can make us feel anxious and overwhelmed. According to psychologist Sherrie Bourg Carter for Psychology Today, clutter makes it difficult to relax because our brains are bombarded by physical stimuli constantly signaling that our work isn’t done. Mess can also make us feel guilty, embarrassed, or frustrated, and it decreases our productivity.

Tackling a messy home may further contribute to our anxiety, giving us a sense that the job is too big and will never get done. If you are you ready to clear away clutter and say goodbye to the stress and anxiety caused by excess stuff, find an approach that works for you and get started!

Organizing your home focuses less on the accumulation of stuff and more on belongings having a neat and orderly place. This makes it easier to find things and then put them away. For example, a bin for all your hats or shoes, a folding folio for bills, a drawer for pens, etc. A room-by-room approach is often taken when it comes to organizing.

To tidy is simply to bring things to order and arrange them neatly. Pittsburghers likely know this better as “redd up.”

The KonMari Method™
The KonMari Method™ was developed by Marie Kondo, introduced to audiences in her best-selling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and new Netflix original series Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. It encourages tidying by category – not by location – beginning with clothes, then moving on to books, papers, komono (miscellaneous items), and, finally, sentimental items. This method promotes keeping only things that “spark joy” and discarding all other items with gratitude. (

Minimalism is both a tool and a lifestyle that helps people clear clutter by questioning what things add value to their lives. The philosophy behind minimalism is that by reducing material things, people are more capable of focusing on health, relationships, fulfillment and freedom.

The Next Step
Clearing our homes can make us feel much lighter, but how do we responsibly dispose of our excess without contributing to landfills? There are many organizations that can help you repurpose items you are ready to let go of: FreeStore Wilkinsburg, Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse, and Construction Junction are just a few. You can also coordinate your cleaning to line up with ReuseFest, a one-day drop off event open to the public that diverts materials from local landfills to reuse by Pittsburgh non-profits. This year ReUse Fest will take place in Buhl Park on April 20th. For more information, visit