Crowded Refrigerator Door? You May be Stressed!!

Time to De-Clutter by Donating to Goodwill®

The number of magnets on your refrigerator may correlate to a preoccupation with possessions elsewhere in your home, says a study from UCLA’s Center on the Everyday Lives of Families (CELF).

Researchers say Americans’ propensity to accumulate stuff has led to a “clutter culture.” Results of the five-year study of people’s homes are published in a new book titled Life at Home in the 21st Century: 32 Families Open Their Doors.

The study found that “a family’s tolerance for a crowded, artifact-laden refrigerator surface often corresponds to the densities of possessions in the main rooms of the house … and how many household goods they retain over their lifetimes.”

Subjects in the study, as well as organizing experts, say having so much stuff is a leading cause of stress.
“It’s no wonder that so many people view annual spring cleaning as cathartic and a stress reliever,” says Lorie Marrero, Certified Professional Organizer®, author of The Clutter Diet and spokesperson for Goodwill’s Donate Movement.

“From toys and trinkets to clothing and shoes, we tend to accumulate more than we need,” she says. “Clearing the clutter and chaos can lift your mood and keep you on track in other areas of your life.”

The clutter often finds its way to the closet first. According to a national poll featured in the April 2011 issue of ShopSmart magazine, women own an average of 17 pairs of shoes yet typically only wear three of those pairs on a regular basis. More than 13 percent have more than 30 pairs (not including athletic shoes).

But spring cleaning has benefits beyond tidier households, cleaner closets and lower stress levels. Donating unwanted or rarely used items to Marion Goodwill generates revenue to fund job training programs and community-based services that can lead to jobs and fresh starts for people who are unemployed or underemployed.

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