You cringe every time your closet doors are opened, bracing for the catastrophe that awaits within and the inevitable spike in your stress level.
Is this a scenario that sounds all-too-familiar to you? If so, you’re one of many people who have to contend with their disorganized closets every day. And disorganized closets can have more negative effects on your life then you might imagine.
Naturally, there are the obvious ways disorganized closets impact your daily life, such as wasting your time and the stress they cause. Dig a little deeper, however, and you’ll realize that the many drawbacks of having messy closets should provide plenty of incentive for you to fix the situation.
Identifying the problem is the first step on your pathway to doing that. Do any or all of these seven negative effects of having disorganized closets resonate with you?
1. Disorganized closets stress you out
The universal response to being asked “What’s the biggest negative effect of having disorganized closets?” will likely be that it’s a major cause of stress. Clutter and disorganization is just not conducive to keeping your headspace in a relaxed state.
Some of that stress develops because clutter and disorganization disrupts our focus and concentration. Our brain processes the mess as one more thing on our to-do list that needs to be dealt with.
And the longer we fail to deal with the problem, the more overwhelmed our brain feels. Feelings of guilt and shame manifest themselves in the form of health-threatening stress.
That means you’re adding to your stress level every time you need to go into your messy closets. For most people, that’s an average of three or four times a day. And disorganized closets and home clutter also add to the already-high anxiety levels North Americans have.
2. Disorganized closets waste your time
Another popular answer in response to how disorganized closets affect out lives would be that it causes us to waste a lot of time.
Some of that stress and anxiety disorganized closets contribute to stems from the fact that too much time is wasted looking for specific items.
Consider these statistics from a OnePoll survey of 1,000 American women:
- 47% of women struggle when it comes to deciding on which outfit they should wear to work
- 1 in 4 women admitted to having disorganized closets
- 57% of women believe that having organized closets saves them time when picking out something to wear
Another home organization study conducted by Alpha Phi Quarterly magazine shows that more than two thirds of those surveyed believe they could save up to 30 minutes a day if they were more organized. This is in all areas of their life, not just when it comes to their closets.
But disorganized closets are one of the biggest contributors to the hundreds of hours wasted by the average person yearly. So why are your closets so disorganized? Do you not declutter frequently enough? Is your closet space not being used properly or do you lack an efficient closet organizer?
3. You never have enough closet storage space
Look at any list of the most coveted features for homebuyers and ample closet space is sure to be near the top. And when we don’t have enough of it, we’re not happy. More than two thirds of homeowners polled by HSH.com named a lack of storage space as their biggest pet peeve.
Contrary to popular belief, however, the cause of disorganized closets isn’t necessarily due to your closets being too small. A Soap and Detergent Association study reveals that 80% of household clutter is a result of disorganization, not lack of space.
Yes, small closets make it more a challenge to keep your closets tidy, but there are ways to maximize the available space you do have. This can be done by using a few different solutions:
- making better use of your vertical space
- keeping your shoes more organized with a shoe rack
- having extra hanging rods added
- adding space-saving closet accessories to enhance your closet’s functionality
Your disorganized closets may also be making you think twice about buying a new clothing item you’d really like, just because you’re worried about adding it to the mess.
Sure, a certain amount of self-discipline when it comes to clothes shopping is a good thing. It is nice, however, to treat yourself to a new dress or pair of pants once in awhile, too (and especially if it’s on sale at a great price).
4. Disorganized closets are an eyesore
When your closets are a mess, you definitely want to keep them hidden from view. Other than when you need something out of your closet, it’s a good bet that your closet doors will be closed around the clock.
This will certainly be the case if you have houseguests over, but disorganized closets are also an embarrassment to show to the rest of your family. And, most importantly, you’ll be in a constant state of guilt over how out of hand you’ve let the situation get.
With the stylish and attractive looks that closets can be designed with nowadays by a skilled designer, your closets should be a space that you look forward to entering, not dreading.
There are an abundance of appealing finishing options and features available with a custom closet design. You can have a closet space created that actually adds to your home décor, instead of it being an area of your home that’s hidden as much as possible.
5. You frequently misplace and lose items
An overstuffed closet makes it far more difficult to locate specific items. And it’s no wonder our closets have too many things – the number of household items we buy has skyrocketed in the past several decades.
The Daily Mail newspaper reports that in the past 30 years, Britons’ homes have had a 133% increase in the average value of their contents. And the average closet of an American woman has 103 items in it.
Because we have more clothes and shoes than we need, items in the closet get misplaced or even lost. Often when they are found much later, they’ve become fashion relics or no longer fit.
Consider these additional statistics that illustrate the impact of having disorganized closets:
- women have an average of $550 worth of unworn clothing sitting in their closet (10 Yetis survey)
- at least once a month, 44% of women polled say they’re unable to find an item in their closet (OnePoll survey)
- 61% of women who struggle with picking an outfit from their closet buy new clothes instead of organizing (OnePoll survey)
It’s also estimated that 80% of your clothing is worn a mere 20% of the time. That’s mostly due to owning more than we need, as well as us being too disorganized to find items. As a result, this prevents us from getting our money’s worth out of the clothing by wearing things regularly.
6. Disorganized closets aren’t good for your clothing
A full, poorly maintained closet doesn’t provide a friendly storage environment for your clothing and shoes. Clothing that’s crammed together while hung up is more likely to get wrinkled. It also makes it harder to find items.
Clothing stored on open shelving or in closet drawers that are just thrown there instead of getting folded will also become a wrinkled mess. And shoes left in a disorganized pile on your closet floor will get scuffed and damaged.
Disorganized closets also cause you to take other storage shortcuts, simply because you have fewer storage options. For example, if your shelving or drawers are full, sweaters might be put on a hanger, which leaves hanger marks.
7. Dealing with disorganized closets gets your day off to a bad start
There’s rarely enough time in the morning to adequately take care of all your responsibilities before heading out to work. Being slowed down by hunting for a shoe or belt to match your outfit, or plain old indecisiveness when choosing an outfit, adds to the time we waste every morning.
When you leave the house late, your day gets off to a bad start. You also don’t want to have to just “settle” on an outfit due to time constraints. This doesn’t put you in the most confident, relaxed state of mind you’d prefer to have to begin your day.
3 in 10 women from that OnePoll survey believe that having an organized closet would make their mornings less stressful.
Don’t put up with your disorganized closets any longer
If you’ve been dealing with the headaches disorganized closets for too long, take some action. Disorganized closets cause needless stress and with the help of a closet professional, you can fix your closet problems.
Transforming disorganized closets is what Organized Interiors specializes in. Whether it’s adding a custom closet organizer or suggesting other bedroom storage solutions like a bed surround or wardrobe, we’ve been improving the organization and storage capabilities of our clients’ homes for more than 40 years.
Schedule your free in-home design consultation with us to find out what we can do to transform the disorganized closets in your home.