The Importance Of Keeping A Clutter-Free Study Space

by Cassidy Welling

Maintaining a clean and tidy study space is ESSENTIAL FOR ACADEMIC SUCCESS. The Princeton University Neuroscience Institute found clutter makes it HARDER FOR THE BRAIN TO FOCUS on a specific task and process information. Researchers monitored task performance of subjects in both tidy versus disorganised environments. Participants were more productive, less irritable, and less distracted in the clutter-free environment and experienced increased stress in the disorganised environment. Clutter can also harm your health and increase anxiety. It's therefore important students maintain tidy, clutter-free study spaces for optimal focus and productivity.

Clutter can be dangerous to your health

Working in A CLEAN ENVIRONMENT IS BETTER FOR HEALTH and safety. An increased risk of trips and falls is one of the main risks posed by excess clutter. It can also pose a fire risk since badly organised files and papers are highly-flammable, especially when kept near electronics like your computer. Moreover, studying in a calm, clean environment is better for your mental health. A study in the PERSONALITY AND SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY BULLETIN found people who described their living spaces as "cluttered" were more likely to be depressed and fatigued than people who lived in "restful" and "restorative" homes. The researchers also found people with cluttered homes had higher levels of stress hormone cortisol.

Tidiness makes your more productive

A revealing study by Harvard University tasked students to work in environments with different levels of clutter. Students who worked in clutter-free zones WORKED FOR 7.5 MINUTES LONGER than the students working amongst clutter. The study concluded that a messy study space can "undermine people's persistence in completing tasks". Keeping a tidy, clutter-free study space can eliminate distractions and therefore improve your productivity and focus, which is essential for a successful study session.

Clutter creates anxiety

Chronic clutter can create low-level anxiety, which leaves you with a subtle, constant "on-edge" feeling (although you may not realise why). If you already experience anxiety, excess clutter can simply add fuel to that fire. When the amount of clutter in your surroundings exceeds your ability to mentally and physically cope with it, stress results. In turn, that stress causes tension, anxiety, and unhealthy, study-sabotaging habits. A study by Cornell University found the stress caused by clutter leads to coping and avoidance strategies like oversleeping, eating junk food, and binge-watching TV.

Maintaining a tidy, organised, and clutter-free study space will keep you healthier, more productive, and in a calmer mood. Make sure to take the time to tidy up and declutter before your next study session.