8 Things in Your House That Are Stressing You Out

And how to fix it.

Your home is an extension of yourself. It’s an extension of your personality, your partnerships and, of course, your style. But you already know this, right? What may surprise you, though, is that our homes wield the power to affect our personality, our partnerships and yes, even our style. 

Enter: environmental stressors. These are the things in your space, hiding in plain sight, that will leave you feeling uneasy, unhappy and/or uninspired. And seriously, who has time for any of that? Keep reading to find out what you have lying around that’s making life less fun, plus how to bring back the balance.

The Obvious

Organized Shoes in Boxes

Organize Shoes With Uniform Boxes

Clean up your closet – and keep your fancy footwear pristine – with the uniform shoe storage plan. Label each box with a snapshot of the enclosed pair, and store special-occasion shoes on the top shelf.

Photo by: Alex Deringer and Courtney Cox; 2 Ivy Lane

Alex Deringer and Courtney Cox; 2 Ivy Lane

The #1 cause of stress in your space right now? Clutter. It’s defined as, “a collection of things lying about in an untidy mass.”  It’s everything you own out of its proper place — thing-a-ma-bobs here and several whatchamacallits there. This environment leads to overstimulation and feeling defeated. Our solution? Invest in a cohesive, functional and non-transparent (!!!) organization system to store the plethora of things in your space. Out of sight, out of mind, yet totally in zen.

Spoiled Scents

HGTV Dream Home 2015 Bathroom Decor

Vanity With Bath Accessory Tray

Sophisticated decor with a subtle coastal flair is just the right touch in the charming HGTV Dream Home 2015 master bathroom located in Martha’s Vineyard.

Sometimes life stinks. Literally. Maybe you’ve got a toddler or a three-month-old golden retriever in the early stages of potty-training. Maybe you’ve got a teenage son (or full-grown husband) who leaves dirty socks to rot in the corner. It doesn’t matter. When faced with a stench permeating your space, regain control before this stressor ignites mega-resentment in your home. Our go-to fix? Fresh blooms, scented candles or stove-top scents made from seasonal spices and essential oils. You’ll be pleasantly surprised how easy it is to shrug off sweaty socks when your bedroom smells like fresh lavender.

The Pile-Up

Laundry Room With Wire Baskets

Laundry Room With Wire Baskets and Rug

Interesting pulls and playful tiles take the basic white backdrop of this laundry room and turn the look into something fun. A rug on the floor adds another cozy texture. Wire baskets make organizing linens a snap.

Photo by: Tessa Neudstadt

Tessa Neudstadt

Whether it be the dishes in the sink, the laundry in the corner or just the general “to-do” list hanging on the fridge, piling up chores can lead to serious anxiety. The longer you put off the little chores, the larger the task at hand becomes. Our suggestion is to give yourself a structured schedule to reference throughout the week and make the time to check tasks off the list. For those of you with 10-foot heaps overflowing from the hamper, don’t overthink it. You’ve got to start somewhere, so commit to taking it one load at a time.

Bad Lighting

Outdoor Feeling in Indoor Dining Space

Dining Space Feels A Part of the Outdoors

Surrounded by glass walls, the dining area in this home was meant to feel as if it were a part of the outdoors.

Photo by: Gaszton Gal Photography

Gaszton Gal Photography

We’ve come such a long way from our cave-dwelling days, so why revert? Don’t let your home become dark and dingy with poor lighting. Change your light-bulbs and maybe splurge on a swoon-worthy lamp or two. The best advice, though? If you’ve got windows, use ‘em! Natural light is imperative to a happy, healthy life and is guaranteed to give you a mood and energy boost on the spot.

The Excess

Eclectic Bedroom With Floor-to-Ceiling Closet Doors

Bright White Closets in Eclectic Bedroom

Floor-to-ceiling closet doors in the master bedroom have a grand effect combined with the vaulted ceiling. Most importantly, they create a clean facade to keep clothes, shoes and accessories organized. Open shelves allow the homeowner to display favorite pictures and accessories.

Photo by: Laura Metzler

Laura Metzler

We’ve heard it a time or two, “if you love it, buy it in every color!" The problem with this? Two years later you have twice — nay, triple — the number of shoes, shirts and once-stylish skirts that you are never going to wear again. Even if you manage to squeeze ‘em all in your closet and drawers, you come face-to-face with them each day when searching for the items you do wear. This calls for a serious, systematic purge of your closet. Gather boxes and curate a poppin’ playlist if you must, but spend the time necessary to eliminate the excess in your space and donate to a charity of your choice. The relief will be well worth it, trust me.

The TVs

Family Room With Raffia Wallpaper, Traditional Fireplace and Chairs

Neutral Living Room With White Fireplace and Polka Dot Drapes

Custom polka dot draperies and white island raffia wallpaper set the tone for this comfortable living room. A linen couch and custom throw pillows in various patterns complement the upholstered light blue armchairs, tying together the room's color palette. A natural oak coffee table has clear acrylic legs, giving the illusion of a floating table, adding a contemporary touch to this traditional space.

Ah, overstimulation at its finest. TVs in every room can be too much of a good thing and leave you feeling drained and distracted throughout the day. Keep screen time at a minimum by keeping the television in the living room only.

Competing Noises

Girl holding cup of hot tea and reading in bed. Around her in bad earphones, book, smart phone. Decorative lights in background.


Girl holding cup of hot tea and reading in bed. Around her in bad earphones, book, smart phone. Decorative lights in background.

Photo by: ©iStockphoto.com, petrunjela

©iStockphoto.com, petrunjela

The game is on in the living room, Housewives is on in the bedroom and your teenage daughter is dishing the latest drama on the phone upstairs. The competing noises will leave you feeling pulled in every direction and make concentration nearly impossible. Enter: white noise. Find your calm in the chaos that is life by neutralizing with noise-canceling headphones or listen to calming, classical music.

Oversized + Awkward

Rustic Green Living Space With Mustard Yellow Chairs and Gray Sofa

Rustic-Inspired Clubhouse With Midcentury Modern Pizzazz

Paneled walls in a forest green hue pair with mustard yellow chairs and a tobacco stick chandelier to establish a rustic, woodsy-inspired feel in this clubhouse. A midcentury modern coffee table and sofa offset the rustic feel.

Photo by: Cortney Bishop Design

Cortney Bishop Design

Having a proper amount of personal space is vital, right? It’s easy to detect when an overbearing friend violates your personal space, but surprise: oversized, clunky furniture is just as guilty! The chunky, disproportionate pieces can leave you feeling uncomfortable or out of place in your own home because they are taking up bits and pieces of your personal space. Rid yourself of this uneasiness by selecting furnishings that are to-scale with your surroundings. It’ll feel like a breath of fresh air, promise.

Stop Household Clutter: 25 Things to Get Rid of Right Now

See All Photos

Shop This Look

Next Up

25 Ways To Be More Organized

Create order in your home (or at least your junk drawer) with these easy tasks from organizing experts and the HGTV stars. Each one takes an hour or less!

Help for the Kitchen Organizer

Make your kitchen more efficient with these clever storage products.

Quick Tips for Home Organization

Try these quick home organization tips for maintaining a clutter-free home from basement to attic.

How to Wash a Wool Blanket

Cleaning wool isn't as risky as you think. Take care of your wool blanket, and it’ll love you back for a long time.

How to Get Chocolate Out of Clothes

Fresh chocolate stains are easier to remove than deep-set stains, but we have foolproof treatments to help all garments.

How to Wash Jeans

Learn how to wash denim to protect its color and fibers.

20 Clever Cleaning Brushes You Never Knew You Needed

Get ready to make your life so much easier with these cleaning tools that save you time and elbow grease.

20 Clever Gadgets for People Who Hate to Clean

Shop these brilliant gadgets and accessories that might actually make you enjoy cleaning.

30 Essential Cleaning Products Everyone Should Own

Create a ready-for-anything cleaning kit with our editors' favorite sprays, supplies and more.

5 Best Vacuum Mop Combos of 2024, Tested and Reviewed

Make easy work of cleaning your floor with a wet dry vac or vacuum mop.

Go Shopping

Get product recommendations from HGTV editors, plus can’t-miss sales and deals.


Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.