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Improve your health by decluttering your home

In many homes around the UK, clutter is a minor inconvenience: cupboard doors refuse to close, drawers overflow and piles of paperwork gather in hidden corners waiting to be sorted. For most homeowners, a little clutter is part of everyday life: one of those things that will be sorted ‘one day’.

Large amounts of clutter are sometimes associated with poor mental health. Hoarding – the inability to reduce the growing mountain of clutter – is a recognised mental disorder. While for a minority, clutter can have serious consequences on the quality of life, even small amounts can impact our health, so decluttering can have a positive effect on our wellbeing.

The domino effect

Decluttering your home has a domino effect on the overall quality of your life. A living environment that is free from clutter improves your ability to carry out the simplest of daily tasks, such as cooking and washing, because everything you need is visible and without reach. A kitchen, for example, that is orderly and tidy with plentiful worktop space, is more conducive to home cooking, so unhealthy ‘slam in the oven’ or takeaway meals are less likely to be required.

Decluttering gives you the space to be able to live functionally, with important health benefits enjoyed along the way.

A decluttered mind for restful sleep

The principles of feng shui describe how clear, uncluttered spaces in the home allow for the natural flow of positive energy. Whether you agree with the Chinese philosophy or not, evidence clearly supports the idea that clutter in key points in the home, such as the bedroom, can adversely affect our quality of life.

Research by New York’s St Lawrence University revealed that people with more clutter in their bedrooms take longer to fall asleep and, therefore, enjoy fewer hours recuperating in bed. Sleep deprivation can seriously affect cognitive abilities, such as decision making, reasoning and logic, and has also been associated with life-limiting illnesses including diabetes and heart disease.

Tidying to create a clutter-free, spacious bedroom could, therefore, have powerful benefits on the quality of your sleep, helping to contribute to improved health overall.

A healthier mindset

Many people report a sense of wellbeing when living in a home that is free from clutter. In fact, improved mental health is a significant benefit of decluttering for several reasons. Firstly, clutter can increase anxiety; for example, a mountain of unwanted possessions that hides the remote control for the television can cause instant stress and anger – negative emotions that are bad for us. Secondly, unnecessary or damaged belongings can reinforce the concept that ‘we don’t deserve good things in life’, damaging self-esteem. Finally, an untidy home can accentuate feelings of failure and loss of control.

Decluttering can make a powerful difference to our mental health, self-perception and growth mindset.

A container storage solution

If discarding your possessions causes anxiety but you still wish to reap the benefits of a tidier home, container storage could provide the secure and separate space to house your belongings so you can enjoy the many health benefits of decluttering.

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