How does clutter affect your health?

Clutter 2

From last night’s takeaway box to the countless pet toys that make their way around your home, sometimes it’s easy for clutter to build up.

But with long-term clutter comes detrimental health impacts. All-things-blinds expert Blinds Hut commissioned a survey to find out how clutter is affecting Brits, how they deal with clutter and whether it’s a major factor in their lives. In parts, the results were rather shocking!

Impacting your mood 

 

Over 82 per cent of Brits say their mood is affected by clutter in some way. If clutter is allowed to pile up, it can often feel like it’s impossible to clear it on your own, so the problem becomes worse as the pile builds. A messy room sends signals to your brain to take action, but it’s up to you to act on those signals.

 

Clutter also causes our senses to work in overdrive and when this begins to build, stress can leave you feeling fatigued and irritable. Nearly 20 per cent of Brits told us that clutter almost always increases their stress levels.

Searching for the unfindable 

 

In a cluttered home, finding what you’re looking for can be tough, which can cause a build-up of anxiety. Over 86% of participants revealed that they struggle to find objects around their home, with over a quarter of Brits often finding objects hard to find.

No guests allowed 

 

Almost half (47 per cent) of those surveyed have thought twice about inviting someone to their house because of the amount of clutter, as it can be seen as embarrassing.

Ben Edwards, a self-confidence expert and relationship coach, tells us: “Our environment reflects our state of mind, which impacts our relationships, work life and productivity. You can tell a lot about a person from their home; if they have a minimalist, clean house, this often means that they like to keep their thoughts organised too.

“However, it could mean the opposite! This could mean they have a lot going on in their head, and this is a way of counterbalancing that. Meanwhile, people who may feel they haven’t got a lot going on in their lives might hoard as a distraction technique.”

Letting the clutter build up

 

According to the research, one in 10 suggested they just put off sorting out the clutter – something which can substantially impact your health. Living in a cluttered home can promote overeating or binge eating, as well as potentially causing trips and slips. 

How long before it comes clutter? 

 

A huge factor in clutter building up is down to it being hard to let go of an object. Over a quarter of people surveyed said that an item can be unused for years before throwing it away, leading to a constant build-up of clutter. 

What you didn’t wear 

 

Clothes tick all the boxes when it comes for reasons to keep hold of them: they can be sentimental, you might be able to fit back into them in the future, the item is barely worn so getting rid of is seen as a waste of money, they suit a certain event or occasion, you’re keeping the item “just in case” or an item was a gift and you feel guilty about throwing it away.

Nearly a quarter of Brits told us that they have only worn a few (less than 25 per cent) of their clothes over the last 12 months. Recent research also suggested that Britons keep £10bn worth of unused clothes in their wardrobes.

How to start decluttering

If you’re thinking about beginning to clear-out, organising and decluttering expert Cath Hiddle suggests “As with most projects, it’s probably a good idea to start off small. Pick a drawer or cupboard and start with that to ascertain how easy you find it to sort through your belongings and decide what is important and whether you can sort and organise them in a logical way that works for you.

“Having an independent opinion or somebody to support decision making often gives clients the legitimacy to let go of things that have been weighing them down or holding them back.” 

 

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