Post a job

Why you should declutter your home

30th Jun '17 • By Koren Midgley

Whether it be clothes on the bedroom floor, wrappers in the car or stacks of paperwork in the office, clutter is a part of life. The busier we get the easier it is for us to gather unnecessary items and store them in spare rooms, wardrobes and garages. Although this is easily done, experts now claim there are number of measurable health benefits to decluttering our homes.

Health Benefits Decluttering Home

In fact, there are three main health concerns associated with having a cluttered environment: 

1. Clutter can negatively affect our mental health 

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recently published a study which found that people who are surrounded by clutter in their bedroom are more likely to suffer from mental health issues. 

They identified that participants with cluttered bedrooms experienced greater stress levels and a lower quality of sleep. In some cases this lead to mental health conditions such as Hoarder’s disorder. 

“Hoarder’s disorder can severely impact the life of sufferers,” says Dr Ryan Harvey from House Call Doctor. “Those suffering from conditions such as Hoarder’s disorder find it difficult to part with possessions and just the thought of decluttering can cause a great deal of distress.” 

Even for those who are not predisposed to Hoarder’s disorder a cluttered bedroom can lead to a lack of quality sleep. “Poor sleep can significantly reduce our daily cognitive functioning” says Dr Harvey. “It can increase our stress levels and in extreme cases lead to depression and anxiety.”

2. Clutter can pollute your home

Not the usual smoke billowing from factory towers or car exhausts but clutter can cause pollution within the home. In fact indoor pollution due to biological substances is just as prevalent as outdoor pollution. 

Whether we are at home, work or socialising Australians spend 90% of their time indoors. Heavily cluttered environments can encourage biological pollutants, such as dust mites, to gather. These build up over time and can increase our risk of exposure to allergens indoors. 

“Biological pollutants can lead to acute allergic reactions,” says Dr Harvey. “As an example, people living with allergies may be affected by rhinitis, nasal congestion, inflammation and asthma.”

Decluttering your home or office to discourage the build up of these pollutants and reduce the health risks associated with indoor dust pollution. 


3. Clutter impacts your ability concentration 

If you’ve ever struggled to concentrate on a task no matter how hard you tried clutter may be the culprit. 

Researchers at the Princeton University Neuroscience Institute found that ability to focus can be directly influenced by your surroundings. 

“When you are surrounded by clutter your brain may process the information in your surroundings rather than focusing on the task at hand,” says Dr Harvey. 

Much like a small child desperate for attention clutter in your home causes a distraction that screams, “look at me!”. This can reduce our concentration and productivity. 

Where do I start?

While collecting clutter is easy the thought of clearing it may fill some with dread. But it doesn’t have to be difficult. There are a number of techniques to help simplify your surroundings. 

The Four Box method: 

  1. Choose four boxes and label them: ‘trash’, ‘give away’, ‘keep’ or ‘relocate’
  2. Move throughout the room or your entire house and select items to place in each box. 

This method requires you to be committed to decluttering and be ruthless in your decision making. If you aren’t up to that just yet try the Box and Banish method.

Box and Banish: 

  1. Gather all the clutter from drawers, tables, chairs etc and put them in boxes or bags. 
  2. Place these in the garage or somewhere out of sight. 
  3. Out of sight, out of mind! This gives you the piece of mind that if you made a mistake and you do need or want something it is still there. 

Box and Banish

Mix of both: 

While these methods are great, a mix of both might find a happy balance for most. 

  1. Take three boxes and label them: ‘relocate’, ‘maybe’, ‘bin/donate’
  2. Move throughout your home or room and place items in each box. 
  3. The relocate box is anything you cannot live without and can be used or placed elsewhere in the home. The maybe box is for anything you don't use but also can’t part with. Put this out of sight somewhere and if you have not gone looking for the items for 6 - 12 months you don’t need them and you may feel better about parting with them. The bin box is anything that you are willing to part with immediately. 

Breaking the process of decluttering into manageable steps can often help you overcome any fears or mental barriers. Start small to help ease the anxiety that may be associated with this task and don’t feel pressure to complete the whole house in one go. 

Need help freeing your home from clutter? Compare multiple quotes from local cleaners today.

 Get Quotes

Posted under