Clutter and Its Impact on Your Health
It’s a common practice for many people to tackle the clutter in their home as a part of “Spring Cleaning.” However, this practical routine can have many benefits that are lesser-known, as recent studies have suggested that decluttering your living space can be good for the overall health of your mind and body. Here, we will look at clutter and some of the most common impacts on your health.
Clutter and Your Mental Health
Although clutter can be difficult to eliminate, the disorder in your house can actually affect your mental wellbeing and quality of life. For example, sleep, anxiety levels, motivation, and focus abilities are all common elements that can be directly affected when the surrounding environment is in a state of disarray. It may seem unrelated, but visual clutter can psychologically affect productivity, kick-starting feelings of avoidance strategies that put the most important tasks off, resulting in many responsibilities left unaddressed. With that in mind, mental health issues such as depression and hopelessness can follow
Although, on the surface, one task may seem to have nothing to do with another, the truth is that the human brain likes order and finds symmetry and organization psychologically pleasing. Constant visual clutter can work to deplete the brain of cognitive drive, making your list of priorities as disorganized as the physical space we inhabit, ultimately affecting memory, morale, and mental wellness in your daily life.
Effects on Your Physical Health
There are many other health issues associated with clutter than just mental wellness. The truth is, your physical wellbeing can also be impacted by a disorganized home. There are many reasons why you need to pay attention to your health, but take into account your life’s longevity and the impact that high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity can play on limiting your quality of life. Unfortunately, extreme examples of household clutter can affect all of these health aspects.
When it comes to clutter and health issues, older adults need to be especially aware of the risk factors. Pragmatically, an extremely cluttered home has been associated with a consistently lowered fight or flight response, which can deplete the human body’s triggers for survival instinct. This directly affects digestion and the immune system, which correlates to higher risks of blood sugar issues, weight-gain, and heart disease, all of which require ongoing needs for prescription medication.
Practical Clutter Solutions
For the sake of both you and your family’s overall health, it’s important that you try to keep clutter to a minimum on a regular basis, which is a great way to ensure the problem never gets out of hand. However, if you’re looking to eliminate some of the pre-existing clutter already in your home, there are a few simple steps that you can take to tackle the intimidating task. The first thing to do is grab five boxes or bins and designate each one for a specific solution: items to be stored away, items to be thrown into the trash, a bin for recyclable items, things to be fixed for future use, and finally, things that can be donated to charity. Realistically, merely seeing these bins lined up before beginning your project can give you the peace of mind required for addressing an out-of-control clutter problem, especially if a section of your home doubles as a home office or workspace.
Although there is no specific rule over which area should be the main focus of your great decluttering, a good rule of thumb is to choose, as your first place, the area that seems to need the most work; likewise, if a specific area of your home gets the most use or traffic, such as the kitchen or living room, then feel free to start there. Having your family members help out in weeding through their personal items that have sentimental value or an important attachment is a good idea. Additionally, having strength in numbers when it comes to addressing the whole problem, the solution will become much more manageable.
Taking important items for future use to a rented storage space is another feasible solution, and many charity organizations will be grateful for the generosity of your donations. Most importantly, you’ll have done all you can to eliminate the dangers of clutter from affecting the mental health and physical wellness of you and your family.