When your living space is cluttered or messy, do you ever feel like you can’t breathe? You’re not alone. Clutter has real effects that can influence your mood, stress levels, self-esteem, and even your physical health.
It’s time to take a look at the clutter in your home. Messy piles and crowded junk drawers may seem harmless, but this kind of clutter can actually make you sick! Learn how clutter affects you and how you can take back your health and your home.
Can Stuff Really Make You Sick?
It seems farfetched. Can your stuff really make you sick? The short answer is yes.
Physically, clutter can:
- Irritate allergies
- Create a germ haven which is likely to cause illness
- Increased risk of fire and injuries
- Increase the likelihood of being overweight
Mentally, clutter can:
- Increase stress and anxiety
- Exacerbate symptoms of mental illnesses (depression, anxiety, etc.)
- Encourage procrastination
- Debilitate decision-making
- Inhibit being present or mindful
Clutter may seem like no big deal or something you can deal with later, but the truth is it has powerful negative effects on your physical and mental health.
Common Health Issues Caused By Clutter
Where there is clutter, there is dust. The constant buildup of dust mites, dander, mold, and other allergens can wreak havoc on your health. If you are experiencing a stuffy or a runny nose, sore throat, sneezing, and itchy or red and watery eyes, you might not have a cold. You could have a dust allergy.
Dust, bacteria, and mold can also lead to more serious respiratory issues. In addition to allergies, these environmental conditions can result in asthma. Dust mites can trigger asthma symptoms, such as wheezing, coughing, tightness in the chest, and shortness of breath. Dust mites are a common cause of asthma in children in particular.
Physical Injury and Falls
In cluttered areas, it’s really only a matter of time before you trip over something. Toys and sports equipment on the ground are common culprits. Heaven help you if you step on a Lego! But falls are no laughing matter. A serious fall can result in head injuries, broken and sprained limbs, or more serious problems. Clutter can also create fire hazards, which can result in physical injury or worse.
Mental Health Issues
Clutter isn’t just a problem for your physical health; it can also affect your mental health. Clutter can increase stress, anxiety, depression, and other mental conditions. Plus, the overwhelming feelings caused by clutter can encourage nonfunctional and nonproductive behavior, which can have a negative impact on all areas of your life.
Top Clutter Danger Zones
Home Office Desk
If your home office desk is covered in papers, unopened mail, various bills, and who knows what else, you have a problem. Clutter in this area of your home can cause anxiety, insomnia, headaches, and even acid stomach. It doesn’t have to be a desk, either. Clutter can accumulate on any workspace surface, like the kitchen table.
Pro tip: Start small and go drawer by drawer or corner by corner. Set a timer for 15 to 30 minutes and work until you’ve made some progress.
The bedroom closet can be an endless abyss of unnecessary clutter. Are you guilty of hanging onto clothes “just in case”?
- Clothes sized too small (just in case)
- Clothes sized too large (just in case)
- Clothes for special occasions (just in case)
- Clothes for specific activities -- like working out (just in case)
Keeping clothes for certain purposes can make you feel like a failure if you don’t fulfill those purposes. Also, holding onto clothes that don’t fit you properly can affect your relationship with weight gains and losses, and even impact your self-esteem.
Pro tip: Clean your closet by category. First, attack your shoes, then dresses, then shirts, etc. Little by little, it all adds up!
If your kitchen is a mess, you won’t want to spend time cooking in it. This can lead to eating out more (which is often unhealthy) or grabbing convenience food (which is also unhealthy). Over time, this can lead to weight gain or stomach problems. Set yourself up for success by organizing your kitchen in a way that works for you.
Pro tip: Again, break up the project into smaller tasks. Start with your pantry, your cabinets, your drawers. Make it a habit to clean out your refrigerator weekly.
The living room is one of the top most used rooms in the house. You may have a problem if you can’t walk through the room without tripping on something, or you can’t sit on the couch or use the coffee table without crushing something. Don’t put yourself at risk of accidents or depression. Give yourself permission to get rid of things that aren’t serving you.
Pro tip: Box up your living room things and put them away for a month. If you miss something specifically, bring it back. If you can’t remember what’s missing, let it be.
Get Rid Of Clutter Fast
If you need to get rid of clutter fast for the sake of your health, there is a solution: off-site storage. Using a storage service is the fastest, easiest way to get rid of clutter fast. As soon as clutter leaves your home, you will:
- Increase air quality
- Remove fire hazards
- Clear up space
- Make deep cleaning possible
Traditionally, getting a storage unit is kind of a drag. However, on-demand storage is a unique storage solution that makes getting rid of clutter even easier. All you have to do is:
- Pack and list your stuff
- Contact the provider to haul it away and store it securely
- That’s it!
Any time you need an item, just call or click and it will be brought right back to your door.
Urbin Attic is the pioneering on-demand storage solution in the Seattle area. If you need help getting rid of clutter quickly, check to see if we’re available in your area. Give us a call anytime at 844-908-7246 for help with all your clutter questions.