Could clearing the clutter change your life? How could bursting bookcases, disorderly desks and chaotic cupboards impact on our health? You may think external factors don’t affect our wellbeing, but our environment has always profoundly influenced our health. Recently, research has begun to ‘unpack’ how cluttered surroundings affect our wellbeing.
It seems that chaos around us triggers chaos within us.
Multiple studies have shown that people in messy environments are more likely to choose unhealthy food and eat more than those in tidy ones. Participants whose houses were clean and tidy were also more active and had better overall health. The impact for weight gain is obvious.
Other research has found that unfinished, cluttered or messy homes can make us more likely to feel stressed, anxious and depressed; whereas those with a neat home experienced the opposite. Continuous stress can affect our immunity and digestion, leading to a greater risk of illness and disease.
Clutter also reduces productivity. There’s only so much information we can absorb in each moment. Our brains like order, and too much stimuli entering our visual field reduces our ability to focus. An untidy desk then, can distract us from our work, affect memory, and reduce productivity.
The notion that clutter has adverse health impacts has grown over recent years, the evidence bears this out. Weight gain, reduced productivity, and anxiety are only three potential consequences.
Think about your home and workplace. Do you have unneeded items creating clutter? Do you often spend time hunting for lost items, or ever trip up over the mess? Maybe it’s time for a sort out. As you discover a clean and tidy environment, y