A person with a seriously cluttered house may suffer depression, compulsive behaviours, Attention Deficit Disorder or chronic pain. Sometimes one or more of these conditions is what leads to a cluttered house. However, an overwhelming amount of clutter can also be the cause of mental and physical health issues. On the other hand a house that is free of clutter can make you feel more energetic, happier and in better physical health.
Image courtesy of Pixabay
What are the effects of clutter on a person's mental health? Clutter may:
cause a high level of stress
lead to low self-esteem
contribute to unhappiness
make a person feel helpless
distract a person from important matters
cause depression or anxiety
prevent a person from inviting family and friends to their house which can have a negative effect on their social connectedness
prevent a person living in the moment
Clutter can cause negative emotions Image courtesy of Pixabay
What are the effects of clutter on a person's physical health? Clutter may:
cause or exacerbate asthma and allergies due to excessive dust, animal dander and mould spores
cause tripping hazards. Falls can result in broken bones or head injuries..
be a fire risk
mean people have to overstretch or twist to reach things and this can cause injuries
cause a person to feel tired and lacking in energy
cause a build up of bacteria in the house leading to illness
result in a person using old medications which are harmful or ineffective
lead to food poisoning if perishables are consumed beyond their use by date or left out of the fridge
provide a breeding place for disease spreading cockroaches, flies, mice and rats
Bacteria will breed when food items are not stored correctly Image courtesy of Pixabay
What health conditions can contribute to the build up of clutter?
Someone who has suffered a brain injury may have concentration problems and be confused. This can make it difficult for them to keep their home organised. They may struggle to make decisions of what to discard and what to keep.
A person with Attention Deficit Disorder who finds it difficult to focus on one activity at a time will have trouble tidying, sorting and discarding.
People who suffer from depression may lack motivation. A cluttered environment is likely to compound their depression.
Someone suffering chronic pain may be unable to pick up items that fall on the floor, get rid of clutter and move heavier items. Pain medication may make the person sleepy and unable to concentrate.
Some compulsive disorders lead to a person obsessively collecting and being unable to part with items.
An uncluttered home can make a person feel more energetic. Image courtesy of Pixabay
Many studies show decluttering and having a tidier house makes a person feel more energetic and increases life satisfaction. Sometimes a person needs help with a physical or mental health issue before they are able to declutter their home and then keep it organised.
Good article Marie.
I hate a cluttered home! I don't understand why a person would live that way. I like a clean, tidy home. Everything has a place and everything in it's place. I have been called a perfectionist, is that good or bad, I wonder?
I think some people have difficulties sorting, tidying and making decisions about what to keep and what to part with. Some may not be happy with the state of their home but it is beyond them to deal with the situation.
If someone is called a perfectionist by others and that person is happy with their life then I think being a 'perfectionist' is working for them and is a good thing. On the other hand if a person has very high standards which they can't reach and that is making him/her stressed, miserable and always feeling inadequate then I think it is not a good thing.