A cluttered home is a cluttered mind – at least, according to the prevailing Japanese minimalist philosophy currently taking us by storm. And psychologists are beginning to seriously explore the idea that our home clutter, borne from decades of material collection, can negatively affect our mental health. At Hometech we firmly believe that an ordered home can help us focus, day-to-day, positively uplifting our lived environment.
In this blog we will be exploring the association between the way we order our home and our mental health plus talk about what we can do to keep our home tidy.
The link between clutter and mental health
It is no surprise that over years of living, we accumulate stuff. Knick-knacks, beach treasures, papers and old magazines are monuments to our familiar impulse to collect. We hold on to these things because we think they can be useful - and occasionally they are.
However, these objects are often just home clutter, collected – it seems – by virtue of living. Consider this: does your clutter prevent you from physically moving? For example, are you slowed down in the kitchen because you have to clean away books and toys before you can start? Does your clutter affect you mentally? Do you find yourself distracted when doing anything at home, such as struggling to focus on a task at hand because the task seems so overwhelming?
These are just a few ways that our clutter can directly negatively impact our well-being.
Our mental well-being is intimately connected to the well-being of the home
This seems obvious when you consider the home to be a source of health for a family. A warm, dry and quiet home is a healthier home than a damp one. Likewise, a tidy and orderly home where clutter is managed is healthier for our minds than a home where every surface is brim with objects, and our closets just won’t seem to shut.
What can we do about home clutter?
There are a number of world-wide decluttering traditions. You may have read about Swedish death cleaning for example, an approach which advocates decluttering as you get on in your years. Or radical versions of minimalism which advocate for more than just a process of decluttering and a whole re-organisation of your lifestyle along the principles of ‘less is more’.
You don’t need to go to extremes. Here are some easy ways to minimise, if not eradicate, home clutter:
- Go room-by-room. Start with your closet, and segregate what’s essential and what can be disposed of.
- Work with the whole family. Decluttering can be a lifestyle change for your whole family – and no doubt everyone is hanging on to objects.
- Ask the tough questions: is my life improved by this object? Does anyone really want this?
- Rotate your clothes. Store away winter clothes when summer arrives.
- Try a little bit every day. Even if you just dedicate 10 minutes of decluttering a day, over a week you will begin making a considerable difference to your living space.
- Consider extra storage. Attic storage space, accessed via attic stairs can play a crucial role in decluttering. Making sure there is adequate roof ventilation to keep the attic cooler will help keep your stored objects in good condition.
- Understand that decluttering is a journey that takes time. Your home won’t magically become a minimalist apartment overnight. So, decide on the happy medium that is right for you, your home and your mental health. It’s important to set goals, and work towards them over time.
Looking for extra storage space?
Contact the friendly team at Hometech today to learn more about our attic access solutions. An attic ladder is the perfect tool to unlock extra storage spaces around the home, helping you deal with home clutter. Hometech has the tools and knowledge to improve your home’s health, space and value, so get in touch today, or browse our product range online.