If you are like our Features Writer, Rob Bullock, and you do not follow Japanese tidying guru Marie Kondo then you might not be totally au fait with how decluttering can improve your life, but there is science behind it, as he discovers.
My poor, long-suffering better half will attest to the fact that, genetically, I have been programmed to be messy and untidy, although she is the opposite. And I have to admit that I don’t watch Marie Kondo’s Netflix show with its common-sense tips and suggestions, instead preferring the rugby or cricket but, apparently, decluttering is more than just a trend, it’s good for us because it has some surprising health benefits of which you may not be aware. Let’s look at a few;
1. Decluttering alleviates anxiety and depression
When you can’t seem to find a place to store your things, many of us just leave them lying around for later, so they end up cluttering our homes. Recent research from the University of California has revealed that clutter produces high levels of the stress hormone called cortisol, and in turn, causes anxiety and depression. So, tidy up or put away quickly, and this will make you feel healthier.
2. Tidying up aids better sleep
According to researchers from St. Lawrence University in the US, it has been discovered that clutter in your bedroom causes interruptions to sleeping patterns. This is because it can fill your mind with uneasy, restless thoughts and can result in poor sleep due to mild depression and stress. So, instead of counting sheep, why not have a tidy up instead.
3. Cleaning and tidying up lessens allergens
We’ve all got busy lives, and with our houses being home to many hiding places for allergens, by not decluttering we’re subjecting ourselves to unnecessary risk. When you tidy up and organise your home, you improve indoor ventilation, and this helps reduce the growth of mould, prevents rooms feeling stuffy and prevents the growth of nasty fungi. Decluttering can make your home cleaner and healthier in one fell swoop.
4. Encourages a happy environment
A lot of us live with someone else, and because of this clutter can affect more than just us, regardless of who is responsible. This can cause stress between cohabitees and lead to arguments and fights. But decluttering makes you feel better, individually and strengthens your relationships with the people you live with.
5. Gets you moving
Who would have thought it? But decluttering can actually help to get you fit, because it involves a lot of moving around, cleaning, tidying, dusting, moving, sorting. And if you want to lose a few pounds, decluttering is good for that too because something like dusting can burn up to 174 calories in just an hour! And as decluttering is something you need to continue to do, whether we like it or not, it’s very much regular exercise!
Decluttering is more than just a trend, it’s good for us because it has some surprising health benefits of which you may not be aware.
Whichever way you look at it, and whatever you want to call it, be it tidying or decluttering, having a good sort out or just simply keeping your home neat, making the effort to keep on top of this is good for your physical health, your mental health, your relationships, your outlook, and how well you rest when you stop. Why not give it a go…and then continue this good practice and see how much better things seem in your home.
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