An unclean living space can lead to anxiousness, disrupted sleep and low mood.
We all know how good it feels to declutter and have a clean space. But did you know that there are actual mental health benefits to having a clean home? Recent studies have shown that decluttering one’s space may help to “declutter” the mind, to do speak. It can reduce anxiety, improve mood and sleep and lead to a happier life.
Researchers at the Princeton University Neuroscience Institute published a study in the Journal of Neuroscience which reviewed the effects of uncluttered and organized living. According to an article by Erin Doland mentioning the study, “Multiple stimuli present in the visual field at the same time compete for neural representation by mutually suppressing their evoked activity throughout visual cortex, providing a neural correlate for the limited processing capacity of the visual system.”
A less complicated way of putting it – a clean home can help reduce stress, improve mood, and give one a sense of control. It can also help a person sleep better and increase their productivity.
Here are five ways having a clean space can improve mental health:
Reduces stress: A messy home can be a constant source of stress. Being surrounded by piles of laundry, dirty dishes, an unkept bed and stacks of unopened mail can cause significant anxiety. However, when these things are taken care of and a space is clean and tidy, it allows the mind to relax. Focusing on what’s important and letting go of the little things is also important. Also, decluttering room by room can make a home feel cleaner, improving overall mental health.
Improves mood: According to a research team at UCLA’s Center on Everyday Lives and Families (CELF), “clutter has a profound effect on our self-esteem and our moods.” A study of 32 families found a link between clutter and high cortisol levels of women specifically.
When a home is cluttered, it can be a constant reminder of all the things a person has to do and it can seem as if they’ll never catch up. This can cause low mood, and even lead to depression. On the other hand, a clean and orderly home can instantly boost mood and motivate a person to keep their space clean and organized.
Offers a sense of control: When a home is cluttered, it can feel like a person has no control over their life. Clean living spaces, however, promote feelings of control and empowerment. Moreover, cleaning can be a healthy coping mechanism when a person is stressed about something they cannot control. Doing so will improve mood and lead to a sense of accomplishment that can counteract any negativity.
Improves sleep: It can be difficult to relax in an unclean home. But when a space is clean, it’s more peaceful, and it can be easier to fall and stay asleep.
Boosts immunity: Unclean homes can be home to dust mites, bacteria, and germs that can easily lead to illness. Cleaning and disinfecting a home can eliminate these issues. This can help improve one’s immune system, and their overall health and well-being.
These are all great reasons to spend some time tidying up one’s space. Clutterers anonymous is a twelve-step program that can help individuals find support should they have issues clearing out their space.