Toss What You Don’t Need
If your house always looks like it’s been hit by a tornado and you never seem to be able to find what you’re looking for, there’s a problem. It’s a problem when you become so used to living in a messy environment that you don’t even think of it as a problem anymore. Because it is a problem. A very big problem. A messy, disorganized home is not just damaging to your mental and emotional health; it’s hurting you physically too. The trouble is many of us don’t realize that all those times we feel unhappy, stressed, tense, and we can’t quite explain why it’s because of the environment that we’re surrounded in.
Around the home, there are a few designated areas which have a higher tendency to be more cluttered than others. These areas include:
- The Kitchen – It’s a problem when the kitchen is messy because this is where all your food is prepared and stored. You’re directly contributing to your poor physical health by allowing your kitchen to remain in a less than ideal state. The cross-contamination from the utensils, raw meat, and perhaps even un-sanitized kitchen counter-tops, for example, puts both you and your family at risk and vulnerable to food-borne diseases. Salmonella, E.coli, campylobacter and who knows what else are diseases which could seriously put you at risk of being hospitalized, and it’s simply not worth it to put your health at risk that way. Not to mention all the pests which could be hiding away among all that clutter.
- The Bathroom – Another room that’s a potential bacterial breeding ground, and a more serious potential health risk than the kitchen is your bathroom. Because of its environment, the bathroom is one of the few places where regular and frequent cleaning is needed, more so than any other room in the house to avoid mold, mildew, bacteria and all sorts of other parasites will be thriving in an environment that is not regularly cleaned and sanitized, even more, if its messy.
- The Bedroom and Living Room – Curtains that haven’t been vacuumed or cleaned since you bought them, and bedroom and living room carpets that haven’t been vacuumed regularly because there’s too much stuff strewn all over the floor that it’s too troublesome to pick up and move out of the way for regular cleaning is a problem. Again, you risk exposing yourself and anyone who is living with you to allergy-inducing elements like mold, dust mites and pet dander, not to mention all the other debris which might be floating around.
When your home starts to pose a danger to your health, it’s clear that something needs to be done.
The Drawbacks of Having a Messy Home
Aside from the obvious embarrassment that others might think you’re a slob, having a home that isn’t neat and tidy does have its drawbacks, among which include:
- Triggering Your Allergies – No amount of medication or preventative measures are going to help you with your allergies if you don’t deal with the root cause of the problem. A messy home. A cluttered home is a breeding ground for bacteria since we’re less likely to clean it as often as we should when we don’t want to be dealing with all that extra work of having to sort through our mess.
- Unhappy Visitors – Guests who don’t feel comfortable coming to your home are not going to come back ever again. They’ll be too polite to tell you it’s because your house is too messy, but if you find that people keep turning down your invitations to come over to your place and hang out each time you invite them, there’s probably a reason behind it. Nobody likes a messy house. No one. You may not notice your own mess after a while, but if you were to go over to someone’s house and saw the messy environment they lived in, you wouldn’t want to go back there again either. After a while, this is going to make you unhappy when you realize people are making excuses for staying away from you.
- Mental Health Issues – Anxiety caused by a messy environment could eventually lead to more serious mental health issues down the road. Like depression, for example. That’s because it’s impossible to feel genuinely happy and complete comfort in your environment if it isn’t organized and neat enough. You don’t have to be a neat freak or a perfectionist to enjoy the benefits of a clean and comfortable environment. Having a nice environment is something that we all want. Would you ever choose to live in a dingy, run-down apartment instead of a nice, comfortable, spacious home where sunlight streams through and fills the wide-open spaces? No, you definitely wouldn’t.
- Accidents – Living in a home packed in every corner and available surface space with stuff is an accident waiting to happen. When things are strewn about all over the place, there’s a good chance someone’s going to trip up on one of these items one day and fall over. Hopefully, you don’t end up falling down the stairs because that’s going to hurt a lot, not to mention you run the risk of breaking something when you do or worse.
- Obesity – Would you believe if someone told you clutter could lead to obesity? Well, you better believe it. A study which was done back in 2017 by both Australia and the United States revealed there was a higher tendency to binge eats when you lived in a cluttered environment. Stress has been linked to overeating, and you’re encouraging that habit the longer you continue to allow yourself to remain and live in clutter.
- Poor Communication – Cornell University’s 2016 study highlighted that those who lived in clutter often found it difficult to relate to other people and understand their feelings. If you and your partner were living in a cluttered environment, the distraction from all the other stimuli that are being caused by the junk around your home is going to distract you enough that you can’t concentrate on interpreting and understanding your partner’s emotions. One of the reasons that clutter can cause a fight in relationships, further contributing to the levels of stress that you already feel.
Toss What You Don’t Need
To find things around your home quickly, there’s only one logical thing to do. Toss out everything else that you don’t need and keep only the essentials. If you live in a home that is not as organized as it should be, on more than one occasion you would have found yourself turning your house upside down trying to find something you lost, wondering how on earth you managed to lose it in the first place. Here’s the thing though, most of the time when you’re searching for “lost” items around the house, and you’re looking in the wrong place. Instead of searching the obvious, open areas, what you should be doing is looking in the most cluttered areas of your home. At least, that’s what a study which was conducted by the University of Aberdeen concluded. Searching in the tidy areas is a futile and unproductive exercise. If it was there, you would have found it already because it would be hard to miss. Unless it was hidden behind a big pile of clutter.
- Being in An Organized Home Saves You Time – A disorganized home will cost you a lot more than just your sanity. When you spend a lot of time searching for items, you’re wasting your time. You run late for appointments because you spent too much time searching for your keys. You’re late for work and meetings because you couldn’t find everything that you needed in one location. You pay your bills late because since there was no organized filing system for your bills and documents, you couldn’t find what you were looking for and that caused a delay.
- An Organized Home Brings Good Energy – The ancient Chinese art of Feng Shui is rooted in the belief that when the elements of your home are aligned in an orderly, harmonious fashion, it aligns and enhances the vital energies in your life to bring you good fortune for happiness and prosperity. It’s an interesting concept, and even if you don’t necessarily believe in it, you can’t deny that when your home is aligned in an aesthetically pleasing manner, it does make you feel good being in that kind of environment. You may not believe in good fortune or prosperity, but there’s no disputing that a well-organized home is extremely beneficial, especially because it’s hard to feel stressed when you’re feeling good about where you live.
- Keeping Track of Your Life – Your stress can be significantly reduced when you can stay on top of all the appointments, errands, and tasks that you need to get done without feeling overwhelmed about it. Without organization, it’s going to seem as if everything in your life is chaotic, even though the long list of things you have to do is actually more manageable than you think. Again, because you’re feeling stressed about it, it becomes harder to think clearly and keep track of what you need to do with a clear head on your shoulders.
- You Save Time Knowing Exactly What You Have – When there’s no unnecessary junk distracting and confusing you, it’s easier to know exactly what resources you have in your home. When you need a pair of pants, you know just where to find them. When you need your outdoor sports equipment, you know just where they’re kept. Need a specific book or magazine? You know where to go. With everything having a proper “home” in your home and stored away neatly in their designated storage spaces, life becomes a lot more efficient, and you’ll rarely ever find yourself running late again when you’re not scattered all over the place.
- It Enhances Confidence – An organized home by not be on your list of self-confidence enhancing techniques, but it should be. When you put in the time, discipline, and effort needed to keep your home neat and tidy; you feel good about yourself every time you look around and admire your handy work. The environment you created was entirely based on your hard work, and when you know you’re capable of producing a result like that, it instills confidence within you that you can do anything you set your mind to. That sense of accomplishment becomes something you want to replicate repeatedly because of how good it makes you feel on the inside. Plus, there’s a sense of pride that comes when other people start to admire and compliment you on how wonderful your home looks. It’s an energizing feeling, and that takes your self-confidence levels up a notch.
- You Respect Yourself – Self-respect is another quality that everyone fosters within themselves. If you don’t respect yourself first, it’s going to be hard for others to respect you. Taking the time to put away your belongings neatly, treating these items with care is an exercise in self-respect. You worked hard to afford everything that you have in your home right now, and when you carelessly leave them all over the place where they’re at risk of being damaged, you’re not respecting the effort that went into working hard to afford your purchases.
- It Encourages Self-Discipline – It takes a lot more discipline than you realized to consistently keep your home neat and organized. When you take the time to put things away in its proper place, even when you’re busy, it shows discipline and commitment on your part. Staying organized is a consistent effort, not a one-time thing, and making a commitment to doing this every day is an exercise in self-discipline. When you can show this kind of discipline in your home, you’ll be able to transfer this dedication to other aspects of your life too.
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Reflections Extreme Clean LLC
About the Author:
Ryan is a foodie blogging for goairfryer.com He writes from Wyoming; where he lives with his wife, two daughters and an impatient golden retriever.