16.JAN.2020 4 MIN READ | 4 MIN READ

An organised home is lovely to come home to and a breath of fresh air after a long day of work, but did you know that there are health benefits to living in a tidy house?

The new year arrives, brimming with endless opportunities. With less clutter in the house, your friends and family can look forward to have the space and opportunity for real conversation and connection in the new year.

Benefits of a clean house

Putting things away neatly can be exhausting especially after a long day. It’s ‘easier’ to just leave your stuff in a pile than it is to organise it all. With this mindset, what was once a small pile eventually becomes an insurmountable mountain of clutter, and you may eventually become accustomed to the mess and cleaning up will only get harder and harder.

You may think all is fine, but clutter actually has real effects on your physical and mental health. Research has shown that a cluttered living environment can lead to a wide range of ailments and accidents for the person living in it. Reorganising and decluttering can help make your home a healthier, safe and more conducive environment to live in.

Here are some of the main benefits of having a clean and organised house.

Less stress

Less stress
Clutter around the house can make you feel overwhelmed. From not knowing where things are, to even feeling overwhelmed by the thought of tidying up; clutter can be a major source of stress. This can drastically reduce your quality of life especially if you are prone to the effects of stress. Besides, long-term stress can lead to various health problems like high blood pressure, anxiety, skin and hair problems.

With a clean home, there are fewer stimuli for you to get distracted by. You will feel more at ease in a spacious and hygienic home. Cleaning your home is something to consider especially if you work from home. If you don’t have time to clean your house on your own, you can always hire a cleaning service to help you have a stress-free living environment.

Better sleep

Do you have trouble falling asleep? Does thinking about your daily routine keep your up at night? It turns out that the stress associated with living in clutter can worsen your symptoms of insomnia.

By keeping your home clean, you can feel more at peace at night and have a proper rest. When you get a good amount of quality sleep each night, you’ll wake up feeling more rested and ready to take on other tasks the next day. Uninterrupted and quality sleep also makes your immune system stronger and reduces your chances of falling ill.

Reduce allergens

Reduce allergens
Accumulated dust particles can irritate your eyes and respiratory system. It’s especially important for you to have a clean house if you or the people living with you have allergies or respiratory conditions like asthma. Keeping the amount of free dust particles in the air to a minimum will allow everyone to breathe easily and stay as healthy as possible.

Dusting and vacuuming the surfaces of your house will help reduce the amount of allergens in the air. Open up your windows more often to get some ventilation in the house.

Prevent infestations

The dark, damp and cramped spaces in your clutter are the perfect home for insects. These creatures thrive in the spaces that your clutter creates. They are also attracted to unwashed dishes and food left out in the open. With insect infestations come a wide range of harmful diseases. If you keep your house clean and well-maintained, you’ll have a much easier time keeping these pests at bay.

Safety hazards

Safety hazards
Your clutter can actually turn your home into an unsafe living space. Cardboard boxes, scraps of paper and piles of clothing are flammable and can increase the likelihood of your house catching fire. Make sure that you don’t have any large objects blocking doorways as it can make evacuating the building very difficult.

Even small objects sprawled across the floor can compromise your safety. Tripping and falling over your own clutter can lead to fall injuries. This is especially dangerous for the elderly and disabled. Making sure that your walkways are clear will help reduce your likelihood of injuring yourself or others in your own home.

Social life

Having a home that you are proud of is an important part of being an adult. To bring friends over and to host the people you care about is a fulfilling experience. The shame and embarrassment of having a messy house can prevent you from being able to socialise with others in your own home. This may not fair to you or your family members living with you.

The amount of social interaction with friends and family can actually drastically affect your mental health. A messy home can reduce your opportunities to build closer relationships with others.


Think of a tidy home not as a chore but as a step in taking better care of yourself and your loved ones. It’s a healthy habit worth starting and there’s no time like the present. Start with making the bed every morning and go from there. Soon, you could have a house you’ll be proud to call your home.

 

Article reviewed by Dr Samuel Low, clinical director at Parkway Hospitals

Reference

How to Clean: Tips for Keeping Your Home Healthy. Retrieved 05/07/2019 from https://www.healthline.com/health/healthy-home-guide.

How decluttering your space could make you healthier and happier. Retrieved 05/07/2019 from https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/how-decluttering-your-space-could-make-you-healthier-and-happier/art-20390064.

What are the consequences of long-term stress? Retrieved 08/01/2020 from https://www.webmd.com/balance/stress-management/qa/what-are-the-consequences-of-longterm-stress.

16.JAN.2020
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Dr Samuel Low
Clinical Director
Parkway Hospitals

Dr Samuel Low holds a medical degree and has clinical experience in anaesthesiology/intensive care, primary care and emergency medicine.