In a previous blog, I explored the benefits of living uncluttered on our mental health and well-being. But there are plenty of benefits for living uncluttered on our physical health too. Here are 5 of them.
Living uncluttered reduces allergy symptoms and respiratory problems.
A cluttered home is not easy to clean: some areas are just too difficult to reach and are never cleaned, it’s just too much work to move the piles of stuff on the floor or on a countertop so you just clean around them.
Dust mites and moulds strive in such an environment. And if you have a sensitive nose, you might be prone to allergies and respiratory problems.
The nature of my job makes it that I’m often exposed to such environments. I can’t remember the number of times I had to take antihistamines, and even antibiotics, to deal with allergy episodes until covid hit and I started wearing a face mask. A life changer for me! But you can’t obviously live with a face mask on permanently.
By getting rid of the clutter, you’ll not only make your home easier to clean but also improve your condition.
My son’s health is what convinced me to get rid of the books I had brought with me when I moved to Singapore more than 2 decades ago and that I was saving for him to read. But when he started reading them and wouldn’t stop sneezing, up to the point I had to take him to the doctor on a couple of occasions, I realised it was complete nonsense. I could afford to buy, or borrow, those books if he really wanted to read them. Out of our home they went!
Living uncluttered will help you eat better… and might even help you lose weight.
Studies show that you are more likely to overeat and make unhealthy food choices when you are in a cluttered environment because you’re feeling out of control and more stressed. Professional organiser Peter Walsh actually wrote a book on the topic, called Lose the clutter, lose the weight.
A few years ago, I myself dedicated a blog post on how the clutter in our kitchen, on our dining table, in our wardrobe, and even in our mind can impact our waistline based on what I had witnessed in my job as a professional organiser. In essence…
… If your kitchen is cluttered, the idea of cooking even a simple meal can be overwhelming. It’s very tempting then to eat out or bring home takeaway food more frequently than you should which means having bigger portions of food loaded with higher fat and sugar than what you would have cooked at home.
… If your dining table is covered with stuff, you’ll end up eating on the couch, very likely in front of the TV. It then becomes difficult to convince yourself to spend time cooking nutritious food when nobody really pays attention to what they eat! Very quickly, you won’t see the point of eating at regular hours and with the rest of the family and will rush through your food without paying attention to how much you eat.
… The clothes in your wardrobe that don’t fit you are a nagging reminder of the weight that you can’t seem to lose and affect your self-esteem. By letting go, you might make peace with your body and start losing some weight.
Living uncluttered will help you fall asleep more easily.
It’s not easy to fall asleep when you’re surrounded by clutter. It can make you frustrated when you just want to nod off. And if it’s not just the physical clutter that can keep you awake at night, it can also be all the activities you’re trying to fit into your schedule. Even worse if you don’t have a to-do list and rely on your memory because you’re likely to keep going through your list of to-do’s in your head to make sure you won’t forget anything.
Many studies have demonstrated how little or poor sleep can be detrimental to our health. You really don’t want to compromise on it.
Living uncluttered will allow you to establish a more balanced life.
According to the American National Soap and Detergent Association, getting rid of clutter would eliminate 40% of the housework in the average home. Also, a study conducted by a Boston marketing firm found that the average American spends 55 minutes a day looking for things they know they own but can’t find.
It can easily add up to a fair amount of time that could be poured into activities that will help boost your physical health, such as making time for exercise or planning well-balanced and healthy meals, or activities that will make you happier such as spending time with your family or dedicating time to a hobby.
Living uncluttered will make your home safer.
There are regular reports in the media of hoarders who die, trapped in their homes when it bursts into flames, often the result of piles and piles of paper, or when it collapses because of the weight of the clutter.
But even without living in such extreme conditions, piles of items strewn haphazardly around your home will inevitably lead to accidents, especially as you age. Don’t risk a twisted ankle on junk you don’t need.
On a lighter note…