Reduce stress and improve creativity
Woman doing yogaThe environment you live in has a massive potential to affect your mental state and a clean, attractive house can work wonders. When Dr Jonas Salk was tasked with finding a cure to the polio epidemic in the 1950s, he started his research in the cluttered basement of a Pennsylvania hospital. The research didn’t go well; the environment just wasn’t conducive to creative thought. When he moved to a 13th century monastery in Italy, however, he was inspired and managed to finish his work. The better environment essentially helped him save millions of lives.
Removing clutter can reduce stress, too. Having a large number of things in your home creates tension because you feel you need to do things with them, whether consciously or subconsciously. Every time you see the mess you feel you should be clearing it up. Stains on the carpet induce guilt because you remember the spill that caused them and the fact that you haven’t got round to tackling their removal yet, just like unread books that demand to be read. With a little less clutter and a good deep clean, your home will be a happier place to live in.
Keeping things clean can keep you healthy both physically and mentally. Dirty kitchens, bathrooms and even carpets all harbour dangerous germs and bacteria, and even superficially clean homes have bugs lurking in unexpected places. Our own research has found bacteria such as Campylobacter, Listeria, Salmonella and Shigella can reside deep in the pile of carpets. These are germs which can cause illnesses such as food poisoning and stomach ulcers. You don’t need to give your home a deep clean that often, but renting a carpet cleaning machine a couple of times a year works wonders to keep your home healthy.
Germs aren’t the only problem. Having a lot of clutter in your house also encourages dust mites and other insect pests like spiders and clothes moths. Spiders aren’t a major problem unless you happen to be afraid of them, but clothes moth larvae eat through your clothes, carpets and upholstery. That’s why it’s important not to leave unwashed clothes at the bottom of the basket for too long - it creates the perfect habitat for the blighters.
Don’t trip up
An untidy, cluttered home encourages accidents. We’ve all trodden on an unseen piece of Lego before now, but there are more serious consequences in not clearing up. Blocked doors and windows mean you can’t escape easily if there’s a fire, and clutter can trip you up. Objects placed on the stairs are especially dangerous.