Rupert Hambly


Clutter: the in your face stress at home

Do you ever feel overwhelmed by your possessions?

Have piles of paperwork, clothes, and household objects taken over your home?

If the answer to these questions is yes, then it’s time to declutter both your home and your life!

Modern living is complicated, and a tidy house won’t solve all your problems. But it can definitely help in these Covid-19 times. That’s because your physical environment has a big impact on your state of mind.

Unpleasant surroundings can actually damage your mental health.

A study published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin in 2009 showed that living in a cluttered home can raise the levels of the stress hormone cortisol in your body.

A cluttered home is a stressful home.

These findings are bad news for untidy people; chronically high cortisol levels can lead to an increased risk of depression and anxiety and can also cause concentration lapses. Not only that, but chronically elevated cortisol is associated with physical problems too, such as headaches and insomnia.

So clutter makes us unhappy. But we still avoid reorganizing our homes. Why? Well, for some people the thought of tackling the mess can seem overwhelming – or perhaps too time-consuming.

Although the prospect of decluttering might fill you with dread, the good news is that you don’t have to do everything at once! Start by making small, gradual changes, and over time they will make a big difference.

You could start decluttering right in your bedroom…

Begin each morning by making your bed. Completing this simple daily task will mean you’ve already accomplished something before breakfast! This will set a positive tone for the day ahead. Even better, research has found that people who make their bed every day are 19 percent more likely to sleep better than those who don’t!

You could then move on to other manageable tasks, such as sorting through your cupboards. Clutter starts to accumulate when you shove items into drawers and forget about them. So every week, set aside a regular time slot to look into your cupboards. Be ruthless, and throw out anything you no longer need.

But how do you identify the things you don’t need? Well, there’s a simple rule: if you haven’t used an item in 12 months and/or if it doesn’t give you joy, it’s not worth having.

Stay tidy and stress free,
Rupert Hambly

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