Is having a disorganized home such a big deal? Why not let people live how they want to live?
Having a clean, comfortable home affects people in different ways:
Keeping a clean, organized home is well worth all the physical, mental, emotional, and social benefits that come with it.
From sleep quality to infection control, cleanliness affects how well your body functions from day to day.
Here are a few ways keeping an orderly environment can help you physically:
Keeping a clean home reduces the risk of illness-causing pathogens being passed to residents of the home.
Food preparation areas should be sanitary, especially after handling raw meat.
Bathroom areas should be cleaned regularly, and animal waste should be taken care of to prevent disease.
People with cluttered homes are more likely to experience insomnia. It’s hard to know if it stems from increased stress levels, difficulty getting comfortable in a cluttered space, or from another cause, but cleaning up clutter should help you get a better
Allergies and asthma attacks can be triggered by dust, pet hair and dander, and mold. Keeping homes free of these triggers can improve allergy and asthma symptoms.
The state of your home can have profound effects on your mental state. A cluttered, disorganized space can stress and overwhelm us. Severely cluttered homes can also cause feelings of shame and anxiety. Here are a few ways keeping your home in order can help you function well mentally:
A clean, uncluttered space helps our minds stay on task without distraction. When we see more items in our line of sight, it can actually slow down our brain’s processing speed and make it more difficult to focus.
When we constantly look around us and see work that needs to be done, it’s difficult to feel calm. How can we relax when we’re surrounded by chaos? Maintaining a clean, organized space will create tranquility and peace-of-mind.
Setting your home in order can be empowering! When you are able to make your space look and feel the way you want it to be, you feel a sense of accomplishment.
When your home is constantly in good condition, you can depend on it as a place to relax and feel at peace. Regardless of what happens outside your home, you have a refuge where you can retreat from the world.
Creativity needs margin and blank space to grow. When your space is not distracting from your thought process, your brain can focus on new ideas.
Just as tasks requiring deep thought can be difficult when our homes are chaotic, our emotions can also be hard to settle when our environment is in upheaval. Here are some emotional benefits to improving the cleanliness of your home:
When you’re in a clean, comfortable environment, you feel better emotionally. Many studies show a relationship between messy homes and unhappiness.
Not only does being in a clean, restful environment contribute to being better able to focus and be mindful, the act of cleaning itself actually offers an opportunity to practice mindfulness. Being mindful of the task at hand can decrease feelings of anxiety and increase feelings of inspiration.
Emotional regulation is the ability to respond to your emotions mindfully. This skill can help you reframe negative emotions and cope with stress. When your home is less cluttered, you are better able to attend to your emotions and find peace.
Your home doesn’t only affect you—it also has an effect on the people around you. When your home is messy and disorganized, it can actually hinder your relationships. Here are some ways cleaning and organizing can benefit you socially:
Cleaning up can create a welcoming space for you to spend time with those you care about. When your home is messy and disorganized, it can be difficult, or even embarrassing, to host others.
You may feel embarrassed about the state of your home, or your friends may not be comfortable there due to cleanliness issues, a lack of seating due to spaces being taken up by clutter, and so on.
When your home is clean and uncluttered, there is space for family to come and stay. Even if you need to set up cots or sleeping bags to accommodate extra guests, they can still be comfortable with you. With a clean floor and stored belongings, this can become a reality.
In severe cases, disorganization and lack of cleanliness can lead to structural issues with your home. Appliances may fall into disrepair and become hazardous, or the home’s structure can even be compromised by the weight of your belongings.
When your things are in order, there is no danger of needing to relocate. However, when your things are in order, there is no danger of being forced to relocate. That stress is non-existent. At a certain point, a health inspector could become involved.
Everyone can improve the state of their homes—we all struggle to keep things clean and hang on to only the possessions we really need.
However, when we take the necessary steps to tidy up and declutter, we can see benefits in many different areas of our lives: physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially.
There are varied reasons people hang on to things they don’t need based on their circumstances or deeper-lying struggles. A cluttered home—even one that would qualify as a Level 5 situation—doesn’t stem from laziness or lack of willpower.
More often than not, a cluttered home is the result of a difficult-to-control situation, which is part of normal life.
What’s the source of your clutter? Following, are a few factors that may be contributing to your at-home clutter:
Having children can bring an abundance of joy, but also plenty of clutter.
Baby gear that is only used for a short period of time, rapidly changing clothes sizes, and piles of toys accumulate quickly.
It doesn’t end with the baby phase, though. As all guardians know, older kids and teens bring their own messes into the home.
Food-related messes combined with sleep deprivation can make it difficult to keep up with housework.
With children leaving clutter everywhere and food-related messes needing immediate care, it can be difficult to keep up with housework. Especially when you consider the sleep deprivation that also comes with kids.
Between art and science projects on the counter and smelly gym bags and laundry
left around the house, things can get (or stay!) messy.
It doesn’t help that children aren’t well-known for cleaning up after themselves!
As adults age, they may struggle to keep up with their housework.
Think of all the reaching and bending over. Consider all the hard scrubbing. With health issues, simple cleaning tasks take much longer to accomplish, if it can still be done.
Decreased mobility and increased health issues can make cleaning overwhelming or even impossible.
In addition, it can be difficult to let go of possessions accumulated over a lifetime.
Anxiety can make it difficult to throw away possessions.
People with anxiety may hold on to items in excess in case of a feared emergency or indecision about what to do with items.
Finding the motivation to clean and declutter is often a struggle for someone suffering from depression.
The stress of an out-of-control home situation (whether it’s actually out of control
or simply perceived to be) can create a negative feedback loop.
For example, maybe you’re struggling with depression and lack the motivation to do the dishes. This means the dishes quickly pile up and within a week or two every surface in your kitchen could be covered in dirty dishes.
Now, you’re facing an overwhelming mess that can make you feel even worse—piling on exhaustion, guilt, and shame—and making you even less likely to find the motivation to clean up.
This cycle can leave those struggling with depression feeling more overwhelmed and less able to approach their home situation.
Individuals with ADHD often have intense, passionate interests and may accumulate items related to that interest. In addition, it can be difficult for a person with ADHD to create and stay focused on a plan for a big cleaning project. Anytime there are multiple steps involved, it’s easy for people with ADHD to get distracted.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder is characterized by obsessive, intrusive thoughts and compulsive behaviors. People with OCD sometimes deal with anxieties and emergencies by compulsively buying items. They may have obsessions about running out of essential items or a buying ritual that is difficult to break out of.
Trauma can be a trigger for accumulating clutter. If someone grew up without:
They may feel driven to hold onto things rather than throw them away when they are no longer needed. Research shows that childhood emotional abuse and physical neglect in particular predict higher levels of hoarding symptoms.
People who have experienced loss may also accumulate possessions to soothe the ache of missing their loved one. Buying new things triggers a brief dopamine high, bringing temporary emotional relief.
If you grew up in a home where clutter was common, you are more likely to show these behaviors yourself. You may have a genetic disposition toward it through related diagnoses like anxiety or depression. You may also be more used to an environment where clutter, mess, and even the higher levels of hoarding are the norm.
No matter the reason clutter starts, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed and stressed by the situation. Home maintenance is a big task under any conditions. Certain factors can make the situation feel impossible such as:
Stress can lead to disorganized homes, and disorganized homes can increase stress. Natalie Christine Dattilo, PhD, clinical health psychologist and instructor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, calls it a chicken-or-egg dilemma.
“Recent studies have shown that clutter in our homes is associated with higher cortisol levels [our stress hormone], but it’s still unclear which comes first,” says Dattilo.
“Is it that when we are under stress, our ability to maintain a well-organized home becomes impaired? Or when our home is in disarray, does that make us feel more stressed, overwhelmed, and anxious?”
Regardless of the root of the issue, there is a way out. Resources are available to help you deal with your home situation. Bio-One can help! Our services can help ease your stress. For more information on how we can help you with your clutter call (205) 937-1708.
What is stopping you from getting the clutter in your home under control? It might be that you’re overwhelmed—and that’s okay. Maintaining and cleaning a home is a huge task. When you’re trying to do it by yourself amid many other responsibilities, you might not be able to do it all.
Fortunately, you don’t have to do it yourself. There are many support systems out there to help you manage your home. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, you can reach out for help.
Family members are often the first ones to step in when you need extra hands. If you live with a partner, children, or other family members, they should already be taking on a share of the housework as appropriate to their age and health status.
Friends and other family members are also often willing to lend a hand to help with a limited-scope cleaning project, such as:
If you find yourself facing any of these, you could ask a loved one for help.
Sometimes, you might need more help with your house than your friends and/or family are able to give—and it’s important to realize that’s completely okay! There are many different types of people who can help you get your house under control when it gets overwhelming.
If your schedule makes it difficult to stay on top of cleaning tasks, hiring a house cleaner can take some of the burden off your shoulders. You can hire them to come on a set schedule, like weekly or monthly, or schedule a cleaning every now and then when you need extra help—or even just bring them in for a deep clean spring cleaning to get your home back on track.
An excellent way to start when you’re looking to hire someone to come help is by asking around to friends and neighbors. Who do they use and recommend? Another good source is neighborhood mailers like Valpak that include coupons for local services.
However, no matter who you hire, it’s important to understand that house cleaners typically do not pick-up, declutter, or organize homes. Rather they clean:
Whether you hire someone to clean the entire house or ask them to focus on key areas, like the bathrooms or kitchen, you may need to pick up clutter before they come over. This makes it easy for them to access the surfaces that need to be cleaned.
If the idea of picking up all the clutter for a house cleaner to come over is overwhelming, an organizer may be the helper you need.
Professional organizers consult with you about how best to manage and store your belongings. They may physically come into your home or meet with you virtually to help you come up with a clutter strategy.
Organizers will help you troubleshoot the reasons for your clutter, find strategies to deal with it, and give you accountability to take care of it.
Depending on the organizer and whether they meet with you in person or virtually, they may help you move items, but they aren’t cleaners. Their primary goal is to help you find your own sustainable strategy for a decluttered space.
Similar to hiring a house cleaner, you should start your hunt for a professional organizer by asking around to friends and neighbors. Community mailers and social media groups are also good places to check, and finally, a good, old-fashioned Google search can help you find reputable professionals in your area.
Sometimes, broken appliances or structures in the home can cause a barrier to cleaning. It can feel like you can’t get things done because there is an issue you can’t fix on your own.
A handyman can take care of minor repairs in your home.
They can also install shelves—a great asset when you’re trying to be more organized!
Check out websites like Angi (formerly Angie’s List) or Thumbtack for reviews of handyman services ranging across all sorts of specialties. Community social media groups, mailers, and friends and neighbors are all also good places to turn for recommendations.
Often, our cleaning struggles stem from a deeper source.
Many of us are not just messy—we may be unmotivated due to depression or anxiety, struggling to focus on cleaning due to ADHD, or dealing with any number of other hurdles. In these cases, hiring a cleaning service is putting a bandaid over the problem.
To see lasting change, it can be helpful to enlist a mental health specialist to help you find your equilibrium. There are a wide variety of resources available. For a complete list, check out this article from the National Institute of Mental Health.
Even if you don’t have a formal mental health diagnosis, talking with someone about ways to cope with the stresses of daily life can make a difference in your motivation and ability to troubleshoot problems.
You can find mental health support from a variety of practitioners, including:
Sometimes, your home needs a coordinated team to tackle all the different areas in need of cleanup and repair.
If your home has so much clutter that:
You’ll want to enlist help that can safely and efficiently take on the challenge.
When you work with a specialized cleaning team like Bio-One, you’ll start out by meeting one of our team members to discuss your goals and situation.
They’ll investigate any safety hazards and ask you questions about what you want them to preserve in the home, what should be disinfected, and other goals unique to you.
When the team begins work in your home, they will do all in their power to keep their work discreet, including changing into protective gear in your backyard or garage if desired and using unmarked vehicles.
You will be looped in throughout the process of Bio-One’s decluttering and deep-cleaning work.
Imagine the relief you’ll feel knowing your home is in good hands.
If Bio-One’s cleanup services sound like what your home needs, give us a call anytime at (205) 937-1708. Our lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. You can also fill out a service request on our website.
There’s no shame in needing help with your home. At Bio-One we’re here to guide and support you through the process.
By now, most of us have heard of Marie Kondo’s famous book and Netflix series, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. It’s definitely nice to be in a clean space, but is it life-changing? Or magic?
Believe it or not, clearing the clutter in your home really can make a big difference in many aspects of your life.
The most obvious reason to clear the clutter is for health and safety reasons.
Too much mess can harbor the growth of dangerous germs, especially in bathrooms and kitchens.
You need to be able to wipe down floors and surfaces. It’s also essential to throw away old food and make sure pipes are clear and functional. This prevents:
But what if you keep everything sanitary?
Are there reasons beyond health and safety to pick up?
Research tells us yes—clearing the clutter can benefit your health in a number of ways.
Decluttering can help you get a better night’s sleep—and not just because you no longer have piles of laundry on your bed.
People living in cluttered homes are more likely to experience insomnia. The exact link between clutter and trouble sleeping isn’t clear, but it is somewhat of a chicken-and-egg problem.
Clutter increases stress levels, which makes it harder to fall and stay asleep. Lack of sleep leads to difficulty concentrating and completing tasks, which can make it hard to clean.
Imagine how your quality of life improves when you’ve had a good night’s rest. Now, let that feeling motivate you—better sleep is on the way.
When your home is messy, it can be difficult to have friends over. You may resist inviting others out of embarrassment, or it may not be possible for practical reasons. Everyone needs a place to sit, after all!
When you create a fresh, welcoming space, you can enjoy the company of your loved ones in your own home. You can even host friends and family from out of town when they come to visit.
Decluttering can help you cultivate your connections and begin creating new ones.
Even if you’re not consciously aware of it, clutter in your home may be affecting your stress levels.
On a conscious level, seeing clutter can be a constant reminder of your to-do list. When you see a pile of items on your counter that need to be put away over and over again, your brain feels a little ping of guilt.
Over time, constantly feeling that need to clean up can create a heavy stress load. And in this day and age when so many are working from home, that added stress all day every day while trying to be productive at work can quickly build to overwhelm.
Clutter can also affect your stress levels subconsciously. Seeing clutter can overwhelm your working memory.
Your brain is constantly working on a subconscious level to determine what you need to pay attention to and what you need to ignore. When there are items everywhere, the brain works harder to process what should be noticed.
On the other hand, cleaning up clutter lets your brain relax. Being in a clean room may decrease your cortisol, or stress hormone, levels.
Just as your brain working hard to ignore clutter can lead to stress, it can also lead to distraction. Cleaning up your space can improve your ability to focus on tasks and get things done.
On a physiological level, your brain will simply have less stimulation. The more you see, the more work your brain has to do. When your area is clean, you can funnel that brainpower into whatever you’re working on.
Clutter affects your focus on a conscious level, too. If you’re noticing cleaning tasks that need to be done, it can be hard to hone in on the task you’re working on.
Even if you’re trying to focus on cleaning, multiple messy areas can make it difficult to choose just one. Every tidying task you complete gives your brain just a little more room to focus.
When you’re in a clean space, odds are you feel better. Studies link cleanliness to a better mood, feelings of accomplishment, and the ability to relax.
Even if life circumstances are bringing you down, having a well-ordered space can still help you respond more calmly to stress.
Emotional regulation is the ability to respond mindfully to your emotions instead of reacting thoughtlessly to triggers. In a clean space, your brain is less distracted, giving you the mental real estate to process your feelings and respond thoughtfully.
Once again, it all comes down to brain space—when you’re not distracted by visual clutter or feeling guilty about jobs left undone, your brain has more space for other things.
You can dedicate the time you spend worrying about clutter to solving problems and growing new ideas. If you create physical art, love home projects, or are a crafter, you’ll have space to work on your projects (and hopefully, motivation to clean them up when you’re done!).
Despite all the benefits of having a clutter-free home, it isn’t always easy to make it happen. If you’re overwhelmed, let Bio-One help you. We have a discreet, compassionate team of cleaning experts who are passionate about helping you.