A messy home can be a stressful one. Not only is it difficult to find anything, but it also makes you feel like the world is out of control. It’s true that when you’re living in an untidy and cluttered environment, it can be hard to focus on anything other than how bad the clutter is. Uncluttering your home can have a huge effect on your mental and physical wellbeing. Learn why a tidy house might be the key to reducing your stress levels and tidy up your space with our tips and tricks.
Tidy house tidy mind
So what exactly does this famous saying mean? ‘Tidy house tidy mind’ is a phrase that is often used to describe the idea that a person who lives in a tidy home will also have a tidy mind. It’s also used to motivate people to clean up their homes.
It suggests that the act of cleaning your home can help you feel more in control and organised. Being surrounded by clutter and things can reduce feelings of relaxation when we want to relax after working all day, or even prevent us from focusing on work, for example, if we work from home.
For some people, it even goes beyond just the bad look of the clutter and wishing a house looked tidier because that would simply be nice, and it can even cause a fuzzy head and lack of concentration, as well as stress and negative emotions. It’s been proven that tidying up your house can have a positive effect on your mental health. When you start to feel overwhelmed by the mess and chaos, take a deep breath and start tidying up.
How to keep your home tidy
With our busy lives and limited time, maintaining a tidy house can feel like an uphill battle. Especially when you throw kids and pets into the mix! There are many benefits to having a clean and tidy house, but there are also some drawbacks. For example, it can be time-consuming to keep up with the cleaning. This could lead to increased stress levels or lack of sleep which could have negative effects on mental health. So what are the solutions to keeping a tidy house without the tidying itself being counterintuitive and adding to the stress?! Here’s how to maintain a tidy home with minimal effort.
The first step to a tidy home is a ruthless decluttering session! The more time you spend decluttering, the more likely you are to feel better about yourself and your home. It might seem counter-intuitive at first, but the act of decluttering is actually really therapeutic. There’s something about getting rid of all those clothes, books and toys that make us feel like we’ve accomplished something. In fact, we have achieved something: a tidier-looking house that is easier to maintain as fewer things mean less things to tidy up every day!
Some of my favourite decluttering tips are:
- Sell items you never use or no longer need (i.e. outgrown toys and clothes) on Facebook Marketplace, eBay and car boots. Making real cash from your preloved goods is a great motivator to keep decluttering!
- Keep a box or bag in each wardrobe and/or understairs cupboard for outgrown toys, clothes and other items you no longer want. As soon as you find something that can be sold, recycled or passed on, then add it to this bag instead of putting it back in your wardrobe, drawer or elsewhere in your home. This will help you stay on top of decluttering going forwards. Once you have a full box/bag then list the items for sale, recycle or donate. This blog post shares how to always recycle old clothes even if they’re ruined!
- Be ruthless! Not worn something for a year? Will you really wear it ever again? Hoarding things only contribute to the production and pollution of creating more things. Surely it’s better for someone to buy or have your unused item instead of them going out and buying a new one? Start changing your mindset and realise that passing the things on that you don’t use, to people who will use them, prevents more overproduction of things. Therefore, you are even helping the environment by decluttering!
- Stop constantly buying things. Accept when you have enough and be happy with what you have. Sure, treat yourself every once in a while, but not constantly. Buy things when you actually need them, not just because you want them. There’s no point in decluttering just to go out and replace it all with a bunch of new stuff!
Assess your home’s storage
Perhaps your home is always untidy because you lack storage solutions? Maybe you are using all the items in your home and have nothing to declutter, but you simply have nowhere practical to store the items you use? Here are some storage ideas for your home:
- Under stair storage! Most homes have a cupboard under the stairs, but sometimes because of its triangular shape, it can create a large amount of wasted space under the lower parts of the stairs. To use this space effectively you can create understairs drawers and cupboards that are custom built into this space. These can be used to store and hide shoes, laundry, shopping bags, or all sorts of other items that might clutter up your home.
- Fitted wardrobes like these fitted grey wardrobes can really help to maximise the storage space in your bedroom by optimising the entire height of the room from floor to ceiling. This is space a freestanding wardrobe often misses. Also, if you have sloped ceilings or a strange-shaped room, a fitted wardrobe can be custom-made to fit into all sorts of nooks and crannies. The right size wardrobe will ensure all clothes including coats, accessories, shoes and even jewellery has an organised space to be stored, keeping it off your bedroom floor and conveniently out of sight.
- Are stacks of books and magazines a common site around your home? For bookworms they might be! Make sure your favourite reads have a space too so they stop cluttering up bedside drawers, tables and sides by installing ample bookshelves for your collection. Again, you don’t have to settle for freestanding units which might be limited in size and design, but you can opt for bespoke fitted bookshelves to suit your exact requirements. If you’re in London then you can find this fitted bespoke bookshelf solution from Urban Wardrobes, otherwise, search for professional furniture installers and carpenters in your area.
- Build a shed. If your garden is constantly filled with kids’ toys and gardening bits and bobs scattered all over the place, then you need some garden storage! A shed for garden tools and gardening items. Small accessible storage shed or unit for the kids’ toys that they can easily get to when they want to play outside, as well as perhaps tidy away once they’re finished so you don’t have to do it!
Tidy solutions to hide the mess
Sometimes it’s not that belongings are cluttering our space, but unsightly items such as cables and wires. The bane of my life! Coming up with clever solutions to hide such unsightly things can work wonders for creating a tidy home. Here are some tips:
- Install under desk cable tidies to stop cables hanging down and all over the floor. There are lots of solutions online to tidy wires and cables, or you might be handy at DIY and can create a simple u-shaped shelf to attach yourself. These can also be used on the back of TV units to prevent all the cables from becoming a tangled mess in the living room too.
- Baskets! Natural seagrass style baskets are ideal for storing things like kids’ toys or throws, whilst also looking a part of your home decor. They’re great for simply throwing things into and tidying in a flash!
- A house can feel instantly messy if you walk through the front door and there’s a bunch of shoes all over the floor! It’s also a trip hazard. Create some shoe shelves near the door so shoes can instantly be put away. Or even a basket can be used to throw shoes into quickly and easily. If the sight of the shoes is looking cluttered, then look for purposeful shoe cupboards that completely keep the shoes out of sight. A shoe organiser is a great way to store shoes in your closet or under the bed.
Staying on top of your tidy house
Once your house is tidy, you won’t want to let it slip into a cluttered mess again. We’ve already covered some points to achieve this above, such as having a decluttering bag for outgrown clothes in a cupboard, but what else can you do to maintain the tidy state?
- Designate a place for each item in your home. Make sure that everything has its own place and will not clutter up your space. It also makes it easier to find things preventing stress of losing items.
- If you have items that need to go upstairs then put them at the bottom of the stairs and take them up next time you go up, and vice versa if you have things that need to come down.
- Cleaning up after yourself such as putting your clothes in the laundry basket right away instead of on the floor or a chair, putting dishes in the dishwasher or rinsing them off immediately instead of leaving them piled high on the side, and taking out any trash or recycling as soon as the bin is full.
- Be minimal and don’t overbuy things like foodstuffs, cleaning products and toiletries that won’t fit in your storage cupboards or neatly on the side.
Keeping your home tidy is a difficult task. It can be exhausting and time-consuming to organize the clutter that accumulates on a daily basis. However, it is important to keep your home tidy for more than just aesthetic reasons. A tidy home can be better for you and your family’s mental health, as well as the environment.