The queen of clean, Marie Kondo, has made her name with the KonMari Method, which involves letting go of items that don’t bring you joy.
While not every item in your home will make you happy (a saucepan might not make you happy, but you do need it), her methods can help you to part with sentimental clutter that you don’t really need to keep.
Cleaning (or the lack of it) can have a real impact on your health. Read on to find out about the health benefits of tidying or scroll down to take our clutter quiz.
The effect of cleanliness on mental health
It’s often hard to find the motivation or a good reason for a proper clear out, but it can help you feel better about your home and happier in yourself.
An untidy home can make you stressed too. A University of California study found that women who described their homes using words such as “messy”, “cluttered” and “disorganised” had higher levels of cortisol – the hormone associated with stress.
A tidy home gives you a healthy appetite
A study at the University of Minnesota asked volunteers to fill in a questionnaire in either a messy or tidy office. The volunteers were then offered a snack – either an apple or chocolate – and given the opportunity to donate to a charity.
The volunteers who had spent time in the tidy offices were more likely to choose the healthy snack and donate to charity.
If you try to tackle the mess in one go, you’re likely to end up feeling overwhelmed by the task – so break it down into bite-sized chunks.
Set aside a few minutes each day just to have a quick tidy. Just putting away the dishes or giving the oven top a quick clean will make you feel better.
If you’re having a big clear out, it can help to tidy one room at a time and split up the work over a number of days. Set aside some time over the weekend or after work if you’re struggling to find the time.
Give yourself a use-by date. If you haven’t used an item in six months, you probably don’t need to keep it.