Feeling fed up? It might be all that clutter...

New research shows that a messy home has a negative impact on our mental health

messy bedroom

How does living in an untidy home make you feel? 

If the answer is in the negative, you're not alone. AXA has carried out a study into the effects of clutter and a messy home on our happiness and mental health, and the results are shocking. Three out of five people believe living in a messy home can have a bad impact of their mental health.

Around 50 per cent said it made them feel ‘fed up’; 35 per cent said they felt ‘shame’; 32 per cent said it made them feel ‘out of control’.

And that's not all: 50 per cent also said that they felt there was a social stigma around keeping their home tidy, and that they felt judged based on the cleanliness of their home. But equally, 45 per cent admit to judging the cleanliness of other people’s homes, so it seems we’re in a vicious (spin) cycle.  

clutter in kitchen

Unsurprisingly, what bugs us the most is dirty toilets and showers, closely followed by dirty mugs and plates left around the house, and clutter caused by not throwing rubbish away.  

Space is a huge issue when it comes to keeping your house tidy, as we often just haven’t got enough room for storage. 47% find it hard to store basic necessities such as clothes, 25% said they don’t have enough room for children’s toys, and what’s worse is that 38% said that a messy home provokes arguments with the people they live with.

So having the right storage is not only crucial for the look of our home, but it’s important for our wellbeing, mental health and happiness too. One way this could be improved is by allowing our rooms to become more multi-purpose, so adapting your spaces to meet your needs of work, leisure and storage all in one.

These days most of us are juggling so many responsibilities – work, family, friends, relationships, children etc. – that tidying up can become a huge chore. This becomes an issue when our surroundings start to cause negative effects on our mental wellbeing, so understanding how homes can be improved to make our lives easier is essential. Having a multipurpose home doesn’t just mean we can do more with our time, it means we can spend it on the things that matter most.Gareth Howell, Managing Director AXA Insurance

Amelia Smith
Amelia Smith

After joining Real Homes as content producer in 2016, Amelia has taken on several different roles and is now content editor. She specializes in style and decorating features and loves nothing more than finding the most beautiful new furniture, fabrics and accessories and sharing them with our readers. As a newbie London renter, Amelia’s loving exploring the big city and mooching around vintage markets to kit out her new home.