Messy bedrooms. The stock and trade of seven-year-olds the world over. But what starts off as an innocent childhood habit of not cleaning away the toys can knock your yin and yang well out of kilter in later life. Unless you’re Tracey Emin, a cluttered bedroom is likely to have a negative effect on your wellbeing.
It can manifest itself in many ways: a mountain of clothes, a stack of books, a pile of papers, not to mention the unmentionables – dirty underwear that hasn’t made it to the laundry bin. It all mounts up, and as it does it has a detrimental effect on our health and wellbeing.
Whilst teenagers and students tend to be oblivious to the merits of meticulous bedroom management, as we get older we realise there’s more to be said for a tidy chambre. From avoiding embarrassment when given the outside chance of a voulez-vous-coucher-avec-moi-ce-soir proposition, to the simplicity of getting a good nights’ sleep – there are plenty of reasons to keep your dorm in a spotless, orderly fashion.
Mess Anxiety – or lots of reasons, mess causes stress. A cluttered environment leads to feelings of anxiety, helplessness and being overwhelmed. Put that clutter in the one room where you are supposed to be able to relax fully and it’s a recipe for a life that’s harder than it should be. But how does it all add up…
Sleep deprivation – oddly, a messy room can stimulate the mind. The clutter can fire up all the senses – visual, tactile and olfactory – making decent sleep much harder to achieve. The effects of extreme tiredness might make for great viewing on I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, but in real life they start to add up, until you properly can’t think straight.
Distraction – stuff can be a distraction. It takes your focus away from the things that are important. That distraction makes it difficult to relax, because we
Guilt – living in a room that you know, deep down, could be cleaner can lead to a feeling of ‘I should be better’ and whilst we might jest about the joys of bringing home an amorous advance, the embarrassment felt when acquaintances and friends drop by can add to low self esteem.
Time – those keys you keep losing, they get harder to find in a room full of clutter. Stuff can slow us down physically too. If you could add up all the lost minutes looking for what you can’t find, you’d probably discover enough time wasted to clean the room.
The next time you feel like taking a duvet day – do – but use the time constructively. Instead of catching up on the sleep you didn’t manage to get, clean up, make your room a smart tidy place that’s fit for a great nights’ sleep. And if you need help storing some of the things you don’t have room for – you know where to come.