Negative Effects of Living in an Untidy House

how living with mess is bad for you

What are the negative effects of living in an untidy house?

  • can affect your mental health
  • can affect your physical wellbeing
  • you are just not as productive as you could be
  • you can be judged negatively
  • can damage the well being of children
  • you can become socially isolated
  • makes you relive bad memories

The problem with clutter is that it doesn’t seem dangerous at first, but if one looks at the long term effects on it on your mental and emotional health, clutter really is quite insidious in nature.

It’s an unpalatable truth – but no matter what you own, once you pass away, someone will ultimately decide what to do with your items. 

**Affiliate Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn commission from qualifying purchases**

“The first step in crafting the life you want is to get rid of everything you don’t.”

Joshua Becker

There’s no way around it. You can’t bring your possessions with you once you die. As brutal as it sounds, it’s the truth. 

So, being aware of it is the first step to realizing that holding on to material possessions that don’t serve you well is only adversely affecting you and your life.

Affects your Mental Health

Very often, you’ll observe that people who hoard items tend to have mental issues. It may make you wonder if the clutter caused the mental problems, or if it was the mental issues which made them hoard so much clutter.

Whatever the answer to this question may be, there’s an undeniable link between clutter and poor mental health. We live in a crazy world. When we go home, it should be a safe space for us.

If your home is filled with clutter, the mess will cause you more stress. Less is more here… and over time, your frazzled nerves will take a severe toll on you.

By decluttering and clearing your home, you’ll have a feeling of freedom and peace that’s unexplainable, but almost tangible.

Negative Effects of Living in an Untidy House

Affects your Physical Health

The more clutter you have, the dustier your house will be. Bugs, rodents, etc. are attracted to places stuffed with junk.

You may have asthma problems or allergies when there’s too much clutter at home. In fact, you may notice that you get the sniffles when clearing out clutter because they’re that dusty.

So, it’s best to live in a home that’s clutter-free. Not only will it be easier to clean, but your health will not be negatively impacted.

negative effects of clutter

You Will Be Judged Negatively

You might be the nicest kindest hard working person that has ever lived. But if you have a messy home you will be judged negatively.

People will think you as lazy and weak willed. Even if you are not any of things.

It’s sad that society puts so much store on the superficial but we have to face facts here.

Reduces Productivity

If you work from home, it’s easier to work in a clean space that’s not a mess. You’ll have less mental clutter if there’s less physical clutter at home.

You’ll find that you’re more creative and happier in surroundings that are clean and sparse.

So, ensure that your home is neat and only has items that serve you well.

how clutter affects your brain

Makes you Relive Bad Memories

Some people tend to be sentimental and hold on to items because they remind them of days gone by. In some cases, the memories may not be good.

One example may be a second place trophy you won back in school, but you still feel the pinch that you came so close to victory, but lost first position to someone else . Holding on to the trophy will remind you of your loss every time you look at it.

How often will you replay this defeat in your mind?

It’s best to throw the trophy away and just move on. You have so much more to win in life instead of dwelling in the past.

can a cluttered house make you sick

The same applies to photos of old flames you knew back in the day, but the relationships didn’t work out. Throw away gifts and photos that make you remember these bittersweet memories. Don’t torture yourself over and over.

Life goes on and so should you. Declutter and regain your sanity and happiness. 

May Effect the Wellbeing of Your Children

Living in a messy home may affect children negatively. I’m no expert on child behavior but I can imagine living in other people’s mess must affect you eventually.

A child may become sick due to exposure to mold spores, dust mites, and other allergens found in abundance in a messy home.

One obvious problem is that children will not want to invite friends back to their homes due to the embarrassment an untidy home brings. Also, they may not be able to have birthday parties at home.

There doesn’t appear to be much in the way of scientific studies on children living in untidy homes, but this article summarizes the latest studies well.

You Can Become Socially Isolated

If your home is in a mess you are unlikely to want to have guests over for coffee and a chat.

You are also going to say no to social events at other people’s homes as you won’t be able to take your turn and invite them back.

Once you start to clean and tidy your home, invite people over as soon as possible. Your home doesn’t have to be perfect, talk about your decluttering journey with friends and family. They won’t judge you if you can demonstrate you are making positive changes to your life.


Once you’ve eliminated clutter from your home, your energy levels will increase and your stress will decrease. You’ll feel ‘lighter’ and happier.

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. Your home will seem to be nicer and more sophisticated when it’s not filled with countless unwanted items that no longer have any value for you.

The clutter you hold on to now is holding you back from moving on to bigger and better things in life. You cannot soar if you’re weighed down by the emotional baggage that’s attached to these items.

Drop them and you’ll reach greater heights than you ever thought possible. Start the decluttering process and in a month, you’ll be glad you did.

Further Reading

Here are some more articles on the effects of clutter that I think you might like.

Is Clutter Controlling Your Life?

What does clutter do to your brain and body?

Clutter Control: Is Too Much ‘Stuff’ Draining You?

What Clutter Does to Your Brain and Body

cluttered house cluttered mind

Looking for More Decluttering Information? Check Thes Posts Out!

How does a messy house affect you