The Hidden Perils of Living in a Cluttered Home: How a Messy House Can Negatively Impact Your Health

Sharing is caring!

Home » Blog » Home Safety & Cleaning » The Hidden Perils of Living in a Cluttered Home: How a Messy House Can Negatively Impact Your Health

Not all people can live in dirty homes. Some people won’t allow having a day without spending at least 10 minutes cleaning and organizing their house, while others are tolerant or less bothered having a disorganized home. However, regardless of your upbringing and personality, you should know the answer to the question: can a messy house make you sick?

Yes, it can in many ways, and numerous studies reveal that a messy house affects both mental and physical health. A dirty home can make a person susceptible to flu, colds, anxiety, depression, and stress. As such, you need to put some effort into making your house clean and clutter-free.

In this post, we will tackle how a messy house can make you sick and the number of ways to tackle a dirty and messy home. 

What Will Happen if the House Is Continuously Messy?

Anyone who has washed plenty of clothes or scrubbed the bathroom floor has asked themselves: “What if I didn’t do this in my house? What will happen?” If you thought the same, here are some disgusting effects of living in a poorly maintained house.

Plenty of Dust Mites

Dust mites are tiny white bugs living in dirty furniture, bedding, carpets, old books, and stuffed animals. They are a problem for people with asthma, allergies, and other respiratory illnesses. 

They are small and may be unnoticeable, but they are evident and disgusting once they accumulate. 

Proliferation of Molds

It seems like taking a shower can clean the bathroom floors. However, if you don’t scrub the bathroom floor, mold can grow there. 

Mold is a fungus that thrives in moist and dark places. It is usually found on a dirty bathroom floor, laundry room, kitchen sink, basement, or anywhere in the house where there is moisture.

Disgusting Sheets

Your sheets can trap a lot: dead skin, fallen hair, pet dander, dust mites, and the occasional pet accident. This doesn’t only make your sheets dirty and stinky, but can also soil your mattress. 

Change your sheets and wash them along with your mattress weekly. To learn how to clean your mattress, read our article – Does Baking Soda Clean Mattresses? 

More Pests

Don’t feel like taking out the trash? Be ready for an invasion of cockroaches, bugs, flies, mosquitoes, critters, and more pests. Can you imagine a house full of pests? Then start cleaning the house now. 

Air Ducts

Do you often get sick without reason? Then, your house’s heating ducts could contain debris and dust. Dust buildup will affect the quality of the air circulating in your home and make it smell bad. It will also trigger asthma and allergies.

To learn more about how dirty air ducts and filters affect your indoor air, read our article – Can Dirty House Air Filters Make You Sick?

Does a Messy House Affect You?

Yes, a messy house can affect you in many ways. While it’s not healthy to obsess about cleanliness or allow the smallest amount of dirt to make you anxious, living continuously in an untidy house poses a harmful risk to you and your family.

There are a lot of consequences to living in a poorly maintained household. It will not only affect your physical and mental health, but it will also impact other parts of your life, such as your finances, social life, and even career. 

In What Way Can a Messy House Make You Sick?

When we think about the health risks of having a messy house, we often think of the physical ways it affects us. However, clutter may cause severe mental health problems, too.

It Can Lead to Serious Respiratory Problems

If your house has lots of trash, this will eventually lead to a collection of animal dander, dust, and similar allergens, triggering asthma, allergy attacks, and other respiratory issues.

Increases Stress

The feeling of stress and fatigue has something to do with your environment. While you may not have noticed this, a messy house can affect your feelings and mood. A study reveals that a cluttered home increases one’s stress hormone causing the person to be sad for no apparent reason. 

Spoils a Person’s Eating Habits

Research found that there is a correlation between stress and weight gain. So, if you keep stressing about your chaotic environment, your appetite will increase as your metabolism decreases. 

Can a Messy House Cause an Accident?


It’s a no-brainer that a messy house can cause an accident. If you’re living with lots of clutter, you can get injured. When there is a lot of furniture, heaps of clothing, piles of trash, or boxes all over the house, it may be easier to trip. The clutter may also fall off and hit your head.

If the house is full of papers or flammable items, then your home can be a fire hazard. Clutter may also hinder you from keeping yourself safe because it will be hard to move inside your home.

Can a Messy House Make You Sick by Affecting Your Brain?

Yes, a messy house will affect your brain. A house full of clutter may seem harmless for you and the rest of your family, but research claims that clutter has a cumulative impact on your brain. 

The human brain likes orderliness, and having a disorganized home will drain your cognitive resources and affect your ability to focus.

So, if you’re unproductive and working or studying from home, your environment may be the main reason for your slothfulness. 

The dirt or mess in your house is a visual distraction that increases cognitive overload and reduces your working memory. 

Can a Messy House Make You Sick by Affecting Your Relationships?

There’s no doubt that a messy house is bad for you and that it can affect many aspects of your life, especially relationships. Here are unnoticeable ways clutter will impact your life.

It Will Affect Your Family Relationships

Living in a cluttered home can strain your family relationships because people living in a messy house are more irritable and agitated. So instead of allowing a dirty home to affect your marriage or family relationship, start cleaning the house today.

It Will Affect Your Working Relationships

If the house is constantly messy, you may bring bad vibes to work and affect your relationship with your workmates. 

If you’re working from home, you will also be less productive, which will impact the quality of your work performance, affecting your relationship with your fellow employees and your employer. 

It Discourages Interaction

A cluttered house will derail family interactions. For instance, if the living area is in disarray, the family members will be discouraged from sitting there and talking with each other.

Can a Tidy House Make You Feel Better?

Absolutely! According to participants of Marie Kondo’s Netflix show, Tidying Up, decluttering the house has changed their lives for the better.

Tidying up can help one destress and improve a person’s state of mind and self-control. The concept of the show makes cleaning the house a powerful reset – and that your real life will begin after putting your home in order. 

How to Make Your House Clutter-Free?


Your house environment contributes to your physical and mental well-being. So, doing small things to organize the house is essential.

Declutter One at a Time

Pick one thing at a time or do a specific task that will improve the orderliness and cleanliness of the house. It can be washing the dishes after breakfast with the family or throwing the trash away in your room.

Make Your Bed or Wash Your Bed Sheets

According to the National Sleep Foundation, people who make their bed every morning have more improved sleep than those who don’t. The same study also revealed that people have a restful night when their bedsheets are freshly washed.  

Set a Time to Clean the House Each Day

If you’re busy or struggling to clean the house, set a specific time to make your home clutter-free. You can spend 10 minutes of your day sweeping the floor or putting things in their designated places.

You will be surprised at how many tasks you can accomplish within 10 minutes of your time. 

Ask For Help

If cleaning the house is not your forte, you can contact a reputable cleaning service in your area to do the cleaning. If you’re living with family, you can ask them to help you clean the house.

Meanwhile, if you are mentally struggling to organize the house because of depression or anxiety, there is no shame in asking for help. You may need a mental health expert to help you implement behavioral strategies to achieve your goals. 


Now you know you can get sick from a messy house. There are physical, mental, and social health problems you can experience from a messy home. On top of these health problems, your cluttered house can be a danger zone.

To turn this around, focus on cleaning and decluttering your home a little at a time at a set time each day. Also, wash and change your sheets, and make your bed often.

If this fails, get help from your family or hire a cleaning service.

If you are interested in learning what else a clean house can do for you, check our post – Does a Clean House Help Depression?