The Hidden Risks of a Cluttered Home

cluttered messy bedroom

Updated February 8, 2024

A cluttered home is not only unsightly, it can also be dangerous.

There are several dangers associated with having an unorganized, messy house.

Decluttering your home can help keep you and your family safer, healthier, more organized, and happier.

The most common dangers of a cluttered home are:

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risks of cluttered home infographic

Fall Risks

It makes sense that a cluttered home increases the risk of injury due to falls.

However, you may not realize that falls can be serious, and are the leading cause of home injury-related death in the United States. 

According to the National Center for Healthy Housing, accidental falls account for 33% of all home injury deaths. This includes tripping over clutter and other types of preventable accidents.

Decluttering your home would immediately and drastically decrease the risk of in-home falls.

Respiratory Issues

Excessive clutter can aggravate or worsen symptoms associated with a variety of respiratory illnesses, including asthma.

According to the Alliance for Healthy Homes, cluttered homes tend to contain higher levels of dust, which is a major cause of respiratory complications.

Messy homes harbor dust mites more efficiently than clean homes, and excessive dust can trigger asthma attacks.

Clutter makes it nearly impossible to thoroughly dust and clean your home, giving it a chance to pile up and trigger respiratory problems.

The best way to avoid this issue is to declutter and thoroughly clean the home on a regular basis. After all, the less “stuff” in your home, the fewer places there will be for dust to collect.

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Rodents and Pests

Rodents, cockroaches, insects, and other pests love clutter.

Pests in the home can cause respiratory illnesses and other health problems.

Decluttering allows you to get at the infested areas to thoroughly clean and disinfect them, while limiting the places for pests to call home in the future.


Anxiety and depression are common symptoms of a disorganized home due to heightened stress hormones, like cortisol.

Having an excess of items misplaced throughout your home is distracting and is proven to decrease brain functionality.

In addition, clutter can be downright frustrating—especially when you can't find what you're looking for when you need it or when you're in a rush.

Increased stress, frustration, and anxiety will put anyone on edge over time, and these negative feelings can seep into other aspects of your life even when you aren't at home.

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Weight Gain

Many people don't realize that some research links cluttered homes to weight gain and obesity, likely due to the aforementioned increase of the stress hormone: cortisol.

Increased cortisol levels raises blood sugar by releasing stored glucose, which can cause rapid weight gain and even lead to Type 2 diabetes over time.

Additionally, a cluttered space can feel incredibly limiting and makes it hard to get the motivation to exercise.

If your gym equipment is piled high with boxes, or you have no idea where your running shoes are, the odds of you exercising are far lower than if these items were easily accessible.

Decluttering your home not only rids your space of unnecessary stuff, but it also clears your mind and makes it easier to get in the right mental space to exercise and lead a healthy life.

The best way to get started is to take the first step. Start with committing to decluttering one room, and allow that sense of accomplishment to motivate you to continue in other areas throughout your house.

Unless your home is small and your clutter is minimal, decluttering an entire home or living space isn't something that often happens overnight. Decluttering can take hours, days, or even weeks when done thoroughly.

The ultimate goal when decluttering is to get rid of the items you no longer want or use, and to organize everything else.

You'll want to find a new home for all your belongings that are typically left out or stored in random places, like countertops or junk drawers.

If you feel confident in tackling a project like this on your own, you might find that you'll need a large disposal solution. Temporary dumpster rentals are great tools to utilize when DIYing a home decluttering or cleanout project.

A more involved disposal solution would be to hire a junk removal service. Not only will they handle the disposal portion of your project, but they'll do all the grunt work for you. This is a perfect option for those that don't have the time, physical ability, or desire to do the heavy lifting and loading themselves.

Whether you need a dumpster rental or a junk removal service, Hometown makes it fast, convenient, and free to get multiple quotes from local companies that service your zip code.

Getting multiple quotes is important to not only compare pricing, but to ensure you receive the best customer service with the availability your project requires.

With Hometown's single quote request form, getting multiple quotes has never been easier. Instead of answering the same questions about your disposal needs over and over again for each company you speak with, fill out our single quote request form and have it sent to up to 3 service providers near you.

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