Many claim they can only get their work done if their surroundings are tidy. While that might well be a procrastination trick (after all, even cleaning can seem more appealing than working!), there are benefits to keeping your bedroom neat. According to a recent study, it’s crucial if you’re after a good night’s sleep.

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Image: Cover Media

Research from the St Lawrence University in New York, which was published in journal Sleep, suggests that hoarders who let junk pile up around them report far more sleeping problems than tidier people. Generally, messier people took longer to drop off and had a more disrupted sleep, meaning they felt more lethargic during the day.

But why?

“Hoarders typically have problems with decision making and executive function; poor sleep is known to compromise cognition generally,” Dr Pamela Thacher explained.

“So if hoarders have cluttered or unusable bedrooms, and less comfortable, functional beds, any existing risk for cognitive dysfunction, depression and stress may increase as sleep quality worsens.”

If you worry you could be classified as a hoarder, there are some simple ways you can start to organise your surroundings and hopefully your thoughts along with it.

Get ruthless and donate to charity anything you haven’t worn or used within the last three months. Don’t waste time wondering if the “right occasion” will come along, just stash it in a black bin bag.

If you’re holding onto small sentimental gifts and notes, create a dedicated space for them. This could be a memory box you keep under your bed or a pin board that holds all those letters, tickets and photos.

Also turn tidiness into a habit by performing everyday rituals. For example, as soon as you get home, take off your shoes and place them in the hall. That way they won’t end up kicked off under the sofa later. When you get undressed in the evening, fold anything clean and put it away while laying out an outfit for the next day. Soon these things will seem completely normal, you won’t even notices you’re doing them. — COVER MEDIA