Sex or Stuff: How your messy home could be ruining your relationship

5 Min Read

Messy bedrooms can ruin your sleep, make getting dressed each morning more difficult and it turns out, it can also ruin your sex life. We carried out a survey to discover just how much of an impact owning too much stuff can have on relationships.

Here we’ll discover what people think about their partner having a messy home and whether putting your clutter into storage could really give your sex life a boost.

Which gender owns the most stuff?

60% of men believe their partners own more stuff than them. While it might be a stereotype that women have more clothes and personal possessions, our survey suggests there could be some truth in it.

Even women agree that they own more stuff with 87% saying that they have more stuff than their partner. Despite men now owning more clothes than ever before with a recent study finding men spend more money per month on clothes, women are taking up more space with their possessions than men.

Despite being unhappy with clutter, people aren’t asking their partners to tidy up

Despite many being unhappy with the amount of clutter their partner has, 73% of Brits admit they wouldn’t want to discuss their partner’s mess or excessive stuff.

Not talking can lead to passive aggression which is a sure-fire way to lead to more problems in a relationship.

Lack of communication can be a problem that leads to resentment. Experts suggest that strong relationships are built on the ability to talk about anything. The more difficult the subject, the more you will learn to trust your partner. That’s why keeping quiet about problems like mess and clutter, could be killing your relationship.

51% of Women Believe A Messy Room is a Mood Killer

They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach and it turns out the way to a woman’s heart could be through a tidy bedroom. When asked if they would be put off sex if a partner’s room was messy, 51% of women said yes, indicating that a messy room might just be the ultimate mood killer.

Having sex is one thing but living together in the long term could also be made tricky by a messy home.

Shaunna, an Office Manager, told us about her partner of five years who couldn’t keep his flat clean; ‘I would go around to see him, but his flat was a total mess. Clothes, books, materials everywhere. Washing up piled in the sink. Socks on the hob. I moved in with him after some discussion over the cleanliness of the flat. He promised he would keep it cleaner and more organised. But nine months after moving in it just wasn’t working out.’

Perhaps even your friends and flatmates have noticed how bad your mess is getting and that it’s starting to affect your love life.

Harry Gardiner, a Communications and Social Media Manager saw how mess getting out of hand could have a negative effect on romance; ‘An ex-housemate used to keep bin bags filled with rubbish in his room until he could be bothered to take them down, often amassing a few at a time. Couldn’t understand why girls wouldn’t stay round!’

Top Tips For Moving In With A Neat Freak Or A Mucky Pup

Making the long-term commitment of moving in with a partner will always mean some compromises are needed. If you need a spotless space to relax or you know your mess can get a bit out of hand then you may need a plan to help you avoid arguments.

When they give you an ultimatum

Cath Hindle, a decluttering expert from explains that she regularly works ‘with clients who have been given an ultimatum by their partner… “sort this stuff out or else…” Clutter and mess genuinely does affect relationships. It’s stressful for the person who wants to live in a clear and tidy space and equally difficult for their partner to make the relationship work but also likes their stuff.’

We worked with Cath to compile four top tips for preparing to move in with a partner:

  1. Create a plan

Cath says; ‘If you decide you can cope with the other person’s levels of clutter or organisation, it’s always wise to get some ground rules. If you are both moving into a new place, look collectively at what you need and want in the space and agree a plan to recycle or dispose of what you individually no longer require.’

For items you definitely want to be rid of, recycle, sell or send to a charity shop. For those items, you need to keep hold of use self-storage space to keep things out of view and only use them when you need them. This is great if you and your partner have extensive collections or wardrobes as you can swap items on a regular basis (think capsule wardrobes but it’s not just for clothes).

  1. Invest in storage

Neat shoe racks, well thought out kitchen cupboards and orderly wardrobes will reduce the early stresses of sharing a space with a new partner. Cath recommends; ‘Investing in some new shared storage (shoes always seem to be a problem).’

Knowing which storage is yours and being able to find your belongings whenever you need them will reduce the chances of an argument and give the feeling of still having personal space once you are living together.

  1. The kitchen is a great place to start

Although you’ll probably need two sets of shampoo and different types of skincare products, you probably won’t need two sets of other home basics.

The kitchen is a great place to start as items are less likely to have emotional value and you can quickly see what you do and don’t need. Cath says; ‘Pool all of your kitchen items (crockery, utensils, pans, cutlery etc), jointly decide what you need and recycle the rest. If you have plenty of storage space, perhaps create a ‘spares’ box for things that aren’t currently needed but would be useful in the future.’

By putting things in storage you could save money in the long run, from a spare toaster to a fresh set of glasses and plates. Keeping these things tucked out of the way will save money later when accidents inevitably happen!

  1. Set up a capsule wardrobe

Whether you’re living in a flat together or moving into your first house, it’s very possible that you’ll have less closet space than during your single days. Establishing a capsule wardrobe is a great way to save space and also slim down spending as you can see what you really need to buy and what are unnecessary trend-led purchases.

Start by clearing out items and creating a base wardrobe of the things you’ll wear all year round (denim, t-shirts, underwear). Separate whatever is left into seasons and put into storage bags. Hang the things you need for this season and put the items for the rest of the year into storage. It’ll be easier to see what you own, create exciting outfits and you’ll be in your partner’s good books as your stuff takes up less space than before!

Moving in with a significant other is a huge step, but being aware of habits that could harm your romance will help give it the best chance. And guys remember that 51% of women won’t have sex in a messy bedroom next time you’re thinking about leaving dirty socks about the place!


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