Can a cupboard lessen your anxiety, increase your focus and reduce your stress?

Can a cupboard lessen your anxiety, increase your focus and reduce your stress?

  • Traditional storage principles given new life by developer Quintain
  • Clutter impairs a person’s ability to focus (Princeton University)
  • High density of household objects leads to spikes in stress levels (UCLA)

Mention tertiary storage these days and the majority of people will think you’re talking about computers. But the principles of storage are also important when it comes to building homes, as Paul Hogarth, Head of Residential Sales at developer Quintain, explains,

“I remember a lot of places I have lived where trying to store stuff was always a major hassle. Vinyl giving  way to CDs and then later the Cloud should have made our living rooms simpler, but even with technology’s advancements we still have too much stuff and constantly try to declutter. At Wembley Park we have taken our own lifestyles – and those of our purchasers – into account and tried to design a home that works for them using the principals of effective storage.

“We split the elements into three distinct aspects: primary, secondary and tertiary storage refer to the places a home needs to store items that are used on roughly a daily, weekly or occasional basis. So many modern homes have forgotten these principles, with storage space losing out to the desire for maximum profits.”

Hogarth’s point is most clearly demonstrated when one considers the built-in wardrobes, pantries, basements and other storage areas that homes used to have in such abundance. Contrast these with contemporary, purpose-built flats in busy urban areas, where developers have sacrificed storage space from every apartment in order to cram one or two extra homes into a building. Frequently, the modern apartments look cluttered and untidy – simply because the principles of storage have been forgotten.

Yet there is another way, as Quintain has demonstrated through its contemporary new homes in London’s Wembley Park. In Emerald Gardens storage has been built into the design of the building. Architects GRID have addressed primary storage needs (i.e. storage for items needed daily, such as shampoo, washing up liquid and shoes) through plentiful cupboard space in kitchens, niched shelving in shower cubicles or bathtub enclosures and recessed bathroom mirror cabinets.

Secondary storage needs (for items like vacuum cleaners, irons/ironing boards and spare bedding) have also been addressed, with generous cupboard spaces built into the hallway of each apartment. Meanwhile tertiary storage space (for occasional use items like suitcases) is available in the building’s basement, in the form of secure lockers for residents’ use.

Having a tidy home is about more than it just looking nice. Researchers at the Neuroscience Institute of Princeton University found that a cluttered environment reduces one’s ability to focus. Meanwhile, in a separate study, researchers from UCLA found that mothers’ stress hormones spiked during the part of the day when they were dealing with the clutter in their homes – there was a clear link between high cortisol levels and a high density of household objects.

In simple terms, when developers follow the three principles of storage, residents can look forward to greater focus, reduced stress, less anxiety and more relaxation.

Prices at Emerald Gardens start at £370,000 with first completions due spring 2016.

For more information and to book a visit to the newly launched show apartments, visit or call the on-site Savills sales team on +44 20 3151 8601.