Back before I met Mr. P, I was in a living situation that can best be described as Urban Grunge. My home was cluttered and none too clean, and I had few of the tools required for gracious living. How I got there was a process, involving a housemate whose habits were not conducive to orderly life, and whose capacity for compromise was nil. Over several years, some good things I started out with were gradually crowded out to make room for crap.
When that situation ended I was left with, basically, some kitchen tools, some craft supplies, a TV, a cat, and many cartons of books. Some might have thought, "I've lost everything!" I thought, "A clean slate!" I really found it energizing, and a huge relief, to be starting over from scratch.
Being committed to moving forward in life with someone was a big part of my motivation. I didn't want to go backward, in any sense of the word. I wanted everything about my life to be an improvement - just as my new life partner was. And so, being who I am (i.e. a reader/student), I started studying. But, being who I am, I didn't start with Martha Stewart Living, or any other such aspirational guides to home life. I went back to basics.
My encyclopedia of good housekeeping was a wonderful book called Home Comforts, by Cheryl Mendelson (now available in paperback or Kindle editions). This book really covers everything from how to choose home goods to how to clean and maintain them, how to stock a kitchen, etc. I was not a complete ignoramus about housekeeping, but I had never really devoted much thought to how important a clean, peaceful, comfortable living situation is to personal health and productivity.
When you think about it, how likely is it that you will be very healthy if your house is a filthy mess? Pretty darned unlikely. A lot of people can pull it off for a few years, while they are young. Over time, though, it catches up with you. Clutter = stress, and dirt is a health risk. Where I live, dust is a constant, and respiratory ailments are endemic. The two are not coincidental: they are correlated. Other climates may have more of an issue with mold, and neighborhoods less well-maintained than mine also have issues with vermin. Dust or mold + cockroaches = asthma.
And on the other side, how likely is it that you will be very productive if your house is a filthy mess? Not likely at all. Because every time you come in the door you are visually assaulted by everything that is undone. It is exhausting. I know, because I've lived through it.
Will you be interested in experimenting in the kitchen, if before you can start cooking you have to wash dishes, clean all the surfaces, and locate supplies that are in four or five different places? Um, no. Will you be interested in doing a home workout, if before you can begin, you have to pick up and put away a month's worth of litter and vacuum the room? Not at all.
In my experience, the only workout that works for someone with a cluttered, dirty home is a workout that takes them outside. (Or to a gym.) And any workout is better than none, but if you are using your workout to escape from your home, I really doubt that the holistic effect is going to be as profound as if you work out with your full consciousness and intention focused on the exercise. Because, for one thing, you are still going home to the dirt and the clutter and the stress.
Also in my experience (and observation), people who are overwhelmed with clutter at home stop seeing it after a while. When an environment remains the same, with only small changes over time, we cease to observe its details. We only see changes, and they have to be fairly abrupt to make an impression. So while the subconscious recognizes the situation and responds with avoidance, the conscious mind just goes on with life. The situation can get slowly worse and worse over time, because the active brain is focusing on the few things it can "control."
If you want to change your life, you have to change the way you live.
If you really want to be able to cook (or work out, or knit, or write computer programs, or start a business) at home - for money reasons, for health reasons, or just because you are tired of feeling like you are treading water - walk out your front door, take a breath, and say to yourself "this is the first time I am seeing this space."
Then go back inside. Look around, really notice everything in the space, and ask yourself what belongs in that space - what is necessary to your peace and comfort, what is conducive to health and productivity.
Everything else must go.