The 5 Benefits of Cleaning for Your Mental Health
Meta: Did you know that a clean house lowers your stress, declutters your mind, and makes you happier? Read on to learn how it improves your mental health.
Let’s be honest—being stuck at home with your entire family during the COVID-19 pandemic has probably gotten on your nerves more than once.
With your kids doing more remote learning, it’s harder than it was before to keep your house tidy. They leave their school supplies all over the dining room table, and their school clothes are thrown all over their bedroom floor. Sound familiar?
A lot of families have been struggling with this same issue, and it impacts more than just the appearance of your home.
The messier your home, the more tired and stressed you feel. Instead of a place to relax and unwind, it’s a never-ending list of things to clean and put away.
But did you know that your feeling tired is a valid, fact-based response to an untidy home?
A 2009 study discovered that the people who describe their homes as ‘cluttered’ and filled with ‘unfinished projects/tasks’ experience high levels of the stress hormone cortisol. These high cortisol levels are associated with chronic stress and fatigue—which leads to feeling exhausted and in a depressed mood.
Another study by Princeton University reported that clutter overloads our visual cortex. As a result, we feel overwhelmed and have a hard time focusing. It feels like when you have too many tabs open on your browser or when you’re in the middle of a bustling crowd.
However, just as a messy home can negatively impact your mental health, a clean one can help improve it. In fact, the same 2009 study found that people who associate restorative, restful, and nature words with their home experience lower cortisol levels. They feel happy and unburdened when they’re at home. The Princeton University study also found that a tidy environment increases productivity and enhances a person’s focus and energy.
And that’s not all having an organised space can do for your mental health!
Here are five more ways a clean house boosts your mental and physical well being:
1. Provides a Sense of Control
When your house is tidy and organised, it helps you feel like you’re the master of your own little world.
You know that everything has a place and where to find things. Deciding when you clean them and how you maintain everything in your home is up to you. And, if something is out of place or broken, it’s within your power to fix it.
The sense of control and satisfaction you get from having a clean house can help you cope with the many anxieties of the outside world. While you cannot predict what will happen next, especially with the COVID-19 pandemic, you can be sure of the world inside your home.
2. Gives Your Mind a Break by Saving Time
When your house is clean, you’ll spend a lot less time looking for things and reorganising rooms. Let’s face it, we’ve all neglected a shed or a garage for a bit too long. Then, when you finally get a chance to tackle it, the spiders have decided it’s their turf now.
Instead of having to do a full deep clean of your garage once a year, it’s better to keep it clean by simply maintaining it. You can do it yourself or hire a regular cleaning service to offload the pressure. Having a general clean done once a fortnight can make it a lot faster, easier, and more enjoyable for you to do your regular cleaning tasks in between.
You can also mentally benefit from having a less cluttered and more organised space. When your house is properly organised, you won’t waste as many hours trying to find things you’ve misplaced. So a clean space can actually give you more free time to focus on your family and yourself.
3. The Smell Improves Your Mood
That’s right, when your house smells fresh, it actually makes you happier and improves your productivity. So, those happy feelings you get when you smell a clean sweater? Well, it’s because your olfactory system (or nose) is connected to your limbic system, which is also known as “the emotional centre of the brain.”
When your place smells nice, you feel nice. It’s that simple.
After all, smell has been associated with a range of benefits for centuries. Rosemary was even used by Ancient Greeks because they believed it improved their memory. While you probably won’t suddenly have the memory of an elephant, you’ll feel better when your home smells clean.
4. A Clean Environment Improves Your Relationships
When was the last time you argued with your partner about the mess in your home? We’re guessing it was recently.
Clutter puts a lot of strain on relationships, especially when you and your partner have different definitions of cleanliness. An organised work desk for you may mean only having the bare essentials. While for your partner, it can mean having tons of things—charging cables, notebooks, pens, mobile phone, laptop, planner, etc.
This is because our clean behaviours are often a result of our upbringing. One study on dental cleaning behaviours found a strong relation between the mother’s dental routine and their children’s routine.
Knowing this, you should keep in mind that cleaning is a learned behaviour and it’s important to set a good example.
You can obviously do this by cleaning yourself, but you can also set a good example even if you hire a cleaning service. So that your kids don’t pick up bad habits, make sure to clearly outline which chores are done by who. For example, vacuuming might fall on your cleaning company, but running the dishwasher might fall on them.
5. You Sleep Better at Night with a Clean House
As we mentioned earlier, clutter takes up mental space, because it’s a visual reminder of all the things you have to do. Now, imagine if that clutter overwhelms your bedroom. Instead of sleeping, you’ll be thinking of the mound of tasks you have to do for the next few days. This can put your brain on hyperdrive due to stress and keep you from sleeping.
But by keeping your home free from clutter, you give yourself space to relax and breathe, which makes for a good night’s rest. Plus, studies have found that having clean sheets is linked to better sleep. Who wouldn’t enjoy relaxing with the smell of freshly-laundered linen?
Not only that, but sleep also comes with its own list of mental and physical health benefits. It can help regulate your mood, give you a boost of energy, and just make you wake up in a good mood.
Cleanliness Improves Your Mental Health
While cleaning your house can feel like a chore for you and your family, it’s vital for your mental health. This is especially true when we’re all stuck at home much more often due to lockdowns. And unlike before when you could easily ignore it by going out, you have no choice but to face it.
If you’re overwhelmed, hiring a cleaning service can help. Then, you’ll have a clean, relaxing home to work from and live in. Plus, you’ll get all the mental health benefits that come with it:
- You have a feeling of control over your life.
- You save time and give your mind a break.
- You feel better just from the smell.
- You improve the relationships with your family members.
- You get better and more comfortable sleep.
Whether you’re working full-time, raising a family, or doing both—we’re here for you. Clutter Monkey is a professional home cleaning service in Auckland that keeps your house spick and span, so that you and your family come home to a relaxing and restful space every day.
Give us a call to find out how we can help you.