Benefits of Cleaning
We all know cleaning is beneficial. The feeling we get when we are done cleaning, the ability to entertain guests, among other things, but it’s hard to keep a cleaning routine. We have work, family and other things to do. We end up doing everything on the same day and end up completely dead and ready for bed. If we plan the way we clean, we can save time and not get so tired. If you haven’t been doing much cleaning but want to and feel you need to, this post is also for you.
1- A Few Studies on The Effects of Having a Clean Home
A study from Indiana University found that people who keep their houses clean are healthier than people with dirty houses. Researchers tracked the physical health of 998 African Americans between the ages of 49 and 65, a demographic that has an increased risk for heart disease. Participants who had clean homes were healthier and more active than those who did not.
A 2010 study that was in the scientific journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin used linguistic analysis software to assess the way 60 people talked about their homes. Women who said that their living spaces were cluttered or full of unfinished projects tended to be more depressed and fatigued than women who described their homes as restorative or restful. The researchers also found that women with messy homes showed higher levels of cortisol (a stress hormone).
In 2011, researchers at Princeton University observed that disorder can originate more difficulty in focusing on a particular task. They found that the visual cortex can be confounded by superfluous objects, making it harder to allocate attention and finish tasks in an efficient manner.
It’s easy to be stuck in a rut and has a messy home or room. It’s hard to juggle work, family, and cleaning. But once you start doing it, you won’t stop. Start small, having the responsibility to have your space clean, your office, for example. If you feel like it’s a huge task and you have spare money, you could try professional organizers.
We’ve seen how it influences physical and mental health but there are other benefits of having a clean house.
2- Benefits of Having a Clean House
- It can reduce stress and depression. We’ve covered this in the last section but I would like to add that it doesn’t come as a surprise that if you get home and there’s a lot of things to do, that can inhibit the natural decline in cortisol that happens during the course of the day, according to researchers. This can affect your mood, sleep, health, etc. Keeping your house clean is a way to be happier and more relaxed.
- It can improve your relationships.
“For couples, clutter can create tension and conflict,” Dr. Selhub says. “And the time you spend looking for missing items can also take away from time you could be spending together.” A messy house may also prevent you from inviting people over. “Disorganization can lead to shame and embarrassment and actually create a physical and emotional boundary around you that prevents you from letting people in.” Keeping a standing date with your girls (Wine Wednesdays, anyone?) may be the impetus you need to keep your space tidy.
It can also be a source of stress when you’re beginning to know someone that you like. If they are very neat and you’re not, it can be a problem.
3. It can help you eat better. A study in the journal Psychological Science found that people who worked in a clean room for 10 minutes were twice as likely to choose fruit over a chocolate bar than the ones who worked in a dirty office for the same amount of time.
“Clutter is stressful for the brain, so you’re more likely to resort to coping mechanisms such as choosing comfort foods or overeating than if you spend time in neater surroundings,”
4. It boosts productivity. Clutter is distracting, and research affirms that it can affect your ability to focus: Looking at too many things at once is a sensory overload to your visual cortex and interferes with the brain’s ability to process information, as is reported by the Journal of Neuroscience. De-cluttering your space will be beneficial to you at work as well, but those aren’t the only benefits.
“Often, the greatest barrier to healthy habits is a lack of time.When you’re organized at work, you’re more productive and efficient, which means you’re able to finish at a reasonable time and go home. This leaves you with the time you need to exercise, prepare a healthy meal, relax, and get more sleep.”
5. It improves creativity. Everyone will agree that they will feel more focused if they just do one task rather than multiple tasks. When your home is already tidy, you don’t need to worry about cleaning your house anymore. There will be more time to focus on your current works and brainstorm ideas.
6. It’s a good workout. It’s a great way to do exercise, cleaning implies a lot of movement. Activities like mopping the floor, cleaning a window, or vacuuming the dust burn a lot of calories. You sweat, you get hot, almost like you would in a gym.
7. It’s a good thing to do when you’re stressed or uncomfortable. We all have those days when our mind seems to be stuck in one place or several places, at the same time. Cleaning is a good way to be busy and doing something productive. You don’t need to think much and, if you enter the flow state, you can get the benefits of mindfulness. After you’re done cleaning, you will feel better and more relaxed.
3. Strategies to keep a cleaning routine
- Listen to music, audiobooks or any other form or entertainment, while you clean the house. It’s a great mood and energy boost. Cleaning becomes more fun and enjoyable.
- Make your bed. I know it’s easy to forget to make your bed but it’s a good habit. I hear someone say that it is the foundation of the day. The first of many tasks. It’s easy to make the bed, it’s more aesthetically pleasing and it feels better to sleep in a made bed than a messy bed.
- Dump your trash daily. It’s a way to keep your house clean. You will protect your family and yourself from viruses, pests, germs, bacteria and other microorganisms that you don’t want in your home. Don’t let your trash inside your home for more than a day.
- Use slippers in your home and have a shoe basket. Make a habit to take your outside shoes and use slippers or other clean shoes around the house. It’s a good way to keep the house clean. The floor outside is so dirty, we don’t know what we step on and it’s better to not spread it around the house. Having a shoe basket near the entrance to your house will keep the dirt outside
- Do the dish right after you use them. OK, you can take a little break but wash them ASAP and don’t let there be a pile of dirty dishes in the sink. If you use a cup, either re-use or wash it.
- Make sure that you clean at least 15 minutes a day. It’s better to divide chores than to do everything in the same day. Today you just vacuum floors and clean your bathroom. Tomorrow you dust your furniture and so on. Make a plan of what you want to do for the day and stick to it.
- Start the day doing laundry. When you wake up, as your coffee brews, you can put a load of clothes in the washing machine. Never forget to do laundry every day, no one likes to run out of clothes to wear.
- Unload the dish washer before breakfast. Turn on the dishwasher just before bed and unload it in the morning. That way your dishes won’t pile up and you can use the dishwasher.
- Don’t forget to get rid of things you don’t need. We buy a lot of things: clothes, shoes, bags, etc. In order not to have clutter and have your house clean, you ask yourself every day what you could let go of that day. Select a couple of items from your wardrobe or that drawer you haven’t touched in years. Less is definitely more.
- Take it out, put it away. It will take you less time to put that one thing away than it will to put many things away at once. It’s an easy way to keep your space mess-free.
- Clean your counters daily. Try to wipe them after every meal or after dinner, if you’re pressed for time. When you get used to this routine, add cleaning the bathroom counters to it.
- Keep cleaning supplies around your home. Always have cleaning supplies at hand, in convenient spots around the house. If you’re there and it needs to be tidied, do a quick clean.
- Buy machine-washable decorations. Buy pillows with sleep covers, blankets, curtains, etc that you can wash in the washing machine. It’s much easier than vacuuming it and cleaner.
- Avoid buying too many things. We don’t need a lot of things to survive. Obviously, we want more than just survive, we want to live a good life. To live a nice life doesn’t require many things. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: less is more. Fewer items mean less clutter and fewer things to clean.
I hope this post encourages you to do that cleaning that you’ve been meaning to do. Don’t postpone it for too long. You’ll feel better once you’re done.