Once I actually get started, I find the process of cleaning to be soothing. The combination of repetitive actions, simple organizing, and listening to my favorite podcasts leads to an almost zen-like state. And although I’m a bit tired and worn out when I’m done, I find the result of my efforts to be spectacular. There’s just something about a clean, organized home that makes me feel light and content.
I’m not alone in my reaction to a clean house. As it turns out, our surroundings have a substantial impact on our mental wellbeing.
When your house is dirty, untidy, and disorganized, it’s far more difficult to relax — the clutter is a subconscious reminder of unfinished work. A home environment that is in a constant state of disarray can cause you to feel agitated, overloaded, and overstimulated. A study carried out by Princeton University researchers found that too much clutter competes with our attention, making it harder to focus. This leads to lowered productivity, higher levels of stress, and eventually, burnout.
What’s more, the way we think about our homes (whether we consider them to be messy or clean) has a significant effect on our mental health. A 2010 study evaluated the way people discussed their homes as it related to their emotional wellbeing. Those who described their homes as cluttered or full of “unfinished projects” were more likely to be depressed and fatigued than those who described their homes as restful or restorative. Furthermore, the people with cluttered homes showed higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
Tips To Keep Your House Clean and Your Mind
If you want to be able to unwind after a long day, you’ll need to have a clean house. However, sometimes the very thought of cleaning can be overwhelming, especially if you don’t know where to start. Fortunately, there are a few ways to make the process easier and more manageable.
Spend 30 minutes a day either cleaning or organizing something in your home. Make a list of all the things that need doing, and check one thing off each day. Each task adds up, and before you know it, you’ll have a tidy home!
It’s hard to let go of our possessions as we usually have an emotional attachment to them. However, when we start to become overwhelmed by the sheer amount of “stuff” in our homes, we have to make the decision to part with certain items.
A great way to make these decisions is to place items in large storage boxes when clearing out closets and cupboards. If you don’t use (or miss) them by the end of the month, donate them to charity! For more tips on how to declutter, click here.
Make It A Habit
Cleaning comes easiest when it exists as a normal part of your everyday life. Making your bed and doing the dishes everyday, sweeping and vacuuming every few days, and tidying up your living spaces once a week are great habits to form. This routine and structure make you feel both accomplished and physically energetic.
Besides you weekly habits, you’ll want to make it a habit do certain things monthly, quarterly, and annually. Clean your microwave and fridge once a month, replace your furnace filters quarterly, and clean your carpets yearly.
This site has a fantastic array of cleaning checklists to get you started!
Removing dirt and clutter from your home leaves you with a more comfortable atmosphere where you’ll feel happier and more relaxed. It’s in this way that organizing your home can give you peace of mind and help you to reduce the risk of depression and anxiety.
Take a moment to look around your home. If guests showed up at your door right now, would you feel comfortable inviting them in? If not, why is this environment acceptable for you? You are just as important and deserving of a clean house as anyone else. Take the time to tidy up, organize what needs it, and declutter. Your mind and body will thank you!