Spring has arrived — and with it comes the palpable urge to declutter the closets, wipe down the baseboards, and deep clean the fridge. According to the American Cleaning Institute (yes, it’s a real thing), 78% of Americans participated in spring cleaning in 2022. That may be because it has a surprising number of benefits for your mind and your body.
How is spring cleaning good for your health?
A reorganized garage doesn’t just look good — it feels good, too. Spring cleaning can boost your mental health by…
Reducing stress and anxiety. In part because tidying, cleaning, or decluttering can give you a sense of control. It can remind you that you are the one who decides what stays, what goes, and what gets cleaned.
Easing feelings of depression. One 2010 study by UCLA found that people who described their homes as cluttered were more likely to feel depressed. But that doesn’t mean spring cleaning is a cure for depression. It’s also worth noting that cleaning and tidying can feel insurmountable to someone experiencing depression.
Giving you better focus. One 2011 Princeton study found that clutter in your environment can make it hard to concentrate.
Plus, spring cleaning can impact your physical health by...
Making breathing easier. If you’re dealing with respiratory issues like asthma, ridding your home of dust mites, dust, and mildew can reduce the likelihood of a flare up (as long as you use asthma-safe cleaning products).
Preventing illness. Cleaning surfaces can help remove germs that can cause viruses. Throwback to when we all wiped down our groceries in 2020.
I don’t know where to start. Do you have any spring cleaning tips?
If the thought of deep-cleaning your house is daunting, here are a few places to start:.
Create a spring cleaning checklist. It sounds simple, but it can help turn a mountain into several manageable mole hills.
Tackle one area of your home at a time. Start with the bedroom closet or the kitchen, then move onto the next one.
Set a timer. Start with something short, like 15 or 20 minutes. Then see what you can get done in that time. When the timer is done, you can be too.
Ask for help from your partner, roommate(s), or kids. There’s no reason for this to all fall on your shoulders.
Separate your items into baskets, boxes, or storage bins. One container is for things you’ll keep, one for things you’ll donate, and one for things you’ll toss.
Go easy on yourself. Put self-criticism into the “toss” box, and avoid comparing your home to what you see on social media. (Spoiler: Those homes are usually unattainable.)
When it comes to self-care, cleaning might not be your go-to. But spending a day or a weekend spring cleaning can improve your mental health and set you up for better physical health, too. Even if cleaning isn’t your favorite activity, it may be worth pulling on the rubber gloves.
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