Sweet springtime is finally here! And while Mother Nature cleans up outdoors with some early showers, you have something inside lingering on your TDL: Spring cleaning. Don’t let that list item stress you out too much, though.
It turns out spring cleaning means so much more than dusting, vacuuming, and wiping down countertops. Studies show that cleaning out your space is actually beneficial for your mental and physical health, too. Here’s a look at what some freshening up at home can do for your headspace.
Do you find that when your home is a mess, you feel bad for some reason? Studies show that excess clutter can cause feelings of distress, cause you to feel disconnected or bitter about your space, and even cause you to eat more! But in clutter-free spaces, you can feel happier, be more productive, and achieve more mental clarity. (There’s a reason Marie Kondo wants to you see if your stuff “sparks joy” or not.) So hop to that spring clean out you’ve scheduled.
Reduce anxiety and depression
If you suffer from anxiety and depression, time to get out the cleaning supplies. One study found that individuals who described their homes as cluttered and stressful were more likely to suffer from a depressed mood. Whereas those who described their home as restorative or nature-like felt less stressed, anxious, and depressed. That’s because cleaning may help to relieve some of that worry, give you a sense of pride in your space, and feel better overall.
If you can’t focus when your desk is full of old tissues, papers, and coffee mugs, you aren’t alone. Reducing the amount of clutter around us is important for focus. Why? Having excess clutter around affects your visual cortex being overwhelmed too much going on. (Plus you will be more tempted to stop your task to clean.) But when your desk is tidy and neat, you’ll only have the task in front of you to focus on. In other words, spring cleaning can help you be more productive in life! (It can’t stop you from binging on Netflix, though, but at least you’ll be enjoying from the comfort of a clean space.)
Be physically healthier
It’s not just your mental health that suffers in a mess: Your physical health is affected, too. One study found that those who had neat homes tended to be more physically active and healthier than those who lived in a mess. Being more physically active can help reduce your risk for many diseases, heart attacks, and strokes. Plus, spring cleaning will help rid your home of allergens, dust, and mold, so you and your loved ones will be able to breathe easier.