Spring is here, and it’s time to open those doors and windows and air out the winter blues! Did you know spring cleaning isn’t just good for your home—it may even be good for your physical and mental health? Here’s why you should bust out the mop and broom and let the scrubbing begin.
- It cuts down on clutter. You know how you just somehow feel better when you clean up the clutter? There’s something to that. According to the Mayo Clinic, clutter can increase stress and distractions. Plus, more stuff doesn’t necessarily translate to better stuff! Create time every day, or once a week, to straighten up. Strategize how you can get rid of items you don’t use so that it’s even easier to remain tidy and clutter-free.
- It makes your house safer. When you organize your space, you’ll put everything in its place. That means you’re also lowering the risk of tripping and falling on objects that may have been left where they didn’t belong. In addition, a deep cleaning reacquaints you with all of your home, so you can assess whether or not you need to add new items—like brighter lights to see better, or a grab bar in the bathroom for stability—that could help you. You’ll also notice if there are things to fix, like a broken step that could pose a threat.
- It gets rid of allergens that could be taxing to your immune system. Dust, mold, bugs, pet dander, pollen—achoo! Just thinking about those allergens can feel like an allergy attack coming on. Spring cleaning is a way of waging war on those allergens. Cleveland Clinic recommends that people with allergies should consider the following when cleaning: use mold-killing solutions to wash bathroom tiles and curtains; avoid purchasing too many houseplants (mold can grow in the soil); minimize throw rugs, which collect dust mold; wash bedding in hot water to kill dust mites; and bathe pets regularly if you’re allergic to them. Your immune system does the best it can to protect you every day; by getting rid of dust and allergens, you can help give it a boost.
- It gets you moving and motivated. When you dust the cobwebs off your house, you may find you’re also dusting the proverbial cobwebs off of yourself! Open the windows, crank your favorite tunes and get to dancing while you push the vacuum. Cleaning gets your body moving, and scrubbing uses muscles you don’t usually use. And the results of your labor? Incredibly gratifying.
- It might help you sleep better. If you’re struggling to sleep, a medical professional may advise you to make sure your bedroom is comfortable and relaxing, and to avoid anything that could bring on stress before bed. If a dirty, cluttered room is bothering you, it may be difficult to fall asleep. When you wash the bedding and clean and organize the space, it may be easier to get your zzzs. A good night’s sleep can help you concentrate better, think better and feel better.
- It’s a chance to donate what you’re not using. While you’re organizing those drawers and closets, start a pile of items you no longer use. Then, donate them to someone who can use them, whether it’s an area non-profit or a neighborhood group you found on social media. According to Cleveland Clinic, acts of charity have vast benefits for your mental and physical health, including lowered blood pressure, reduced depression, lower stress and improved happiness, satisfaction and self-esteem. Oh, and you’ll have more room in your closet, to boot!
- It may inspire you to be social. How to better celebrate a clean house than having some friends over? You can all enjoy the sparkling counters, the vacuum-marked rugs and the clean scents. Plus, you can catch up with old pals, and bask in the benefits of social connection, without any last-minute scrambling to clean the fridge and empty the waste baskets. Research shows it’s good for your mental health, and may even improve memory and help you live longer.
It doesn’t take a doctor to tell you that spring cleaning may be good for your health! But if you find that you’re feeling down this spring—whether it’s mental or physical—and can’t summon the energy or motivation to tackle cleaning projects or other endeavors, be sure and make an appointment with a healthcare professional. Spring is for fresh starts, and that doesn’t just apply to moving the vacuum or mop. It goes for your own health, safety and wellbeing, too.