Why Consistent Household Cleaning Is Great For Your Health

They say that cleanliness is next to godliness. We’ll save speculating on the nature of the divine for another time - let’s instead argue that cleanliness is next to goodliness. While an obsession with cleaning your home isn't for everyone (though you might be surprised to learn how many people love cleaning), everyone should clean their homes consistently. Why? Aside from being able to find your stuff easily when you’re in a panicked rush, cleaning is good for you. Mentally, physically, spiritually - cleaning is great for your health. 

The Physical Benefits of Cleaning
Let’s start with the obvious. You don’t want to breathe in dust particles, mould, or anything of the like. When you clean consistently, you can drastically improve the air quality in your home. Pay attention to your home air quality. Are you coughing a lot? Having difficulty breathing? Cleaning your home could drastically reduce these symptoms, leading to a happier, healthier life. Cleaning frequently can help stop the spread of germs, too. While we all try to wash our hands regularly, you’ll inevitably end up with bacteria on some household surfaces at some point. Giving every surface in your home a wipedown at least once a week helps keep disease at bay - the more often, the better! There’s nothing that feels quite like a good workout. The satisfying ache in your muscles, the endorphins flowing through your brain, that tired-but-happy vibe - it’s a wonderful thing. The next time you’re faced with a choice between going to the gym and cleaning your house, it might be a good idea to clean! You can dust, scrub, and mop your way to fitness; consistent housecleaning is an excellent calorie burner. The last physical benefit we should talk about is right at the intersection of body and mind. When your home is a mess, you might find you’re more stressed out or more tired than usual. When your kitchen is a mess, you might not feel like cooking. These things can lead you to eating more junk and processed foods. No clean dishes? You might order a pizza. Countertop is a mess? You might get takeout. Cleaning your home can lead to a healthier diet. 

The Mental Benefits of Cleaning
There’s a wealth of evidence suggesting a clean household is excellent for your mental health. That’s in part because of the physical benefits we just discussed - when your body feels good, you feel good. There’s a lot more to it than that, though. Consider something we mentioned at the top - finding things in a cluttered space is difficult. That alone can add to your stress levels, but the problems go deeper than that. As it turns out, when your visual space is cluttered, your mental space gets cluttered too. In other words, messy spaces tend to lead to distracted thinking. Not being able to focus on a task at hand can, understandably, lead to a lot more stress. Cleaning your home regularly can also help ease anxiety. Why? Anxiety is a response to stress about the unknown. We fear the unknown because it’s (partially) out of our control - we can plan for the future, but we can’t ever be certain exactly what it will look like. When you clean your home, you’re giving yourself control. A space is messy. Through planning, hard work, and stick-to-itiveness, you clean it. You look around the space again, and it’s beautiful. You used your control of a situation to change it and your anxiety goes down. You might find a clean space makes you more productive, too. That’s in part because of the reduction in mental clutter; when you’re not distracted, focusing on a task is easier. What’s more, a clean space can have you feeling creatively invigorated; when you’re not seeing the mess that’s in your home, you can see what your home could be with a few tweaks. Cleaning regularly is a habit, and forming good habits can seriously boost your mental health. When you have a regular schedule, you might feel you have more control over your environment; after all, you know what to expect. That can reduce anxiety - it’s not just having a clean home, it’s the act of cleaning your home! 

The Spiritual Benefits of Cleaning
A quick disclaimer: spiritual benefits here don’t necessarily mean religious benefits (though you might get those, too). Spirituality here is meant in the sense of connectedness - to yourself, to the present moment, and to others. Mindfulness is a state in which you are aware of the present moment. When you’re cleaning, you might not have a lot to think about. Take the time to breathe and focus on sensation. What does the dish soap smell like? How does the weight of the broom feel in your hands? How does the room look after you’ve cleaned it? What thoughts are running through your head? Cleaning mindfully is a form of meditation which can do wonders for your health. Environmentally conscious consumers feel connected to the world at large and they sometimes worry if their cleaning products are harming the environment. Our Canadian friends at Certified Green Cleaning have given us a few tips for you. First, look for cleaning products with low-to-no VOCs. You can also make certain cleaning products at home with ingredients like vinegar, water, baking soda, and essential oils. No person is an island, and welcoming others into your home can be a boon to both you and them. When your home is messy, you might be stressed about having people over; worse yet, you might have them over and feel stressed while they’re there! When you clean on a regular basis, these worries evaporate and you can simply enjoy the company of your loved ones.

Your home is your sanctuary and you might see it as a reflection of your inner self. When you take time and care to clean it properly, you’re caring for something that’s intrinsically yours. This gives you an opportunity to connect with yourself. What do you want to see in your space? What does your space say about you? These questions might not have straightforward answers, but the opportunity to ask them is an opportunity for growth.

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