Did you know that a cluttered, unkempt home is a breeding ground for germs and bacteria? Cleaning regularly is essential for your physical health, and those who don’t keep a tidy space are more likely to develop illnesses. Did you also know that a clean home also has mental health benefits?
Ralph Ryback, M.D. and former instructor at Harvard Medical School examined several studies that proved the mental health benefits of a more organized environment, including lower stress levels.
“Staying clean and organized is a good thing,” Ryback wrote in a Psychology Today article. “It helps us feel better about ourselves, it keeps us productive and it may very well keep us physically fit.” Several of the studies pointed towards an increased desire to exercise and improved sleep.
If you need some motivation to get up and clean your house, here are some of the top benefits for your mental and physical health:
1. Greater Joy
There’s been a strong school of thought behind this notion for many years, but it has recently gained a lot of popularity, given Marie Kondo’s Netflix Original series all about how removing clutter can improve the happiness of a family.
As quoted in this blog post, Kondo says, “Remember, tidying up isn’t about getting rid of stuff. It is about creating an environment that sparks joy and improves your quality of life.”
When you’re surrounded by an organized space, you’re not thinking about cleaning things up constantly. You’re able to sit down after dinner and actually enjoy your time rather than thinking about the chores should be doing.
2. Room to Meditate
Veronica Bucher, experienced freelance writer, shared her story in a ThriveGlobal article about how her mental health was affected severely when she started working from home with a constant stream of deadlines and household duties that felt overwhelming. She specifically mentioned that the housework that needed to be done distracted her from her work. She downloaded a guided meditation app, and she reports it was the best thing she ever did.
“The single best thing most people can do for their mental health and well-being is to practice meditation. Every. Single. Day,” she wrote, pointing out that it helped reduce her stress, improve her sleep, and boost her creativity.
But meditation is very difficult to do in a mess. When you’re surrounded by clutter and dirty dishes, it’s not so easy to turn off the stress and relax into yourself. With a cleaner home, you’ll be able to meditate regularly, gaining all the mental health benefits that go with it.
3. Healthier Meals
A 2013 study indicated that if you’re living in a cleaner, more organized space, you’re more likely to make healthier meal choices. The study, published in Psychology Science, examined the lifestyles and eating habits of a group of people, some working in a disorderly room and others working in a pristinely organized space. When offered a healthy food option and a junk food option, those who worked in the organized space were more likely to choose the healthier option.
You’re also more likely to cook your own meals in a clean space because you don’t have to clean the kitchen before getting to the food. Home cooked foods are almost always healthier than restaurant meals, so you’re more likely to stick with a balanced diet.
4. More Socialization
You know that dreaded feeling when your house is a disaster and company shows up unexpectedly—it’s hard to feel socially confident when your house is a mess. Not only are you afraid that people will just drop by, but you’re also worried that you’ll carry a funny smell or bring germs with you.
Invite people into your home and go out with confidence knowing that you’ve done your best to be orderly and minimize germs.
5. Fewer Sick Days
As mentioned previously, a home that’s not regularly cleaned and organized is full of germs and bacteria that can make you sick. You might catch the same cold several times in a row because you’re picking up bacteria left from previous sicknesses! Cleaning up after yourself and disinfecting regularly will reduce your sick days.
Don’t buy into the myth that if you get sick more often, you’ll have a better immune system. If you’re working outside of the home, picking up kids from school, and socializing with others, you’ll get your fair share of germs to boost your immune system—there’s no need to pick them up at home as well.
Article Submitted By Community Writer