Cleaning and housework is one of the necessities of life– however it doesn’t have to be a chore! In fact, cleanliness and organisation can have an amazing impact not just on your surroundings but on your mental and physical wellbeing, too.
Cleaning, organising and de-cluttering has been proven to boost your mood, your relationships and even your weight loss efforts – who knew?
Here are the 7 most wondrous effects of cleanliness on your mental and physical health:
Reduces Stress and Depression
After a long, hard day at work, the last thing you want to come home to is a messy, dirty, cluttered house. According to a study in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, women who described their homes as “cluttered” or full of “unfinished projects” were more depressed, fatigued, and had higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol than women who felt their homes were “restful” and “restorative,”
Researchers say that having masses of chores and housekeeping duties on your to-do list may prevent the natural decline in cortisol throughout the day, therefore making you feel down in the dumps. This in turn can take its toll on your sleep patterns, health, overall mood and even fertility.
Put some time aside each day to ensure that you are on top of the cleaning and you’ll feel happier and more relaxed for it.
Helps you Eat Better
Research in the journal of Psychological Science proves that a clean, clutter-free environment can help you make better food choices; a recent study recorded a group of people’s choice of food snack (either an apple or a chocolate bar) and found that people who worked in a neat space for 10 minutes or more were twice as likely to choose the apple.
Dr Selhub says “Clutter is stressful for the brain, so you’re more likely to resort to coping mechanisms such as choosing comfort foods or overeating than if you spend time in neater surroundings.”
Improves your Workout
Organisation skills are transferable, which is why people with an organised house tend to be better at sticking to their workouts!
Once you have gotten into a cleaning routine and you are sticking to it, logic says you’re much more likely to be able to stick to your exercise routine too.
Boosts your Relationships
Positive relationships with family, friends and partners are the key to a happy life. Believe it or not, having a messy, dirty house has an effect on these too!
If you live with a partner or roommate, not doing the hoovering or leaving dirty dishes in the sink can spark resentment. That can be the source of aggravation and bad feeling.
Dr Selhub says ““For couples, clutter can create tension and conflict And the time you spend looking for missing items can also take away from time you could be spending together”.
Furthermore, an untidy house can cause shame and embarrassment, preventing you from inviting people round to your home. This effectively cuts you off from your friends somewhat and in turn could lead to feelings of isolation and depression. Why not create a bi-weekly dinner party date with another couple/friend so you’re forced to keep on top of the house hold chores?!
Cleanliness Increases Productivity
Research has shown that clutter actually affects your ability to function. The journal of neuroscience reports that when there are lots of un-tidy things around your home, it overloads you visual cortex and makes it more difficult for your brain to process information or focus on the task in hand. Hence, de-cluttering your work desk and having less things to look at will considerably improve your ability to focus.
Moreover, greater productivity at work means getting more things done which in turn means more down-time! Finishing all the tasks at hand means you can leave work on time and go home to relax. More time for yourself will mean more time to exercise, cook healthy meals and get more sleep – all of which will have monumental, positive effects on your wellbeing.
Helps you Lose Weight
Following on from our last point, the more time you have to yourself, the easier it is to make healthy choices. The more organised your home is, the more time you’ll have to prepare healthy meals and not have to reach for packaged ready meals or fast foods.
Much like sticking to a cleaning rota, following a healthy routine takes organisation and mindfulness, so it figures that once you get the former down, the latter will come much more easily.
Dr. Selhub says. Being healthy requires forethought, organization, and preparation. When you’re organized, you’re more likely to plan your meals, stock up on nutritious foods, and prep things like fruits and vegetables to make healthy eating more likely.
As aforementioned, living in a clean and de-cluttered environment improves general Zen and reduces stress and depression, which naturally will result in a better slumber. However, this isn’t the only benefit of less mess on your sleep patterns. According to a survey by the National Sleep Foundation, 75 percent of people reported that they got a better nights rest with freshly changed sheets and fluffed pillows.
Furthermore, doing things like making your bed and tidying away clothes in the morning mean you are 19 percent more likely to get a good night’s sleep.
Doing cleaning and household chores throughout the day mean you’re less likely to be rushing around doing them just before bed and having to take other chores such as reading emails and internet banking into the bedroom. Taking electronic objects into bed with you has been proven to make it more difficult to nod off – your bedroom should be a sanctuary for rest and relaxation. Get your chores done long before its time to hit the sheets and you’re more likely to sleep soundly!