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We already know that spring cleaning is good for the health of your home, but did you know it’s good for your own mental and physical health too? There are lots of reasons why, which we’ll explore more in-depth below.
What is Spring Cleaning?
Spring cleaning is something people have done throughout history and across cultures, often passing down the tradition within families. There are varying beliefs and practices related to spring cleaning and the reasons people do it, but some think it hails from times before electricity when homes were heated using kerosene lamps and indoor fires.
These fires and lamps produced smoke and soot, which would build up inside the home during cold winter months when houses were shut up and sealed tight to keep them warm. When springtime rolled around and the weather turned hot once again, it was time to air out the home and scrub away all that soot and muck, ushering in the brightness of a new season both literally and symbolically.
Many cultures practice spring cleaning rituals as well. The Iranian culture performs a thorough cleaning before the Persian New year. Meanwhile, the Chinese Little New Year celebrations include a cleaning ritual intended to cleanse a home of negative spirits before the Lunar Year.
Similarly, ancient Jews also partook in a spring clean custom of sorts, cleaning out all non-kosher remnants from their homes before the Passover celebration. Today, our homes are heated via more modern means, which means a spring clean for soot removal purposes isn’t necessary.
However, since there are so many benefits associated with spring cleaning, it’s definitely a custom that should be continued. Plus, there’s no denying the link between cleaning and better mental health. You just feel clearer when your home is clean and clutter-free!
Importance of Spring Cleaning
Unfortunately, air quality both in your home and the outside world is not the greatest these days. Pollution from vehicles, factories, and various toxic chemicals gather together to downgrade the air quality, especially if you live in a congested area.
Even in your home, things like your furniture, the paint on your walls, products that produce off-gas, harsh cleaning products, and more can all impact your air quality. When choosing cleaning products it’s important to use eco friendly cleaning products, like our Honest® Clean Vibes Kit.
Thankfully, opening your house up for a good spring clean is a wonderful way to bring in some fresh––or at least fresher––air and shoo out any old smells and fumes. A spring clean is also an ideal time to do any maintenance chores around the house that typically only need to be done once or twice a year.
Benefits of Spring Cleaning
It’s Good Juju
Spring cleaning your home doesn’t just make it physically cleaner––you could also be giving yourself a little mental and energetic cleanup too. Some feng shui experts believe that clutter contributes to feelings of stagnation by blocking the flow of energy in a room. These negative feelings can make you feel drained and imbalanced, potentially contributing to both physical and mental health problems. Decluttering and cleaning help unblock that negative energy, essentially creating good juju!
It Removes Allergens
Spring cleaning is an excellent way to support and strengthen your immune system. Harmful bacteria and other microbes collect in the home. Read more about how Health begins at home, from UCLA Health. Deep cleaning and decluttering remove a lot of dust, pet dander, and other allergens from your house. This results in cleaner and better quality air for you to breathe in. Moreover, it also reduces the impact of allergens coming from household toxins and chemicals. In addition, cleaner air means easier breathing, which aids and strengthens our respiratory system.
It Reduces Stress and Depression
Did you know that a decluttered space can help you achieve a decluttered mind? A cluttered home is thought to induce anxiety and stress in many people. Some would even say that a cluttered home is a reflection of a cluttered mind!
In some cases, those people may not even be aware that their stress stems from the clutter in their home and surrounding areas. It’s just something they live with daily and have become accustomed to, but meanwhile it’s like a fan running in the background, draining their energy.
Additionally, the actual process of cleaning, which is a repetitive task that doesn’t require much mental output, can be therapeutic and relaxing for many people. Some might even use routine cleaning as a way to practice mindfulness or work off anxious energy.
It Increases Productivity and Focus
Decluttering and cleaning the space around you also helps your brain to focus on your most important tasks from day-to-day. Needless clutter in your house can distract your thoughts, whether you realize it or not, causing your productivity levels to plummet. However, a clean space that’s free of those unnecessary distractions can help direct your focus to the tasks at hand.
It Improves Mood and Boosts Happiness
Tidying up your home and removing unnecessary clutter ultimately leaves you with a clean house full of things you love and actually use. Not to mention, a clean and organized home can even boost endorphins in your brain, literally making you feel happy.
Additionally, when you set a task for yourself––like spring cleaning––finishing that task releases the reward chemical called ‘dopamine.’ So you’re getting the reward of a dopamine hit just for cleaning your house!
Along with those ‘feel good’ brain chemicals, a clean home is believed to provide other benefits to your mental wellbeing, including a reduced risk of depression over the long-term and improved mood boosts in the short-term.
It May Prevent Illness
Household items are commonly touched by the whole family, especially those items in frequent use in your kitchen. The reality is that this can lead to an increased risk of the spread of viruses and bacteria. Since the deep cleaning that goes along with a spring clean involves sanitizing all those common area surfaces and sinks, you may help minimize your risk of illness. Of course, nothing is guaranteed, but it certainly doesn’t hurt!
It Promotes a Healthy Lifestyle
When you clean your surroundings, it naturally has an impact on every other aspect of your life. Cleaning your kitchen may lead you to remove all those old, expired products and unhealthy foods, which in turn could lead you to adopt a healthier diet.
Similarly, cleaning your bedroom and removing all those distractions within it can lead you to go to bed on time and foster a better sleep routine.
Since cleaning is a physical activity in itself, it can also push you to use your physical energy in a way that makes you stronger and healthier––otherwise known as good old-fashioned exercise!
And finally, thoughtful cleaning can help you become thoughtful about other aspects of your life, too. It’s believed that when people live and exist inside of a clean and orderly space, they naturally tend to lean towards practicing healthy habits in other areas of life.
Tips for Doing a Spring Clean
Technically, a spring clean is usually begun when you first notice the signs of spring approaching. Depending on where you live, this is often the time you start throwing open all the windows and doors of your home to let air circulate and enjoy the breeze.
However, this may not always be a practical option for everyone, and starting right at springtime isn’t a requirement to do a deep clean of your home. Look at your calendar and decide when you’re able to clear a couple of days out of your schedule, and plan to do the house cleaning then.
You should also start with a plan in mind. To ensure your spring cleaning efforts don't last more than a couple of days––and also to make sure you don’t skip any important tasks––try sitting down and mapping out a plan or making a deep cleaning house checklist ahead of time.
Some things to keep in mind when planning your spring cleaning:
- Include all of those once-a-year cleaning tasks.
- Start your clean with a task that you actually like doing.
- Prioritize tasks that don’t require much hands-on time but may take a while, like drying or washing.
- Do the hardest things first, when you’re full of energy and motivation.
- Start small and don’t get overly ambitious.
- Keep in mind your time and physical constraints, and don’t overdo things.
- Involve other members of your family in your spring cleaning efforts. It can be a fun activity to do together, while also being time-efficient.
Cleaning and mental health––physical health too––truly go hand-in-hand. When your home is fresh, clean, and free of clutter, it helps your mind and body to feel fresh, clean, and free. Don’t believe us? Why not give it a try for yourself? You could even start small, tackling just a room a day. Remember, all progress is good progress!