Most of us treat home cleaning as an inescapable chore that takes us away from the things we love. Rather than vacuuming, sanitising kitchen worktops or scrubbing hardwood floors, we want to be socialising or enjoying the great outdoors. Doing the things that make us happy is often good for our health; but there is evidence to suggest that cleaning is good for us too.
Both the act of cleaning and the final result can give our health a significant boost in six very different ways.
1. Improves mental health
There is evidence to suggest that keeping a clean, ordered home is good for our mental health. Cluttered, dirty homes can cause stress and anxiety, so keeping them clean at all times can play a small role in minimising certain mental health problems. There is also evidence that untidy homes can affect the decision-making skills of its occupants. The act of cleaning is a great way to expend some energy, which can relieve stress after a day at work.
2. Reduces allergies
By cleaning and de-cluttering regularly, you’re keeping dust, dirt, microscopic mites and other allergens in your home to a minimum. Pet dander, dead skin cells and other airborne particles can cause several flu-like symptoms and exacerbate the effects of conditions such as asthma and bronchitis.
3. Improves concentration levels
Scientists have discovered that a home that is cluttered and untidy can interfere with a person’s ability to concentrate. It seems that an overload of visual stimuli restricts the ability to focus. So the next time you can’t understand why you’ve read the same page of your novel three times, make sure your home is tidy. Make the most out of every storage area in your home, and be ruthless in throwing or giving away things that you don’t use.
4. Reduces bacteria and viruses
Bacteria and viruses are everywhere, but they particularly love the warm, humid conditions many of us create in our homes. They can be found in particularly high concentrations on surfaces that are handled regularly; these include door handles, appliances, taps and light switches. By regularly sanitising these areas, you are killing bacterias and viruses — reducing the chance of people contracting diseases such as colds and flus.
5. Reduces the chance of slips, trips and falls
If you have clutter around your home, the chances of someone tripping or falling increase dramatically. Most slips, trips and falls that lead to an injury take place in the home, so stay vigilant where clutter and general mess are concerned. Ask everyone to clear up after themselves throughout the day, and allocate a storage area for the everyday items in your home that you can’t be without.
6. Improves diet
Believe it or not, there is evidence to suggest that a clean and tidy kitchen helps people to eat a healthy diet. Research carried out at Cornell University found that struggling for space or preparing food in a dirty or messy kitchen results in people consuming more calories. When things are disorganised in the kitchen, people are more likely to snack on calorific foods than take the time to prepare a fresh and nutritious meal.
So there you have it: cleaning is good for both the body and the soul. Many of us struggle to find a healthy balance between work and family commitments. In many cases, it is cleaning the home that makes way in a hectic and stressful life. But there is evidence that taking the time to clean can actually enhance your life. Don’t think of cleaning as a chore; think of it as an investment in your happiness.