You have a sense that you should keep your house clean. Maybe your parents instilled it in you or maybe societal pressure has you feeling like you need to pull out the mop. But does it really matter if you let your home slip into a mess? Yes of course. There are some scientifically-backed health benefits of a clean home. Conversely, letting your home get dirty and/or disorganized can negatively affect your mental and physical well-being. So, what are you waiting for?
Sometimes, you need a little push to help yourself start building good habits. And we’ve got you covered with a handful of compelling reasons to keep things neat and tidy. Here are six of the top health benefits of a clean home.
1. You’ll feel less stressed
Visual clutter leads to mental clutter. You might think you’ve learned to live with your various piles, but they’re most likely affecting you more deeply than you realize. A 2010 study in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin revealed that women with messier homes have higher levels of cortisol than those with tidy houses. What does that mean? Your stress levels are linked to your space. Tackling those outstanding to-dos and getting your house in order can help you manage stress. And couldn’t we all benefit from meaningful ways to reduce stress in our busy lives?
2. You’ll be more active
It’s simple but it’s true: cleaning gets you moving. Sure, tidying up the house isn’t going to torch as many calories as a full-blown HIIT workout, but it’s a lot more physically involved than sitting on the couch. Keeping your house clean means that you’ll get some sort of movement for your body throughout the week. In fact, Health Magazine rounded up 10 different chores you can do that burn 100 calories each.
3. You’ll be more productive
When you have a task you don’t want to start, do you ever find yourself scanning the room for a distraction? Disorganization makes it easy to spot something you can use to procrastinate. When everything is in order, on the other hand, your mind finds it easier to get stuff done. Don’t believe that your space directly impacts your productivity? Check out this 2011 study on the way visual stimuli compete for your attention.
4. You might eat healthier
Have you ever noticed that when you’re feeling stressed, you crave for junk food? That’s your body’s natural response to stressors and – as we’ve already mentioned – clutter and messiness are stressful. There’s good news, though. Cleaning up doesn’t just make you less likely to want food that’s bad for you, it can actually help drive healthy choices. A 2013 study published in Psychology Science presented people with food choices. People who had been working in an organized space were two times more likely to choose an apple over a chocolate bar than those who had been working in a messy area.
5. You’ll sleep better
Isn’t it easier to drift off to sleep when you don’t have any leftover to-dos nagging at your brain? When your home is clean, you can look around before you go to bed without spotting any should-dos that could keep your gears turning even when you put your head on your pillow. In fact, the National Sleep Foundation conducted a survey that revealed that just making your bed in the morning boosts your chances of getting a good night’s rest by almost 20 per cent.
6. You’ll get sick less frequently
A clean home leaves fewer places for germs and bacteria to hide. Plus, dust and allergens build up in carpeting, bedding and upholstery over time, contributing to worsened allergies and asthma. In short, the health benefits of a clean home are obvious. If you want to keep yourself and your family healthy, cleaning on a regular basis is a must. Don’t just vacuum and dust, either. Think about decluttering your surfaces. The more items you have, the harder it is to dust and sanitize. A streamlined aesthetic makes it easier to keep everything truly clean, helping your health. If you are ready to get started, here are the nine germiest areas in your home to tackle ASAP.