The Link Between Decluttering, Cleaning, and Mental Health

When some people feel overwhelmed or stressed out, they may try yoga, mindfulness, or a massage to alleviate their stress. However, for others, cleaning the shelves, wiping down the kitchen, or organizing the closet is just as helpful for their mental well-being as using a mindfulness app.

In fact, for some people, the mere sight of a clean and organized home can help them relax and destress even after a hectic day. This article delves into the impact of cleaning on mental health, including its benefits and how to include a cleaning schedule in your life.

Negative Impact of Clutter and Mess

Keeping your home neat and engaging in the cleaning process is good for you. Cleaning or the lack of cleaning can have a direct impact on your mental health.

Clutter May Contribute to Depression

Living in a cluttered space might contribute to feelings of depression and fatigue. For example, women who described their living environments as messy or full of unfinished tasks tended to experience higher levels of stress and lower mood compared to those who lived in tidy, organized spaces. This could be attributed to the increased levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, found in individuals residing in cluttered environments.

Clutter May Lead to Decreased Focus, Confusion, and Tension

A cluttered space can lead to difficulties in focusing, confusion, and tension. Clutter can overwhelm the visual cortex, which makes it harder to concentrate on tasks at hand. Therefore, having too many unrelated objects in our environment can interfere with our ability to complete projects efficiently. On the other hand, maintaining an organized space tends to evoke more positive emotions, such as calmness and a sense of well-being.

Clutter and mess can lead to increased stress and anxiety. However, by taking the time to clean, organize, and reduce clutter, people can regain control of their environment and create a more relaxing atmosphere. This, in turn, allows them to better focus on the more important issues in their lives.

Benefits of Cleaning and Decluttering

Cleaning can have a number of positive effects on your mental health. For instance:

  • It helps you gain a sense of control over your environment and engage your mind in a repetitive activity.
  • It improves a person's mood and provides a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.

Cleaning can help you destress for several reasons. Here's an overview of some of the benefits of cleaning and decluttering your home or office.

Cleaning Can Benefit Physical Health

Keeping your home clean not only makes it look nice but can also have a positive impact on your physical health. People who live in clean houses tend to be healthier than those who live in messy or cluttered homes.

Gain Control of Your Environment

Taking control of your surroundings can have a significant impact on how you feel. When life feels uncertain, cleaning can serve as a way to maintain control and regain a sense of mastery. Clutter can be a major distraction during times of stress, impeding focus and productivity.

Improve Your Mood

Many people find that a clean home correlates with lower levels of anxiety. Furthermore, making your bed and having clean sheets can contribute to a more restful night's sleep, which in turn can lead to improved mood and overall mental health.

Engaging in physical activity through cleaning not only results in a cleaner home but can also help alleviate stress, anxiety, and feelings of depression. Additionally, maintaining a tidy environment can reduce fatigue and enhance concentration, further promoting a sense of well-being and mental clarity.

Increase Your Focus

If your home is disorganized, it can have a negative impact on your focus. The chaos created by the mess also limits your brain's ability to process information. People who work in a clean and organized environment are less irritable, less distracted, and more productive.

If you need help with focusing on a project, consider decluttering your workspace first. Devoting just a few minutes to organizing your things and clearing away any mess may make it easier for you to concentrate and complete your work.

How to Incorporate Cleaning Into Your Life

If you are struggling with depression, have a newborn, or simply have a busy life, cleaning and decluttering your living space can feel like an overwhelming task. You may even question whether cleaning should be a priority for you. However, a cleaner environment can improve your mood and bring more peace into your life. Here are some ideas on how to incorporate cleaning into your life.

Start Small

Many people avoid cleaning because it can feel like an overwhelming task. However, instead of trying to clean your entire home in one go, start small and do a little bit each day. This means committing to one task around your house or apartment every day. By doing this, you will eventually notice that your environment is much cleaner and less stressful.

Set a Timer

If you are struggling to establish a cleaning routine, there are some methods you can try. One option is to set a timer and see how much cleaning you can do in a specific period. You can start cleaning from your bedroom instead of the living area. This will create a more tranquil environment that will help you sleep better at night.

Even though a few minutes may not seem like a lot of time, you can accomplish more than you might think. By setting a timer, you are able to manage the idea of cleaning for hours. You do what you can in the allotted time and then move on to other tasks.

Involve Others

There are times when cleaning seems impossible to handle alone. This could be due to health issues, running your own business, raising a family, or trying to balance work and school. If you know that you cannot finish all that needs to be done without help, then it's best to consider involving others.

Ask Friends and Family For Help

Although asking for help may be hard, most people are willing to help you if you ask. So, talk to your partner, enlist your kids, or ask a friend or family member if they will help you get organized. Plus, it's a lot easier to tackle big projects when you have the help of others.

Wrap Up

If you find that cleaning and decluttering help alleviate your stress, reduce your anxiety, and lift your mood, then go ahead and grab your cleaning tools to get started. A messy or cluttered home can be distracting, and cleaning can help create a sense of order and predictability in your life.