I never thought I’d say this. No, really. I used to think having tons of “creative clutter” was part of my personality. Who cares if my desk is messy? I’m an ~artist, goddamnit. I’d like to chalk it up to getting older — I know, I should’ve started earlier — but I honestly can say it proudly now: I love cleaning. It truly is healing. Cleaning and mental health have a relationship, and I’m trying to make it healthy.
Cleaning and mental health benefits
I used to think of cleaning as a chore. Well, it is. But you get what I mean. It’s laborious. It’s tiring. Now I look forward to it. I make time for it. I enjoy it. I’m nowhere near being a Martha Stewart or Marie Kondo — or that girl I saw on YouTube who spends GBP200 per month on cleaning products and sprays Lysol on her friends when they come over — but I have found the joy in cleaning.
It is my kind of cardio, although I still try to squeeze in walking in my routine. I love that it gives the dopamine that cardio gives, too. And I’m not just imagining it. Cleaning and mental health go hand-in-hand, according to experts.
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A study in 2011 found that clutter hinders one from focusing on a particular task. It’s also been discovered that mindfully cleaning can help alleviate anxiety. Cleaning also helps your mental health in that when you do it, you have a sense of control over your environment. This makes you feel more grounded and secure. That’s on top of the visual and physical benefits you get when your surroundings are neat and organized.
Aside from the satisfying feeling I get after cleaning, I also noticed that I can focus better now. I also feel calmer than I normally do (and that’s saying a lot because I’m always just jittery and nervous). My husband and our daughter appreciate the effects, too. Our house is not only clean, but it smells amazing (if I know you personally, come over haha). So cleaning and mental health’s relationship is definitely something I’ll continue to cultivate. Would you be interested in a post about my favorite products? I haven’t tried a lot but I’ve been liking some things and would definitely recommend them.
Jorj is an editor by profession, a b/vlogger on weekends, and a wife to Yop and mom to Cadence always. She's powered by curiosity and is in the process of becoming her best self.