How Cleaning and Organizing Can Support Mental Health
By Paisley Hansen
May 12 2021 - Having a disorganized home can lead to a disorganized mind. If your house is cluttered, you probably have difficulty focusing on where to put items and how to clean up, which leads to irritability and stress. Visualize coming home after a long work day to a neat, clean house compared to a messy home. How does each scenario make you feel? The clean home vision probably makes you feel relieved whereas the messy version leaves you feeling uneasy, showing that there is a direct correlation between home cleanliness and mental health. Here are some mental health benefits to keeping your environment orderly.
Living in a chaotic, unorganized setting can affect your ability to focus. You may find you are unable to concentrate on important tasks because when you look around all you see are other things that need to be done. When you look to the left, you see a pile of old mail you need to go through, and when you turn your head right, you realize you need to take the overflowing garbage out. This stress can leave you mentally exhausted.
Start small. Set a goal to tackle a few issues. This will make you feel accomplished, and little by little, you will get rid of clutter. Once you start to make headway, you can focus on more important responsibilities because you won't be fixated on your environment.
Downsizing is one way to help clean a messy home. You can make separate piles for trash, items to sell and things to donate. Perhaps you have an old bedroom mattress that you took off of your bed and is now leaning against a wall, taking up space and gathering dust. You can look into ideas for mattress donations to finally get rid of it and reclaim your wall.
Cleaning and organizing a room can help to alleviate stress and anxiety. Whether you're engaging in routine maintenance cleaning or deep cleaning, you will feel better, physically and emotionally, as you get your hands dirty to make your house clean. Taking mental before and after pictures will leave you feeling satisfied with your hard work.
Engaging in the physicality of the work, whether you're dusting, mopping or carpet scrubbing, can be a stress-reliever on its own. You're taking control, and it feels good. Plus, any bodily activity you do releases endorphins, which helps to reduce stress and anxiety. Intense cleaning is also a way to channel your negative emotions into something positive.
Believe it or not, reducing stress can actually influence what you eat. People often deal with mental tension by eating unhealthy comfort food. Decreasing your stress level can lead you to make healthier choices.
Getting a good night's rest can be affected by cleaning. First of all, cleaning makes you tired, which will result in better sleep. Second, if you have cleaning tasks that you need to take care of, your sleep may be interrupted because you’re worrying about it. Don't fret; simply make a mental note to clean it the next day. Third, having a clean bedroom and clean sheets creates a calm and comfortable sleeping environment.
After you get over that initial cleaning hump and start to see results, you will want to continue the progress. Just like getting a college syllabus and wondering how you’ll ever be able to do everything, looking at the whole picture of where you want to be is overwhelming. However, if you make a list and take it a step at a time, crossing off accomplishments as you go, you will be inspired to do more. This new-found motivation will carry over in all aspects of your life. You'll have a positive outlook on yourself and your capabilities.
Humans thrive from organization. Even your cells have their own itinerary. Thus, your need for organization stems from the inside out, starting at the cellular level. It makes perfect sense that orderliness influences mental stability. Living in a chaotic environment isn't natural. This is why keeping your personal space clean and organized directly improves your mental health.
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