New Year’s was months ago, and, if you’re like most people, your resolutions were out the window before January was over. But take heart because spring offers us another opportunity to start fresh. And what better way is there to get into that spirit of rejuvenation than with a major clean up of your living space?
Spring cleaning offers a number of benefits, both mental and physical. It can help you clear out the cobwebs—literally and figuratively. To get an idea of some of the health benefits you can achieve with a good session of spring cleaning, read on.
Allergy Symptom Reduction
A thorough cleaning can greatly reduce the amount of dust in your home, which is helpful since about 20 million Americans are allergic to dust mites, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Remember to hit those tricky-to-reach spots like under and behind furniture as well as all kinds of lighting fixtures, window treatments, and moldings, which are all magnets for dust. Plus, as you wipe and vacuum, you’re not only removing dust but also the pet dander and pollen that can aggravate allergies too.
Cleanliness Produces Happiness
Maybe you don’t enjoy the process of cleaning per se, but the end result will leave you smiling. It’s hard not to love having a fresh smelling, spic and span home. A 2010 study at the University of California, Los Angeles even found that having a clean home can improve your mood and reduce your risk of depression.1 Saxbe, DE and Repetti, R. “No place like home: home tours correlate with daily patterns of mood and cortisol.” Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. January 2010. Accessed 4 April 2017. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19934011.
Declutter and Do a Good Deed by Donating
An essential part of a successful spring cleaning is getting rid of old items that are no longer used or worn. Apply the rule of thumb that if you haven’t made use of something in a year, it’s time for it to go. Fill bags and boxes of things, then donate them to a local charity so they can still be beneficial to someone else. Giving to others is a positive act that is associated with greater self-esteem, lower stress levels, and overall happiness.
Organize and Sharpen Your Concentration
After you’ve thoroughly decluttered, you’ll find that your remaining material goods are much easier to organize in a meaningful way. When you’re not spending your time focusing on finding something in the chaos or getting distracted by all the extra stuff around the house, you’ll actually be free to concentrate on any given task much more fully and boost your productivity.
Liven Up the Act of Cleaning
The thought of doing housework conjures up images of drudgery. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Open the windows to let in some fresh air, recruit your family members or roommate to help you, and turn up the fun. Play upbeat music that you can sing and dance along to as you scrub, and don’t forget to use your broom as a standing microphone.
Tackle Some Calorie-Burning Activities
The act of cleaning can give you quite a good workout, and the calorie counts of all of the chores add up pretty quickly. For example, 30 minutes of vacuuming burns approximately 90 calories, scrubbing away at bathroom tubs and tiles for 30 minutes burns about 220 calories, and making your windows shine over the course of 30 minutes burns 125 calories…for a grand total of 435 calories. Add to that running up and down a few staircases to dispose of trash and you’ve successfully done your day’s exercise.
Reward Your Job Well Done
You are going to work hard to achieve a newly shiny home, free of all the excess stuff that’s piled up over time. Therefore, you deserve a treat, and what more fitting way to reward yourself than by buying something to make your domicile even more appealing. That might be something as small as a new picture frame for a photo of your loved ones or as big as a new piece of furniture. Anything within your budget that brightens up your home a bit more will do the trick.
|↑1||Saxbe, DE and Repetti, R. “No place like home: home tours correlate with daily patterns of mood and cortisol.” Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. January 2010. Accessed 4 April 2017. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19934011.|