After a long day at work, the last thing you may want to do to de-stress is to come home and clean the house. Many people associate cleaning more with drudgery than relaxation, for obvious reasons. However, there are several reasons why cleaning can be a great stress reliever.
Some of these reasons have to do with the process of cleaning, and some come from the end results of your efforts. This information may just make you want to start cleaning the next time you feel stressed.
Cleaning provides relief
If you come home and the house is a big mess then it can be a potential source of stress. Walking into a home that has piles of paper on every surface, stacks of laundry needing to be put away, and random items were thrown on the floor feels different than walking into a tidy home.
While most of us want that neat, ordered home environment, far too many of us live in a cluttered one that causes us stress. Very few of us live in a clutter-free home, and over a third live in surroundings so cluttered that they don’t even know where to begin cleaning.
Cleaning as a Money Saver
If you find yourself late on paying bills (because you can’t find them), replacing items you still have (because you don’t know where they are), and eating out more often than you need to (because your kitchen is too cluttered and messy for regular cooking), a little spring cleaning may actually save you money. You may not even realize the ways that a clean house can also be a money saver until you live in one.
Cleaning as an Exercise in Gratitude
Make cleaning a mindful task by taking the opportunity to be thankful for each thing you touch. For instance, if you are washing dishes, admire your plates, be grateful for the food that you’re scraping off since some have none, and admire the beauty of modern technology as you place that dish in the dishwasher.
By thinking about what you are cleaning you might find an extra appreciation that you didn’t realize you were lucky to have before. Because inner peace comes more from wanting what you have than from having what you want, unearthing the wonderful haven beneath the dirt and clutter can bring a new level of gratitude for all that you have.
Cleaning as Meditation
While the end result of a major cleaning session — a beautiful and clean home — can be a great stress reliever, the act of cleaning your house can be a stress management technique. If you incorporate mindfulness into your cleaning, the work can actually be a form of meditation, leaving you more relaxed after you finish.
Cleaning as a Party
If you’re not one to get into a zen state as you clean, why not go in the other direction, and turn your cleaning experience into a mini party? Music has many wonderful stress relief benefits and playing music as you clean can make the activity much more enjoyable. Play your favorite music as you clean, and you may actually work faster and be done sooner.
Cleaning as Exercise
The act of cleaning done right, can bring the added benefit of getting you a little extra exercise, which can be great for relieving stress. Running up and down the stairs, carrying items from room to room, and scrubbing windows and floors can burn calories, release endorphins, and help you blow off steam. Spring cleaning is a workout routine that brings many benefits indeed.
Hiring just the right housekeeper can be life-altering for the busy family. Now this may seem to be a little over-the-top, but I am serious. Think about your life-whether single, a couple or a family-you have no time. No time to keep your home as organized or clean as you would like. No time to do the smaller tidying jobs that would make a huge difference.
“I am still learning about my home. If you can’t do it yourself, find good service people and treat them well.” — Terry (mom to our Human Resources Coordinator, Louisa)
Raise your hand if you grew up with a mom (or another parental figure) constantly reminding you to clean your room. Often, our earliest memories of figuring out how to tidy up and take care of our homes are with our moms—they taught us how to do laundry, how to do the dishes, and how to make our beds. So it should come as no surprise that when we asked our moms for their best homekeeping advice, they came back with some great tips.
Most agreed on a few major themes: it’s important to make sure everything has a home, that you put things back when you take them out, and that your home is an inviting, relaxing place to come home to—and invite others to.
Do you ever casually go about your day, popping into the kitchen for a little peanut butter toast and then the next thing you know you’re turning over the toaster oven because it’s been so long and you just can’t take the crumbs anymore?
At the risk of sounding like a cloyingly optimistic Peppy Patty (which I can assure you, I am not), I never really understood all the pervasive hate for Mondays. I get that easing yourself from the freedom of the weekend into the structure of the workweek is a bit of a shock to the system…