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Clean Home, Happy Life: The Mental Health Benefits of Cleaning

March 4, 2024

Clean Home, Happy Life: The Mental Health Benefits of Cleaning


Cleaning and tidying our homes can have a profoundly positive effect on our mental health and overall wellbeing. As the old saying goes, “Cleanliness is next to godliness.” In this article, I explore the various ways that maintaining a clean home environment can boost mood, reduce anxiety and stress, and promote a sense of calm and tranquility. From clearing clutter to deep cleaning, let’s examine how a tidy home equals a healthier, happier mind.

Reducing Stress Through Organization

The Link Between Clutter and Anxiety

Living in an overly cluttered home environment can contribute to feelings of stress and anxiety. Visual and physical clutter competes for our attention, overloading our senses. This can trigger the release of cortisol, the stress hormone. Furthermore, clutter makes it difficult to find things when we need them, leading to frustration.

By contrast, keeping our home tidy, organized, and free of clutter reduces stress and anxiety. A clean, uncluttered home environment promotes a sense of calm and control.

The Benefits of Decluttering

Decluttering involves removing unnecessary physical items from our living spaces. This could mean cleaning out closets, drawers, basements, attics, and garages. The act of decluttering has measurable positive effects on mental health:

  • Decluttering reduces stress and anxiety as described above
  • It provides a sense of accomplishment which boosts mood
  • A clean slate mentality helps spur motivation and new beginnings
  • Less distractions allow for greater focus and productivity
  • More physical space creates a feeling of freedom

Establishing New Organizational Habits

Here are some tips for establishing clutter-free habits after decluttering:

  • Maintain a decluttering schedule (ex: one room per month)
  • Deal with clutter immediately – don’t let it accumulate
  • Categorize items and give them a “home”
  • Institute a “one in, one out” rule when acquiring new items
  • Display items attractively to increase enjoyment

The Soothing Process of Deep Cleaning

How Deep Cleaning Calms the Mind

Deep cleaning refers to cleaning that goes beyond surface-level tidying to thoroughly clean every nook and cranny. This includes activities like:

  • Washing walls, baseboards, and windows
  • Scrubbing floors, grout, and tile
  • Dusting fans and lampshades
  • Cleaning behind and under furniture
  • Washing linens and pillows

Engaging in these intensive cleaning activities requires full focus on the present moment. This acts as a form of meditation that quiets mental chatter. The systematic process soothes anxiety. A sense of restored order is satisfying.

Anti-Anxiety Effects of Clean Scents

In addition to the calming process, clean scents themselves also reduce anxiety. The smells of cleaning products like lemon, soap, bleach, vinegar, and eucalyptus have been shown to have anti-anxiety and mood-lifting benefits.

Diffusing essential oils with these scents can extend the soothing effects. Some calming scent suggestions:

  • Lemon – uplifts mood, reduces stress
  • Lavender – alleviates anxiety and depression
  • Eucalyptus – invigorates and enhances calm
  • Tea tree – improves focus and clarity
  • Peppermint – stimulates alertness

Cleanliness Enables Deeper Relaxation

A deep cleaned environment allows us to relax more fully and deeply. Lounging on a freshly laundered sofa or sleeping in crisp linens is more restful than sitting or sleeping in dirty spaces. The peace of mind of overall cleanliness enables the mind and body to relax into a rejuvenating state.

Cleaning Promotes a Sense of Meaning and Accomplishment

Small Daily Achievements Add Up

Cleaning tasks give a sense of control, order, and accomplishment. Completing cleaning routines, like washing dishes, folding laundry, or making the bed, instills satisfaction. Even small cleaning wins boost self-confidence to tackle larger challenges.

Checking items off a cleaning to-do list also provides structure. Knocking out cleaning tasks gives a sense of productivity and progress. This kickstarts momentum to get other important things done as well.

Maintaining a Pleasant Environment for Ourselves and Others

Caring for our space by cleaning demonstrates self-respect and self-love. We deserve to live in an enjoyable, peaceful environment. Keeping our homes clean also shows respect and care for others we share space with. This could be family, roommates, guests, or even future home occupants.


Maintaining a clean, tidy home has far-reaching positive effects on mental health and wellbeing. Decluttering reduces anxiety while deep cleaning has a meditative, calming impact. A clean environment enables deeper relaxation and provides a sense of control and accomplishment. Boost your mood and reduce stress by making cleaning a regular habit. A clean home truly promotes a happier life.

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