How a Clean House Boosts Your Physical and Mental Health
Living in a clean environment is great for you physically—some of us literally breathe easier when we get rid of dust, mold, pet hair, grime and germs. But cleanliness has mental benefits, too, helping us to gain a sense of control over our environment and the peace-of-mind that we've checked everything off our to-do list. In fact, the act of cleaning itself can lower stress levels and improve our mood.
Read on to learn why a clean house matters so much—and how you can get some of the benefits even if you're pressed for time.
Cleaning for good health
Cleaning—and cleanliness—affect your health in some surprising ways:
- A clean house supports your immune system. Mold, mildew, dust, pet dander and bugs can trigger your immune system1 and cause an immune response—coughing, wheezing, sneezing and more. Cluttered homes that aren't cleaned often enough may collect these indoor air pollutants and make you feel sick.
- Housework is a healthy activity. Sedentary behavior is associated with numerous health risks,2 so it's a good idea to try to replace some of the time you spend sitting with some light activity, such as vacuuming or doing the dishes.
- A clean bedroom may help you sleep better. A poll by the National Sleep Foundation3 found that people say they sleep much better when their bedrooms are clean. About 75 percent, for example, agreed that they sleep better on clean sheets.
- A tidy house makes you feel more energetic. Getting rid of clutter in the home reduces stress in many ways,4 including making you more productive. Plus, having everything where you want it makes your home a more pleasant, serene place to relax.
- Cleaning keeps germs at bay. A little strategic disinfecting5 goes a long way toward fighting off bacteria and viruses that can make your family sick. Cleaning high-touch items and surfaces, and washing linens at a high temperature, keeps germs from spreading around.
Despite all the benefits of good hygiene and a tidy house, it can be a challenge to keep things clean when you have kids, a job or both! Here are some small things you can do that may go a long way:
- Start the day off right. You'd be surprised at how many benefits there are6 to a little task that takes less than two minutes—making your bed.
- Don't just organize—declutter. Before you undertake any organizational product, first evaluate whether you really need all that stuff.7 Once you've pared down your possessions to what you really need, you'll find that they're a lot easier to put away and keep organized.
- Prioritize your workspace. If you work from home, take a few minutes every evening to put your things in their place, make a to-do list for the next day and give your desk a quick wipe-down. You'll arrive at work the next day to a soothing, productive space.
- Create a coming-home ritual. If you work outside the home, it's nice to shrug off the dirt, germs and stresses of the outside world. Drop your phone and keys into the SoClean Device Disinfector8; remove your shoes; wash your hands; splash some water on your face; and change into clean, casual clothes for the evening.
- Stay on top of it. You'd be surprised at how much you can accomplish if you set aside 30 or even 15 minutes every day to clean, especially if you come at it with a plan. Clean the toilet, sink and bathroom mirror one day; scrub the shower and floor the next. Put on some music, set a timer and dive in!
- Search and destroy odors. If something in your house has started to smell, that needs to be first on your cleaning hit list. Scents can have a huge impact on your peace of mind. Use a pleasant-smelling cleaner, and while you're at it—weather-permitting—open up some windows to let in fresh air. You can also use the SoClean Air Purifier to eliminate odors at the source!
If your house is truly in chaos, start small but take some steps in the right direction. The rewards are instantaneous and have long-lasting effects on your health.
- "Allergy to mold - animal dander - dust," University of Florida Health, accessed August 2020.
- "Replacing sedentary time with physical activity: a 15-year follow-up of mortality in a national cohort," Clinical Epidemiology, September 2017.
- "Want to Sleep Better? Make Your Bed," by Salynn Boyles, WebMD, January 2011.
- "The Cost of Clutter in Your Life," by Elizabeth Scott, verywell, June 2020.
- "Cleaning Hit List: What to Disinfect," by Lisa Fields, WebMD, reviewed June 2016.
- "5 Reasons to Make Your Bed Every Day," by Michelle Ullman, The Spruce, updated August 2019.
- "The difference between decluttering and organizing," The Simplicity Habit, accessed August 2020.
- SoClean Device Disinfector.