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6 Ways that Cleaning Can Alleviate Stress

Cleaning As A Stress Reliever? You Bet!

By

Updated July 03, 2014

Woman cleaning vases on shelf
Mark de Leeuw/Getty Images

After a long day at the office, the first thing you want to do is come home and clean the house, right? If your answer is no, don’t worry. Many people associate cleaning more with drudgery than relaxation, but 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 cleaning efforts. Either way, the following information may just make you want to start cleaning the next time you feel stressed.

Cleaning Provides Relief From Clutter

Let’s face it: Clutter can be stressful. Walking into a home that has piles of paper on every surface, stacks of laundry needing to be put away, and random items strewn on the floor feels different than walking into a model home. It’s a difference you can feel viscerally. While most of us want that neat, ordered home environment, far too many of us live in cluttered surroundings that cause us stress. (According to a poll on this site, less than 10% of respondents 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.)
Learn more about the effects of clutter, and how to eliminate clutter for good.

 

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 And Gratitude

When your home is dirty or messy, you fully appreciate it. I’ve had many readers say that they actually avoid going home because it’s a stressful place -- not the haven from stress that it should be. 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.
Read more about gratitude.

 

Mindfulness

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 in itself. If you incorporate mindfulness into your cleaning, the work can actually be a form of meditation, leaving you more relaxed after you finish.
Read more about the benefits of mindfulness and mindfulness exercises.

 

Music

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 dance music as you clean, and you may actually work faster and be done sooner.
Read about the benefits of music therapy for stress relief.

 

Physical Activity

The act of cleaning, if 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.
Read about the benefits of exercise for stress relief.

Does cleaning still feel a little overwhelming? Here are some simple tips on how to declutter. Enjoy!

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