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Why Spring Cleaning Is Good for Your Health

Four health benefits of spring cleaning.

Key points

  • Cleaning gives people a sense of mastery and control over their environment, decreasing stress and improving productivity.
  • Research shows that every hour of cleaning one does each week is associated with a 53% boost in happiness.
  • Cleaning tasks such as vacuuming, ironing, and gardening can burn up to 150-300 calories an hour.

As flowers start to bud up again and new leaves start to grow back onto what appeared to be dead trees, I am excited about the spring. Spring has always represented a time to start brand new, and if Mother Nature knows it's time for a fresh start, maybe this is a hint we should do the same.

It is a tradition in my neighborhood to have an annual garage sale in the spring and since we have not participated in a couple of years, I thought it would be good to do it this year and get some spring cleaning done.

In preparing for the garage sale, we cleaned out a lot of cabinets in the kitchen and in the bedroom closets. There were many old toys that weren't used and old gadgets that over the years just got piled away underneath stuff never to be seen again. I started this exercise myself in the kitchen and then decided to get everybody involved. I had the kids go through their toys and their closets and I had my husband go through the garage. It became a family affair. By the time I was done decluttering the house, I felt a sense of relief and cleanliness. Not just in the house because I could actually see my cabinets now, but surprisingly it was a sense of cleanliness in my life.

I noticed that this once daunting task was actually quite enjoyable, and I figured out why this may be. One of the reasons was that I was able to do this with my family. I also felt like when doing this I had a sense of purpose, and I knew I was selling good items for way less to people who may want them and want to reuse them. Lastly, in the event items didn't sell, my husband and I decided that we would just leave them out and give them away to whoever came and picked them up, so I was also doing some good.

Other health benefits of spring cleaning

  1. Helps you refresh. Even if it’s physical stuff you’re removing, imagine that you’re also getting rid of negativity, past regrets, and anything else that’s causing you a sense of mental clutter. Clearing out our junk raises our self-esteem and shifts our energy so we are open to change and are in a better "space" to move forward.
  2. Cleaning can make you happier. Leading psychological research has correlated clutter with stress and anxiety and discovered that housekeeping has a positive benefit on your mental health. Research showed that every hour of cleaning you do each week is associated with a 53% boost in happiness.
  3. A calorie burn. Individual cleaning tasks such as vacuuming, ironing, and gardening are physical activities that can burn between 150 and 300 calories an hour. Decluttering can add up to real exercise.
  4. Better focus and less stress. A study by the Princeton Neuroscience Institute discovered that in disorganized spaces, people are more stressed, distracted, and less productive. Clutter can be visually distracting, and serve as a nagging reminder of tasks and chores undone, whereas cleaning gives people a sense of mastery and control over their environment.


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