- Experts say doing a thorough spring-cleaning of your home has several health benefits.
- For starters, a clean home can strengthen your immune system and help you avoid illnesses.
- A decluttered house can also reduce stress and depression as well as help avoid injuries.
Spring-cleaning this year has taken on more importance than merely starting the renovation season with a clean, decluttered space.
Many communities are already stemming the outbreak of COVID-19 by upgrading their hygiene and cleaning regimens—and spending more time in their homes.
Cleaning and organizing the space you spend most of your time in can keep your immune system healthy, boost your mood, and offer a task that promotes focus and reflection during a trying time.
“When we envision spring-cleaning as a time to rejuvenate our inner and outer world, the cleanup process can be incredibly enlivening rather than being a tiresome chore,” Carla Marie Manly, PhD, a clinical psychologist, told Healthline.
Here are five ways you can benefit from spring-cleaning this year and expert guidance on what tasks to prioritize.
1. Strengthen your immune system
The blossoming of plants outdoors is a celebration of renewal—seasonal allergies, that is,
Beyond keeping allergies in check, a clean house can help you breathe better by preventing respiratory problems and promoting a healthy immune system.
“Dust, mold, mildew, pet dander, and other things like this can be immune system triggers for people prone to allergies. When your house isn’t clean, it can gather pollutants — especially during the winter months,” Dr Adrian Cotton, chief of medical operations at Loma Linda University Health in California, told Healthline.
How to clean for immune health
While you should aim to clean regularly to avoid immune system triggers, spring-cleaning may be an opportunity for deep-cleaning, according to Wendy Bazilian, DrPH, RD, a public health and nutrition expert. “Dust the legs of the furniture, the tops of the frames and mirrors, the tops of the lamps and lights, the baseboard floors, the railings and the window sills that may be more out of reach,” she said.
To remove Dust and keep the air cleaner, vacuum all rugs, floors, carpets, ceiling cobwebs, and curtains well.
Wash all of the sheets and bedding. Place the pillows in a high-heat dryer for 10 minutes to remove any dust mites.
To avoid bringing dirt and Dust from the outdoors in your house, take off your shoes at the entrance.
2. Decrease stress and depression
Whether you’re temporarily stuck indoors, work from home, or have a tough time getting to sleep, your mental health can benefit from keeping your space tidy.
“You may very well find you think, feel, and sleep better with a clean, less cluttered space. Also, the process of sorting through items, reorganizing, and getting rid of the excess by tossing, donating, or recycling them can be mentally refreshing and liberating,” Bazilian told Healthline.
StudiesTrusted Source has found that a relaxing and clutter-free home positively affects people’s daily mood and ability to focus Trusted Source.
“When we clear clutter, it has the potential to clear our mental space and attention span,” noted Tricia Wolanin, PsyD, a clinical psychologist and organizing expert.
“I have had many clients mention that if there is a mess within the home, they will continue to ruminate on the disarray that needs to be sorted versus focusing on a conversation or concentrating on anything else. When they clean their house, it begins to minimize their stress and sleep issues,” Wolanin told Healthline.
How to declutter for mental health
Don’t just pile up your magazines or cover unworn clothes under your bed. Clothes, toiletries, and paperwork are sorted. Get rid of things that do not serve you anymore, Wolanin says, to make way for something that offers pleasure and joy.
Keep just necessities on your bedside table, says Bazilian, to encourage good sleep and relaxation.
As a way to de-stress, support cleaning itself. “Cleaning can provide an opportunity to practice being aware of the tasks you perform, fostering a positive attitude and a clear mindset,” said Cotton.
It would help if you turned to professionals in tough times who understand and help improve your mental well-being. There we are for you.
3. Prevent illness
It will help you prevent disease and mitigate the spread of viruses and bacteria by cleaning items that you touch a lot or many people also use.
It should also be a priority in the home to thwart foodborne illness.
“Now [with coronavirus concerns] there is a more constant patrol to keep things clean, but it is also a great thing to tackle all those major contact points and deep-clean during spring,” Bazilian said.
“Keeping surfaces and sinks and items such as cutting boards clean can improve food safety, which helps minimize foodborne symptoms or illness,” she said.
How to clean to prevent illness
“Clean the items you use most, or items that could come in contact with your mouth, eyes, or nose. That may include your cellphone, keyboard, bedding, and towels,” Cotton said, adding that to protect against the novel coronavirus, sanitize surfaces with alcohol-based cleaners.
“It is important to tackle several different kitchen areas, such as the fridge and freezer, pantry, counters, and cupboards. It can be overwhelming to do all at once, so schedule each task separately for a deeper cleaning,” Bazilian said.
Every day, deep-clean the sink, as it can harbour more bacteria than a toilet.
To prevent foodborne diseases and promote good health, wash all your goods.
Clean toilets and other areas that are more often shared with family members.
4. More healthy eating, physical activity
For an active life and balanced food choices, your physical home will set you up or make it more challenging to travel and adhere to nutritious meals.
Research indicates a connection between maintaining a clean home and being involved and selecting healthy choices for food.
Spring-cleaning will inspire us to reset or pursue a healthy lifestyle, as well. When we clear out in the physical realm, it can inspire to begin to cut out what no longer serves us, such as unhealthy relationships, or our relationship to food, technology, or other substances.
How to organize for healthy habits
You are cooking by sharpening knives, tidying your spice shelf, and arranging pots, pans, and utensils more attractive.
Store nutritious foods in transparent containers at eye level, and bring unhealthy foods out of sight.
Donate exercise clothes you seldom wear and arrange your favourite active clothing for quick access in a separate cabinet.
Open windows every day to circulate fresh air in and stale air out, Bazilian recommends.
5. Reduce the risk of injury
More than 1 in 4 people over 65 falls each year, leading to 3 million emergency room visits. For this age group, falls are the leading cause of injury-related death at Trusted Source.
Spring is a perfect time to make improvements to your house, or the home of an older adult, to decrease the chance of falls.
A clean home helps prevent injuries like slips, trips, bumps, and falls. Having a clear path and removing obstacles in the form of backpacks, purses, shoes, sports equipment, or shopping bags and more can help reduce the risk of accidents.
How to clean for a safe home
Prioritize the removal of clutter from roads, halls, and stairways.
Stable rugs and, like loose floorboards, repair any other tripping hazards.
For even the spriest of us, cords are a severe tripping threat. To eliminate the possibility of tripping on one, tack cords to baseboards, or reroute them along the wall.