Cleaning up

Decluttering daily life for spring is beneficial


New York State Office of General Services

Spring cleaning is when people thoroughly clean in the springtime. In many cultures, annual cleaning occurs at the end of the year, which may be in spring or winter, depending on the calendar.

In everyday life, people are surrounded by mess and clutter. There is a popular time during the year when people decide to clean all of the things that they have been avoiding. Spring cleaning allows people to declutter their life in different ways and get a fresh start for the approaching warm seasons. Although many dislike the idea of spring cleaning, it is surprisingly beneficial and important for health reasons, including mental just as much as physical reasons.

Maintaining cleanliness at home is an essential part of healthy living because it is  cleanliness that will help people feel good externally and internally. Benefits range from physical activity to simply feeling good in one’s own space.

Regular exercise can lower the risk for the development of many chronic illnesses including heart disease. Even low-intensity physical activities like household chores come with heart-healthy benefits. Alongside helping one’s heart stay healthy, spring cleaning is also constructive because it can result in a night of better sleep and reduces stress.  A poll conducted by The National Sleep Foundation found that 75% of those polled sleep better on clean sheets that have been freshly washed. So, people having trouble sleeping at night could possibly try to put on fresh sheets and clear the clutter from their bedroom. 

Sleeping and simply just functioning in a clean environment can improve one’s mood and make one feel accomplished. While not everyone loves the process of cleaning, the end result can leave most feeling extremely satisfied. A neat, tidy and fresh-smelling home can naturally boost endorphins in the brain and improve energy levels. 

If people do not clean their homes at least once a year, not only can mental health issues arise, but physical safety hazards can as well. Over the isolated winter months, dust and allergens build up and need to be taken care of. A thorough spring cleaning is crucial to making sure one’s home’s air is healthy to breathe. It may not only be pollen that is responsible for those sneezing fits for someone who suffers from seasonal allergies. Dust, mildew, mold, pet dander and even bugs can be big immune system triggers for people prone to allergies. Cluttered homes tend to gather a lot of these pollutants during the winter months. 

Once again, people often do not spring clean because they want to but because the positives do outweigh the negatives. Setting a healthy habit is always favorable, especially habits that can help people get de-stressed, organized, active and most importantly get in a good space mentally. Cleaning one’s environment and feeling more organized at home can help to naturally play into “cleaning up” other aspects of daily life including diets, exercise routines and sleep habits.

Spring cleaning is often targeted at people cleaning their actual houses, cars, yards and such, but it doesn’t just have to be about people’s physical spaces. People can also start a workout routine or plan a get-together with friends. Spring is a time of renewal, so what better time is there to switch things up?