Spring is in the air at last, and there’s no better time to clean your house or apartment, declutter your living space, and organize your life than now. While some of us dive head first into spring cleaning, others may view it as a time-consuming hassle. If you’re in the latter camp, try reframing household chores in your mind this spring. Did you know that cleaning your home is good exercise and is great for your mind and body?
Let’s check out the wellness benefits of sprucing up your place. You gain much more than shiny mirrors and spotless floors when you spend time deep-cleaning your home (although those are always nice too!).
- The Benefits of Home Cleaning: Preventing Spring Allergies and More
- Going Green When You Clean
- Cleaning Up for Your Mind and Body
- Spring Forward to a Better You
The Benefits of Home Cleaning: Preventing Spring Allergies and More
Not only does taking good care of your place make it look gorgeous, it also helps keep you healthier and happier. If you have spring allergies, for example, cleaning your windowsills and dusting your furniture can cut down on the amount of pollen in your living space. You should change your sheets one a week and vacuum twice a week during peak allergy season. Wear a mask while you clean to keep the allergens out of your nose and mouth. (I know you have masks handy these days!)
Having a clean home is also great for your mental and emotional wellness. Eliminating clutter and organizing your space can be beneficial in staving off depression and improving your focus. The relationship between cleaning and mental health is well known; tidying up is great for knocking out stress, anxiety, and restlessness. The next time you need to clear your mind or achieve a greater state of calm, try doing the dishes or the laundry.
And yes, cleaning is good for your body as well as your mind. You can count deep cleaning as part of your daily exercise. Try playing some upbeat music to encourage you to work faster, which will toast more calories. When you need to bend over, try squatting and engaging your core and thighs instead of bending from the waist. Some experts believe you could burn up to around 150 calories in a vigorous thirty-minute cleaning session. It isn’t enough to replace your regular fitness routine, but it’s certainly a great addition to it!
Going Green When You Clean
Cleaning can be beneficial for your mind and body, without being harmful to the earth. Cleaning is much more pleasant when you’re not up to your elbows in smelly commercial products that contain potentially harmful ingredients. Ammonia, for example, is an effective degreasing agent and doesn’t leave streaks on your glass, but its scent is strong and unpleasant. While it’s safe to use in small amounts in well-ventilated areas, it can irritate your skin, eyes, and lungs. Ammonia is useful for some household chores, but almost no one would describe the smell as soothing or refreshing.
This spring, treat yourself to greener and safer alternatives from brands like Method, Mrs. Meyer’s, and Seventh Generation. Many of their offerings are lightly and pleasantly scented, like Method’s all-purpose cleaner in honeycrisp apple or Mrs. Meyer’s household products in lemon verbena. Using plant-based natural cleaning products allows you to enjoy some nice aromatherapy benefits while avoiding exposure to more toxic chemicals. In addition, though harsh cleaning agents are sometimes necessary, greener alternatives are better for your environmental health in many situations. And if you’re expecting company, these products will make your house or apartment smell great!
Cleaning Up for Your Mind and Body
Spring cleaning need not be limited to your living space. Once your home is looking sparkling clean and organized, keep the momentum going by tidying up other parts of your life. For example, if you’ve recently cleaned out your refrigerator and cabinets, think about the items you tossed. Did they expire because you forgot about them or because you deliberately avoided them? If it’s the former, these spaces could probably use more effective organization. If it’s the latter, you may want to reconsider your grocery-shopping habits. Even the healthiest foods are of no use if you can’t bring yourself to eat them. What could you buy in place of the discarded food that you’d be more likely to eat? What kinds of healthy eating choices can you commit to in the long term?
Likewise, when you’re cleaning out your bedroom dresser and closet, take a good look at your workout clothing. If it doesn’t motivate you to exercise, it isn’t serving you any longer. You can donate items that are still wearable to clothing charity bins or pass them on to friends. If you have clothing that’s too worn for the donation pile, drop it off at your local textile recycling center rather than throwing it in the trash. Keep only the athletic wear that makes you excited to get moving—or treat yourself to a new exercise wardrobe. Anything that inspires you to hit the ground running is well worth the investment.
Speaking of your fitness routine, is it possible that it needs some spring cleaning, too? If your exercise regimen isn’t giving you the results you’re after, it could be time to try something new. If you’re used to exercising indoors, try heading outside for power walking, jogging, or running. (Note: If you experience seasonal allergies, like I mentioned earlier, you should wash your hair after exercising outdoors, especially before sleeping. Pollen can cling to your hair.) Use one of the many available streaming services to try a live or prerecorded workout—most offer a free trial period before you’re obligated to purchase. You may enjoy dance, HIIT, yoga, Pilates, or barre work. When thirty to sixty minutes of exercise leaves you feeling energized, satisfied, and a little tired, you know you’ve found a winning routine.
Spring Forward to a Better You
Spring is the perfect opportunity for you to clean up your home and your life—and to toss anything that isn’t serving you any more. As you sweep, scrub, and scour, take some time to evaluate what’s working for you and what isn’t. Eliminating anything you don’t need, from the junk-mail pile in your kitchen to a boring exercise routine, will help you live your best life. Use this time to achieve a cleaner, more organized home and a healthier, happier you.
Enjoy your spring!