This month JAM Organizing presents another informative article from a guest blogger. Enjoy!
Even if you dread cleaning, you can’t deny that it feels good after it's done. However, the benefits of cleaning aren't limited to that glowing feeling of pride you feel when you survey your spotless house. Cleaning and tidying have very real, very tangible effects on our physical and mental health. If you’re committed to taking better care of yourself this year, you should be committed to taking better care of your home.
Clearing the Air
According to the EPA, indoor air pollution is up to five times more concentrated than the air we breathe outside. One of the easiest ways to keep the air in our homes from making us sick is cleaning the house regularly. This especially applies to pollutants like pet dander, mold, and dust.
To get the best effects, you must use the right tools. Many chemical cleaning products can be dangerous to our lungs, so prioritize eco-conscious alternatives made with natural ingredients. Meanwhile, a light cordless vacuum will help you keep dust under control on an ongoing basis, rather than painfully dragging out a heavy and clunky machine once a week. Most newest cordless models are just as powerful — get a good one with a HEPA filter, so you know you’re effectively trapping the allergens.
Making Our Homes Safer
Without regular cleaning and organizing, it's easy for all the stuff in our homes to start getting in the way. This can be very dangerous, especially if you have young children or seniors in your home. According to the CDC, one in five senior falls leads to a serious injury. One of the easiest ways to prevent injury is to keep your house tidy, with clear pathways free of clutter.
Messy, disorganized environments aren’t just difficult to navigate physically — they're difficult to cope with emotionally. Mess causes stress in more ways than one: it overloads our brain with information, it keeps us aware of our endless to-do list, it makes us feel guilty and worried, and it stops us from thinking clearly and creatively.
Messy rooms can also be a sign of depression, especially in someone who is neat and tidy. This can lead to a toxic circle whereby your messy environment and your depression feed into each other. If this happens to you, try these tips to keep your home clean despite the depression.
Adding Physical Activity
Cleaning may not be as much of a workout as a strenuous gym session, but it does boost our physical activity. Physical activity, which is made up of the movements we make as part of our everyday life, is actually more important to our health and well-being than exercising in the “weekly workout” sense. Cleaning involves moving the whole body and even using our muscles, so it’s a great way to keep our body healthy on an ongoing basis. For an added bonus, try listening to music to speed up the tempo and multiply the benefits.
Helping Us Socialize
A messy home can feel like an embarrassment, and it's normal to keep friends at bay when you haven’t been as tidy as you would like. However, if this becomes a habit, you could end up limiting your social life because you're scared of people judging your house. This is a dangerous path since socialization is crucial for good health. Keeping your home continuously clean and tidy means you're always ready for a visit.
Many people think of cleaning and tidying as an unpleasant chore - something you have to do because it’s what you do. However, keeping your house clean is an act of self-care just like exercise and eating well. And the best thing is, like exercise, the more regularly you do it, the less intense it has to be, so an ongoing light cleaning routine can be enough to get you all of these wonderful benefits.
Thanks to Julian Lane from The Fix-It Champ for this month's guest article!
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I'm Jen, a professional organizer ready to help you take charge of your space, free up your time, and lead a more organized life! (Read more about me here)