If you’ve spent the past few months binge-watching Tidying Up on Netflix, you may be feeling inspired to “Kondo” your whole home. And spring is the perfect time to get rid of clutter — like your old DVD collection or those clothes that haven’t been in style since 2013 — and take care of all the scrubbing, sweeping, and dusting that you’ve put off all winter.
Need some motivation to get started? A clean and organized home can have a positive impact on your overall wellbeing — including mental, physical, financial, emotional, spiritual, and social health, says Cynthia Kienzle, organization expert and founder of The Clutter Whisperer of NYC. Here are some of the healthy benefits of spring cleaning.
1. Cleaning may help to relieve stress.
A cluttered home has been linked to increased stress levels — after all, who can relax when there’s a stack of old pizza boxes next to the trash can or three weeks’ worth of mail on the kitchen counter? Clear the clutter, and you might notice you feel calmer.
2. Cleaning burns (a few) calories.
Okay, so it’s not exactly a high-intensity workout — but it’s better than sitting on the couch. According to the Calorie Control Council, a 150-pound person can burn 205 calories while doing one hour of housecleaning.
3. A clean kitchen might improve your eating habits.
A disorganized pantry can “prevent you from cooking or eating properly,” warns Kienzle, which could impact your ability to maintain your nutrition goals. Toss anything that’s expired, and tidy up your kitchen cabinets so your healthy staples are within easy reach.
4. A clean bedroom could help you sleep better.
A National Sleep Foundation survey found people who made their beds every day were 19 percent more likely to report getting a good night’s sleep, and 66 percent of respondents said a clean bedroom was important for their sleep quality.
5. Cleaning can help to reduce allergens.
According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, more than 20 million Americans are allergic to dust mites, so it may be time to toss that box of old books collecting dust in your closet.
6. Cleaning may boost your mood.
Kienzle says a tidy home can improve your mental wellbeing — one study found that women who described their home as cluttered or unfinished were more likely to report a depressed mood during the day.
7. Cleaning can improve your focus.
Studies show that too much visual stimuli — you know, like the empty coffee cups on your desk or the sticky notes framing your computer monitor — can cause the brain to feel like it’s multitasking, which pulls focus from the task at hand. “It almost goes without saying that if you’re organized at home, your mind will become more organized,” says Kienzle.
Feeling overwhelmed by the task of spring cleaning? “Don’t tackle everything at once,” Kienzle says. “First, choose your target area – shoes and bags in a closet, children’s toys, kitchen pantry. Then purge and organize. Then clean.” You’ll be reaping those healthy benefits in no time!