Keeping a clean home has long been ingrained as a societal norm, with newspaper articles from Heloise years ago, to today’s Pinterest checklists and seemingly unending how-to blogs on everything from schedules to speed cleaning to making your own cleaning supplies
Have you ever stepped back and thought – why? Why is dusting, vacuuming, wiping bathrooms, cleaning windows, and shining countertops truly an important thing? Is it really just keeping up appearances? And if not, are there actual, real health benefits to a clean home, or is it just making things look good?
In fact, yes. There are many ways in which a clean home – or not so clean home – can affect your health. Here are 5 ways that a clean home can benefit the health of you and your family:
1 – A Clean, Uncluttered Home Is A Lower Stress Environment
When your home is freshly cleaned and surfaces are clear of unwanted clutter, you might find yourself standing in the middle of the room, looking around with a contented smile.
This “well that looks great” feeling isn’t just a result of feeling accomplished. A 2010 study performed by psychologists at the University of California – Los Angeles showed that those with a more cluttered, messy home exhibited a more depressed mood throughout the day, and a higher level of cortisol throughout, whereas those in more restorative homes felt less depressed throughout the day and had more variable cortisol levels (showing a healthier response to stress.)
2 – Those That Live In Clean, Tidy Homes Tend To Eat Healthier
It seems odd, doesn’t it? But have you noticed that when you feel stressed, you tend to reach for comforting, but terrible for you junk? The stress of mess can actually lead you to make less than healthy food choices. This 2013 study by the University of Minnesota showed that those working in a clean, tidy environment made healthier snack choices than those in cluttered, messy spaces.
The study presented two snack options; those in the messy spaces tended to choose the chocolate bar, and those given a tidy space to work chose apples.
3 – A Clean, Uncluttered Bedroom Can Mean Better Sleep
Sometimes it is hard enough to fall asleep with to-do lists running through your head, and the thoughts of the day cycling through. Add to that visual to-dos of things around the room sitting out that should be away, the dust on the nightstand glinting in the moonlight, and who knows what our imaginations will make of the specks of fluff on the carpet in the dim of night.
The National Sleep Foundation conducted a survey that revealed over 80% of people found it easier to sleep with a clean smelling set of sheets, and a clean room, and simply making your bed in the morning can improve your chances of a good night’s rest the next evening by over 20%.
4 – Consistently Clean And Tidy Spaces Reduce Chances of Infestations
While it is true that field mice, spiders, and other unwanted critters don’t discriminate when it’s cold and wet outside, they’ll try and find somewhere warm and dry regardless – homes that are cleaner and less cluttered are less likely to have these pests stick around.
Rodents and insects are particularly attracted to stray food particles, and find pockets of clutter to be cozy places to nest. Additionally, if your home is cluttered and dirty, you may not be as quick to notice the little messes and smells that these unwanted house guests tend to leave.
This is not only unsightly, but it can also be a respiratory health hazard – insect debris such as roach feces contain allergens well known to cause respiratory problems, and can even trigger asthma in young children.
Field mice that take up residence in many people’s garages, basements, and even walls, can carry rare but deadly diseases like Hantavirus and Bubonic Plague, as well as spread Salmonella. Keeping clutter piles to a minimum, floors and countertops well cleaned, and storing pet food in air-tight containers can reduce your chances of infestations exponentially.
5 – Clean Homes May Experience Fewer Viral illnesses and Allergy Symptoms
So, this point may not be the most surprising of ways a clean and tidy space will keep you healthy, since television ads for cleaning products and information sheets from health departments found particularly around flu season drill the point home – cleaning and disinfecting your home is the most effective way to stop viruses in their tracks. Gastrointestinal and flu “bugs” commonly work their way through schools, offices, and homes – especially in the Midwestern winters.
Keeping crucial areas clean, like bathrooms, kitchens, doorknobs, and so on, as well as proper handwashing can significantly reduce the chances of viral infections spreading through your home – even if someone does bring a bug back from school.
Keeping a clean home also reduces allergens in the home, which may be a huge relief for those that suffer both indoor and outdoor allergies. Pollen, dust, mold spores, pet dander, and hair can accumulate quickly on surfaces, especially carpets. Regular vacuuming and dusting will help allergy sufferers breathe easier, year-round.
While having a clean, tidy space can reduce stress, for many people, deep cleaning and keeping up a consistent level of clean over time can be immensely stressful. Enter Helping Hands cleaning services. If you live in the Chicago area, including the Western or Southern suburbs, we can help. We offer full service, customizable cleaning plans for your residential and commercial needs. Request a quote today from Helping Hands!