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Productive, Happy and Healthy

The Benefits of a Clean and Orderly Home

Most people see cleaning and keeping the house picked up as a pain in the neck, a chore to be put off as long as possible. But there's something about a nice clean living space that makes you feel content and in control of your space as well as your life. There are other benefits as well. Cleaning, decluttering and organizing your home can improve your mood, your relationships, and even aid your attempts to lose weight. Knowing that you've reduced the toxins and allergens in your living space also improves your ability to relax. Cleaning is a great way to give yourself and your family a definite health boost.

Stress reliever
Have you ever gotten home from a lousy day at work only to be greeted by a pile of dirty dishes in the sink and hours of laundry to do? Basically, you've just gone from one stressful situation into another. Recent studies have revealed that women who identified their homes as marked by "unfinished projects" and clutter were more depressed and fatigued and showed higher levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, than subjects who described their homes as mentally replenishing and "restful." When your home is a constant source of household chores, your cortisol levels tend to stay at an elevated level, which can affect other aspects of your health, including sleep patterns and sense of well-being. Do yourself a favor and set time aside each day to create a clean and mentally restorative living space.

Diet motivator
A clean home has been known to motivate people to make healthier dietary choices. An orderly house makes it easier and more convenient to invest the time in cooking healthy, balanced meals rather than reaching for something easy that doesn't take much time to prepare. Clutter is a source of stress for the brain. It leaves you feeling like you don't have things under control, which inclines people to seek out sources of comfort like familiar snack foods with little or no nutritional value.

More productive
Clutter is known to overload your sensory perceptivity and make it difficult to concentrate on what you're doing, especially if it's something detailed like work or studying for a test. A cluttered space is a major distraction that inhibits productivity and may incline you to avoid work that needs your attention. Getting things done means more "you" time. Taking the time to declutter your living and work space will make you happier and feeling more useful and successful.

Relationships
Relationships can be stressful enough without the added stimulus of a dirty and disorganized living environment. It's a major source of friction among couples, and can lead to finger-pointing and hurtful value judgments being thrown back and forth. Remove this potentially damaging source of stress from your relationship by dividing the housework and assigning cleaning responsibilities. A tidy home can be a source of pride for couples, and leave you feeling more comfortable about inviting friends over for dinner or informal get-togethers.

Organization
An organized home is one in which you and loved ones are comfortable and at-ease. Restful sleep, well-balanced meals, productivity and overall happiness are some of the positive byproducts of cleaning and decluttering. It's not anyone's definition of a good time but it doesn't have to be drudgery. Establish a daily routine so things don't get away from you and become overwhelming. Compare 20 minutes a day of cleaning and organizing with losing an entire day to get caught up if you let everything get out of control.

Getting rid of as much clutter as possible is a good first step, so separate and throw out or give away anything you don't love and don't absolutely need. You might be surprised at how much more enjoyable even simple household activities are in a well-ordered home. If you're finding it difficult to maintain a high level of tidiness, consider hiring a professional organizer to help keep everything in order. The average cost of hiring an organizer is between $312 and $505. Think of cleaning and decluttering as an investment in your happiness and sense of well-being. You feel better in general and more optimistic about your life. Take the few minutes each day it takes to keep everything picked up and orderly.

Author

Monica Smith

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