Did you know that 80% of all people living with a partner experience disagreements about how housework should be done? If you live with a partner yourself, chances are that figure doesn’t surprise you, as we’re all prone to disagreeing about how things should be done. You’d best not let the disagreements distract you from the importance of cleaning, however.
You might be more surprised to know that keeping your house clean contributes to your physical and mental health. The importance of cleaning goes far beyond simply having a home that looks nice: keeping things clean and tidy can be important for your family’s health and well-being, just like owning a water filtration system.
In this article we’ll focus in on all the reasons for the importance of cleaning to your health. Next, we’ll look at a few easy tips for making your home overall more healthy, such as by hiring roofing contractors routinely to prevent mold-causing leaks. To learn about the importance of cleaning and why a clean house is a healthy house, keep reading.
The Importance of Cleaning: Health Benefits of a Clean Home
Before we talk about some ways to improve the health and safety of your home, let’s discuss why cleaning is such an important aspect of home health.
Feel Less Stressed
You probably already know that visual clutter tends to result in mental clutter — being surrounded by messes all the time doesn’t exactly contribute to clear thinking. But you might still underestimate just how significant this mess-induced stress can be.
Doctors recognize that stress is connected a myriad of health conditions. Even by itself, serious and long-lasting stress can significantly decrease your quality of life. And with technology moving the world along faster than ever before, humans are poorly equipped to cope with the stressors of simply enduring everyday life.
For that reason alone, it’s worth doing some serious decluttering to make sure your home is as stress-free as possible. But there’s more: women with messier homes have been found to have higher levels of cortisol than women with clean, neat houses. If you’re not sure what cortisol is, it’s basically the chemical associated with stress. You heard that right: dealing with a messy house all the time is like taking a stress pill every day. Talk about evidence for the importance of cleaning!
To start enjoying a little more peace in your life, begin taking care of those tasks you’ve been putting off. Maybe you have unopened mail piling up on the counter, or a long todo list you keep ignoring. Or maybe you simply need to rethink your storage system for unused baby bedding sets, or the shoes and coats that pile up when your kids come in from outside. Whatever it is, putting some thought and time into decreasing clutter and unfinished business will go a long way towards decreasing stress, which in turn goes a long way towards improving your health.
Be More Active
This one is rather obvious, but it’s well worth pointing out: getting your house clean involves a lot of moving around, and that’s good for your health. Whether you’re on your knees scrubbing floors or just running the vacuum cleaner, if something helps get a little more activity into your day, it’s probably good for you. And during weeks when you’re just too busy to do much exercise, getting some cleaning done can be a great way to help make up for that.
Sure, you might not burn as many calories as a strategic HIIT workout, but any movement at all is better than nothing. In fact, each one the following chores can help you burn 100 calories:
- Washing a sink full of dishes
- Styling your hair for 35 minutes
- Walk around the house during a 35-minute phone call
- Rearrange the furniture in your living room for around 25 minutes
- Cut the grass with a push mower for just 20 minutes
- Clean an entire bathroom
- Vacuum the house for about an hour
You’re probably surprised to learn that some of these tasks will help you burn calories, but it’s true. Give one of them a try today!
Get Sick Less Frequently
This may be the single best reason for the importance of cleaning: a clean house has fewer places for germs and bacteria to hide, which naturally results in better health.
And it’s not just about bacteria. Dust and allergens build up over time in linens, carpets, and furniture that haven’t been thoroughly cleaned in a while, which can irritate allergies and trigger asthma attacks. Finding and drying up spilled liquids and leaking water right away helps prevent mold and mildew from developing, which is absolutely essential for a healthy home. And getting up close and personal with walls, floors, and cabinets in your house will help expose any health hazards, such as leaking pipes, wiring problems, water damage, or pest infestations.
This is perhaps the main reason why regular cleaning is so essential. It certainly could have the biggest impact on your family’s health.
Enjoy Better Sleep
Did you know that simply taking the time to make your bed in the morning can boost your chance of a good night’s sleep by 20%?
And that’s not all that a clean home can do for your sleep. When you go to bed in a messy house with unfinished tasks left on your todo list, it can be hard to fall asleep. All that clutter wears you down and reminds you how much there’s left to do in the morning, which in turn can make getting up on time the next day harder as well.
On the other hand, if you get to walk through a tidy house on your way to bed each evening, you’ll get to look around and see that everything’s been done — or at the very least, you’ll be more comfortable because the house looks nice. Just like the importance of cleaning involves decreasing your stress levels, it makes a difference to your sleep as well.
Make Healthy Choices More Easily
Have you ever noticed how being in a beautiful environment makes you more motivated to take care of yourself and do things well? Or how starting the day off right by getting up on time and exercising seems to help the rest of the day go better? Similarly, when you wake up in a clean house, you might find it easier to make healthy, constructive choices for the rest of the day.
The way you start something tends to be the way you continue doing it. So if you start your morning making your bed and working out in a clean bedroom, you’re more likely to continue that trend by having a healthy breakfast. On the other hand, if you wake up to a mess from the day before, there’s not going to be anything to motivate you to make healthy choices that morning — only a long todo list to look forward to. In moments like that, resisting the temptation to eat an unhealthy breakfast (or skip breakfast altogether) can be harder.
That leads us to another reason for the importance of cleaning: in addition to feeling motivated to eat better, you’ll probably feel more motivated to be productive in other ways as well. Whenever you have a task you’d rather not start, chances are you subconsciously look around the room for something to distract yourself with. Folding an abandoned basket of laundry is surprisingly enjoyable when the alternative is making a dreaded phone call or doing dull paperwork. But when the house is clean, there’s less there to distract you. And since a clean environment decreases feelings of stress as well, you’re even more likely to get focused and get a lot done.
Simple Ways to Make Your Home More Healthy
By now you should understand the importance of cleaning your house when it comes to health. But what are some other ways to keep your home healthy? Keep reading to find out.
Get Your Roof Inspected
Once every year, preferably in the fall, you should hire residential roofers to look over your roof and make sure it’s in good condition. A bad roof can result in mold from undetected water leaks, poorer insulation over the winter, and structural damage that can impact the safety of the entire house.
Once every 20 years, your entire roof will need to be replaced to keep your home safe and sturdy. Building restoration services like these are important for keeping the rain off your head and the mold out of your attic, walls, and cabinets. But until then, routine roof maintenance should involve yearly inspections to make sure there aren’t any problems in the meantime.
Have Indoor Plants
You’ve probably noticed how being surrounded by greenery makes you feel more relaxed and optimistic. But besides helping you feel good, plants absorb carbon dioxide and produce oxygen, so having them inside your house is like owning a natural air freshener. Not only that, but plants are also recognized for removing toxic chemicals from the air. House plants do involve some work, much like owning a pet, but they’re typically very low maintenance, and they’re well worth the effort required. Visit your local plant nursery sometime and see what catches your eye.
Use Low-VOC Products
Countless household products, from interior paint to all of your bathroom cleaners, typically contain volatile organic compounds, or VOCs. These compounds are dangerous both in the short term and the long term, affecting the health of your family and that of the environment. If you need convincing, just look at the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for common name-brand cleaning products.
Fortunately, there are alternative options that are better for your family and the planet. Brands like Seventh Generation produce cleaning products for just about every application that are safer for people, pets, and the environment alike. And the next time you need home builders to repaint some rooms in your house, look for paint that’s listed as being low in VOCs. Besides being better for you, it won’t smell as strong as it dries like normal paint.
Watch Out for Pests
The thought of cockroaches or mice crawling around your house probably makes you cringe, but there’s more to pest problems than mere discomfort. Pests often act as carriers for allergens, which can particularly irritate people with sensitive medical conditions. Fecal matter and shed skin from pests can become airborne, contaminating the air. And this doesn’t even take into account the bacteria on the pests themselves, which can carry infectious diseases.
Fortunately, if you keep your house clean, stay on top of maintenance, and never leave food lying around, a pest infestation is less likely to become a problem for you. But if you start discovering cockroaches in the kitchen or mouse sign in your dresser drawers, it’s probably time to contact your local pest control service. Pest management and animal removal companies know how to deal with creatures of all kinds safely so that your family won’t stay at risk of getting sick from them. If you suspect there may be unwanted guests hiding around your home, it’s a must.
Go Minimalist for Easier Cleaning
You’ve no doubt heard of the minimalist movement, where people deliberately sell or give away their possessions specifically to have less clutter in their homes. Being a minimalist typically involves having simple paintwork and decor in your home — if any decor at all — with a focus on function and simple beauty rather than excess.
Doing without all the stuff most take for granted might not be your thing, but there are still lessons from minimalism that you can apply to your own life. When your house isn’t crowded with knickknacks and elaborate furniture, there are fewer places for dust and pests to hide, and keeping everything clean becomes a thousand times easier. Fewer things also mean fewer tripping hazards. And in a minimalist, simply-designed space, staying focused on what needs to be done becomes much easier, just because there’s so little to distract you.
The minimalist lifestyle might not be for everybody, but you may feel inspired to make a few rooms of your house “minimalist rooms” so you can get the occasional benefits of minimalism without committing your whole life and home to it.
Have Your HVAC System Inspected Early
Have you ever made it into the warm summer months, only to turn on your air conditioner one day and find that it isn’t working? Chances are you weren’t able to get a repairman out to fix it right away because every air conditioning service is busiest right as summer starts.
Sitting in the heat or cold isn’t comfortable for your family, and it isn’t healthy either. So from now on, make it a point to remember to have your heater or air conditioner inspected early in the fall and spring, well before you really need them. It’s easier to get HVAC maintenance contractors to visit on your schedule during these less busy times, and it will ensure that you don’t get into the heat or cold without the climate control your family needs.
And there you have it: whether you’re decluttering or drain cleaning, these are some of the biggest reasons for the importance of cleaning, as well as some ways to make your home healthier. Happy cleaning!