CLEVELAND — Spring cleaning has psychological benefits, can boost immune systems, and help personal relationships.
What You Need To Know
- The time for spring cleaning is here
- Cleveland Clinic Psychologist Dr. Susan Albers said there are multiple benefits to spring cleaning
- She said it has psychological benefits, can boost immune systems, and help personal relationships
Cleveland Clinic Psychologist Dr. Susan Albers said if someone has a plan, it will work wonders for stress levels and mental health.
"Spring cleaning can be like a magic wand to our mental health,” she said. “Psychological studies have shown that it helps to increase our energy level, make us feel more focused, productive, happier, and can decrease our stress level by about 70%.”
Clutter doesn’t cause depression and anxiety, but it can exacerbate it.
“When we walk into a room that feels cluttered or like a tornado hit it, our brain clicks into overdrive,” Dr. Albers said. “Our visual cortex starts to scan the environment, to figure out what's going on in the room, and it becomes very taxing and overloaded. In contrast to when we walk into a room that is decluttered, our brain relaxes and says, ah.”
Spring cleaning is also is a great way to get in exercise and movement.
"When you are scrubbing or vacuuming, you get the same benefits that you would if you were riding a bike, or taking a walk,” she said. “Your body releases those endorphins and serotonin, which makes you feel good, and it helps to reduce your cortisol level.”
Dr. Albers said cleaning and organizing is also great for relationships.
“Nothing sparks a conflict more than clutter or a mess; particularly when significant others have different levels of tolerance of messes,” she said. “It can be helpful to talk with your family about which are the most important areas to tackle, as a family.”
To start, tackle the common areas of the home like the kitchen or the living room, and move to the concealed areas like closets and drawers later.
Dr. Albers said to be realistic about what can be accomplished. Get a calendar and write out one task each day. If someone bites off more than they can chew, it may add to their stress level rather than reduce it.