Spring cleaning is a timely trademark of starting anew. For those who dread the elbow grease and back breaking work that can come with cleaning, think of the benefits of a clear space.
Evidence has shown that mess causes stress. Research from Princeton University’s Neuroscience Institute divided study participants into two work spaces: one cluttered and one clean. It found that those people working in the organized room were more productive, focused, and better able to process information. The physical clutter in the disorganized room meant there was mental clutter in the mind. The more there was to look at, the more distracted participants were.
Here are some tips on how you can create your very own stress free space this spring.
Keep It Minimal
Non-essential items in our line of vision can serve as stressors and distractors. Rearrange your spaces to store items in cupboards, closets, and anywhere else out of sight.
Or even better, get rid of stuff all together.
Getting rid of our belongings is a liberating experience. The blog “Becoming Minimalist” argues in favor of de-owning over de-cluttering. People are happier and freer to make decisions when they have less material items. Not only that, but there is satisfaction in knowing items you re-sell or donate are going to someone who needs and appreciates them.
Make Comfort a Priority
A clean space doesn’t always have to be the most attractive one. While it may look better because you have less clutter splayed about, the number one priority of creating a stress free space should be comfort.
Be mindful of that as you lay out your space. Don’t toss that cuddly throw blanket under your bed just because you want your couch clear. If it makes you happy and comfortable then it’s good for your stress levels.
Choose Your Lighting
Spring cleaning can involve dragging out the ladder to replace light bulbs burnt out during winter darkness. Instead of reaching for the same old incandescent light bulb, consider the kind of mood you want in a room.
Lighting plans aren’t just for Martha Stewart worthy rooms. Bulbs that emit blue light are better for working and daytime use, and warm, incandescent bulbs are better for creating a calm and stress free environment. There are so many lighting options to choose from: Elle Decor has some good tips on picking a lightbulb that will work for your stress free space and your wallet.
Clean as You Go
This can be the ideal spring cleaning solution for those who hate the prospect of cleaning. Rather than hunkering down one weekend and spending hours doing the job, try picking up, spraying, and washing right away. Notice a toothpaste smear on the bathroom vanity? Give it a quick wipe. See dishes piling on the counter? Make an effort to wash them after each meal.
Breaking the larger task of spring cleaning into several mini tasks will mean the entire job seems less daunting and mentally exhausting. Plus a little cleaning burst can be a good stress remover in and of itself.
Don’t Forget to Clean Outside
Your first impression of a house is gained from outside. If you live in a standalone home, spring cleaning may involve a tidying up of the yard and garden. If you’re in an apartment, maybe you want to replant the herbs and flower pots sitting on your balcony. You don’t have to have a green thumb, try to appreciate the Feng Shui of a tidy home exterior.
Dedicate some spring cleaning time to the outer parts of your house. That way you feel soothed by the cleanliness and organization of your home before you even enter the front door. Plus time outside has been shown to reduce stress levels.
We hope these tips provide some motivation that will make spring cleaning season a little less scary. Remember to relax at regular intervals. You deserve it!