If you’re a person who loves to keep your space neat and tidy, it won’t surprise you to find that there are some hidden benefits to cleaning. In fact, research shows that a cluttered, dirty space can contribute to higher levels of stress. On top of that, the act of busting out the cleaning supplies and getting down and dirty — and maybe even cranking up your favorite cleaning playlist while you do it — leads to feelings of productivity, which in turn leads to greater feelings of confidence and positivity.
It sounds simple, right? Clean your way to good mental health! Of course, a clean home certainly doesn’t make itself, and we know all too well how taxing your chores can feel. Pushing yourself to get into the groove can be a bit easier if you’re prioritizing chores that give you some therapeutic satisfaction. Here are some examples of some tasks we’ve found surprisingly therapeutic:
- Adios, Fuzz: Lint Brushing —There’s something so enjoyable about a chore that gives you instant results. Lint brushing your clothes and furniture is one of those instant gratification tasks that gives you a deep feeling of satisfaction but also improves your life. You’d be surprised at how quickly lint and other debris can pile up on the surfaces around you, but after a few easy swipes with a lint brush, you’ll realize the night and day difference.
- Sweet Satisfaction: Power Washing the Concrete — If you’re ever looking for a quick way to feel satisfied and relaxed, look up power washing videos on YouTube. The act of using a high-pressure hose to erase dirt and grime from concrete and other surfaces is just too satisfying not to enjoy! These days, you can get electric pressure washers for a surprisingly affordable price, so you don’t have to hire a professional to get this free form of therapy.
- Building a Bond: Brushing Your Pet — For a task that can be beneficial for you, your pet and the surfaces they inhabit, we recommend sitting down for a brushing session. Grooming your furry friend not only helps prevent fur from accumulating all over the house, but also gives you that big-time happiness boost that comes from time spent with animals. If your home has lots of loose fur, break out a portable lint remover and enjoy the satisfaction of deshedding the space surrounding you.
- Neat and Tidy: Sorting Out the Pantry —If you’re the kind of person who can’t stand seeing things out of place, you already know the deep joy of organizing and decluttering your closet and drawers. For some reason, this sensation is extra heightened in the pantry. Spend your time pitching old, expired items and tidying up what’s left. Invest in some pantry riser shelves and lazy Susans to make the most out of your space.
- Soak and Scrub: Washing the Dishes — An oldie but a goodie. Doing the dishes may seem like a drag, but there are ways to help make the activity a more relaxing one. Put on your favorite podcast or an album from your childhood you were thinking about revisiting. You can even place your iPad on the counter and catch up on some of your favorite shows while you wait for the dishes to soak.
- Sleep Satisfaction: Washing Bedding and Making the Bed —It’s crucial to take care of the spaces where you and your family sleep each night. There’s nothing better than falling onto a perfectly made bed after a long, hard day and curling up for a good night’s sleep. Prepare your sleep sanctuary by giving your bedding a wash, complete with your most pleasant-smelling fabric softener.
- Deep-Cleaning: Scrubbing Caked-on Dishes — If you want to get serious about your to-do list, add a few tasks that involve lots of soaking and scrubbing. Dishes are shockingly prone to deceiving messes. What look like permanent marks and caked-on grease can be erased with the right amount of persistence and elbow grease. Like a puzzle or a particularly tough level on your favorite video game, look at the dish at hand as a challenge to conquer!
- Quick Spruce: Tidying Up Your Space —You don’t need to get too serious with your routine to enjoy the therapeutic benefits of cleaning. Every evening, give your home a high-level tidy-up, making sure that countertops, desktops and tables are clear of any clutter. The reality is that clutter will only distract you from your day-to-day tasks and prevent you from feeling happy. Taking the time to neaten up each day will make you feel more positive.
Looking for a deeply rewarding — and free — form of therapy? Any of the above tasks can help you clear the mind and relax, giving you a massive mood boost that will take you through the rest of the week. Note that you should always seek the advice and support of a professional counselor if you have lingering mental health concerns, but doing things to improve yourself and your space is always an excellent first step!