The days are getting longer, warmer and brighter: you know what that means. Time for a spring clean!
Spring is a time often associated with growth and new beginnings, and traditionally the perfect opportunity to throw open the windows and scrub away all the leftover residue of winter (think ash and soot marks from old-timey fireplaces).
But a good old fashioned clean isn’t just good for your house… research shows it’s also good for your mind.
The results of this study suggest that impressions of the home environment may inform everyday health, especially for women. Those who described their homes as messy or disorderly displayed flatter diurnal slopes of cortisol, an indicator often associated with depression and poor coping skills.
Despite advances in gender equality and an increasing share of housework between men and women, females may be especially more likely to find their home surrounds stressful and demanding instead of soothing.
The findings suggest that women may be more sensitive to the home environment, or feel a greater sense of responsibility about the home (like guiltiness about piles of clutter, or that one cupboard that should never ever be opened for fear of an avalanche of stuff).
When coming home from work/school means noticing piles of clutter and things to do, it’s not surprising that ratings of depressed mood increases from morning to night. Women who see their home as a source of demands (like needing to clean the kitchen, fold the washing, sweep the floors etc.) might have more difficulty relaxing and unwinding at the end of the day.
By focusing on features of the home that are restful or incorporate nature we may ease the transition from work to home. And the best place to start is a good old spring clean.
Here are our top tips!
1. Start by making your bed
That way if you get tired halfway through, you can take a quick nap (jks… but not really). It’s amazing the difference a pretty bed can make to your room, and also provides a neat flat surface to spread things on while you’re sorting through stuff.
2. Let the breeze in
Take advantage of the warmer weather by throwing open all the windows and airing out the house. You could even light a scented candle or stick of incense to help cleanse your space.
3. Turn the music UP
Because seriously, who doesn’t like to pretend the broom/vacuum/mop is a microphone stand? There’s nothing like singing at the top of your lungs to help speed along a good cleaning sesh.
4. Make your own cleaning products
Trust us, you don’t need to spend squillions of your hard-earned cash on chemical-filled cleaning products – all you need is some baking soda, liquid soap, vinegar and hot water to make these three basic cleaners.
5. Get dusty
It goes without saying, but start from the top and work your way to the bottom when it comes to dusting and wiping down surfaces. Leave the floor until very last!
6. Donate your things
Didn’t wear that jacket all winter? Forgot you even owned that scarf? Just downright don’t like those shoes? Send them on to a deserving recipient! We support the Dress for Success program – if you have gently-used professional attire that you no longer want, drop them off at the Better Life Centre (169 Kelvin Grove Road, Kelvin Grove) this month and we’ll forward them for you.
7. Rearrange your stuff
Mark this momentous occasion by shifting one, some or even all your furniture around. It’ll give you a fresh perspective of the room (and maybe even your life!)
8. Take note of what you’ve got
Now that you’ve gone through everything you own, you can start to build an inventory of you already own. There’s plenty of great apps to keep track of your clothing and other possessions, or you could keep a note on your phone or in your planner – whatever works best for you.
Happy spring cleaning!