Why Cleaning Can Be Therapeutic

Cleaning’s just a chore that you have to do again and again, right? No wonder so many people want to hand the whole lot over to a professional house cleaner and only the bare minimum of scrubbing and polishing. After all, who cares if….

Stop that right there. Cleaning is important, and it goes well beyond just the basics of hygiene. This isn’t to say that hygiene isn’t important. Cleaning kitchen surfaces, refrigerators and eating utensils is vital for preventing a nasty bout of food poisoning. Regular vacuuming and carpet cleaning help to prevent fleas, while chores such as sweeping and dusting also remove the food that various vermin such as asthma-causing dust mites, and disease bearing mice and flies love to eat. So cleaning is vital for your health.

But there’s more to cleaning that. Clean is good for the body and the soul.

Firstly, the body. Cleaning gives you a light workout that is easy on the joints. Let’s face it: what is a workout apart from a series of repetitive movements? You’ll get good repetitive movements if you’re scrubbing a floor, dusting a shelf (a nice, long stretch there) or even cleaning the loo. This writer once read a delightful book where the writers – who were professional dancers – turned their housecleaning chores into dance moves, doing things like buffing floors after applying the polish wearing thick socks on their feet and shimmying around the floor. Presumably, they had special socks kept for the purpose of polishing, as polish can be hard to get out of socks.

Instead of groaning about all the effort the next time you are faced with a tough cleaning job, how about changing your thinking and looking on the hard work as a chance to exercise – and at a fraction of the cost of going to the gym.
Now for the soul. First, cleaning can be quite soothing, as you can bring order out of chaos and reveal the beauty hidden under layers of dirt, grime and neglect. Many people have spoken about the cleansing effect of decluttering or cleaning out storage spaces. Often, the physical act of throwing out old garbage can help us “throw out” a lot of mental or emotional garbage at the same time. The order and beauty won’t last long – after all, entropy and descent into chaos and decay are part of this universe we live in – but they are very satisfying, all the same.

Secondly, a clean home is very aesthetically pleasing, and having beautiful surroundings is a sure-fire way to beat stress and calm down. Don’t forget that aesthetics should be about all the senses. Yes, your home should be clean from grime and dirt, and obvious mess should be tidied away. However, don’t forget your other senses. Cleaning should leave your home smelling nice and feeling nice. This is where making your own natural cleaning products is very important, as these give you nice smells (in the form of essential oils) as opposed to the awful fake scents in commercial cleaning products that are quite bad for your body.

So – no more excuses. Get out your soapy water, scrubbing brushes, vacuum cleaner and cleaning rags; switch on the music and enjoy the job of cleaning!

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