Can a Clean House Fight the Winter Blues?


Winter: for those with seasonal affective disorder, this time of year can feel like a march of endless gloom. And when you live in Columbus, Ohio, the sleet and ice storms don't help improve anyone's mood. But unless you're going to pack up and move south of the Equator, there's not much you can do to escape winter in the Midwest.

There are several things you can do to take the edge off. Some people find light therapy to be helpful; others find solace in a packed social calendar. But any way you cut it, you're bound to spend more time in your Columbus home during the winter than the rest of the seasons. And that means a cluttered, dirty house can only stand to exacerbate stress and self-defeat.

Don't believe us? Let's take a look at some research that shows just how powerful an effect clutter and disarray can have on your mental health.

Cleanliness Is Next to Sanity: Reasons to Sweep Away Your Sorrows

According to Psychology Today, clutter can…

  1. Create feelings of guilt and embarrassment.
  2. Stir up feelings of anxiety.
  3. Bombard the senses with excessive stimuli.
  4. Be a constant distraction and inhibit productivity.
  5. Signal that your to-do list is far from done.

Do any of these situations sound enticing to you? A never-ending to-do list? Feelings of shame every time you look around your living room? If the winter gets you down, a cluttered and dirty house isn't going to do much to lift your spirits.

Couple that with what researchers at UCLA found when they studied the effect clutter has on families. When mothers have to pick up belongings, their stress hormones spiked every time. Turns out, our brains aren't very good at processing clutter – it overloads the senses, much like multitasking does, which reduces productivity. Unlike multitasking, which The Ohio State University researchers found can make you feel better about yourself, clutter just mucks up your ability to process information. (For more on the relationship between organization and productivity, read the post, "How a Clean Workspace Boosts Productivity.")

This is to say: a clean house isn't only for the benefit of guests who drop by unannounced. It's good for your emotional wellbeing, too.

Getting Your Columbus House Clean When You Don't Feel Like Cleaning

When you're feeling down, cleaning your Columbus house can seem like an insurmountable chore. It can be hard to work up the will to do it. And as we discussed earlier, a dirty house takes its toll on your mental health, which can make you even less inclined to clean it. Around and around the cycle goes.

But don't give up hope just yet. Instead, write down what you want to clean today. Make it a task you can accomplish in the time you have. For example, you may decide to clean your bedroom closet first. Write down the steps to get your closet in order and check off completed tasks as you go. The act of crossing the items off your list can help keep you motivated. Plus, doing one cleaning project a day can help you clear out the clutter without feeling overwhelmed.

Or, if you want to be able to relax in your home again without thinking about all the cleaning you need to do, it's time to enlist a little help. Book a house cleaning consultation with us so you can start enjoying the emotional benefits of a tidy home.