The psychology behind cleaning

You’ll be hard pushed to find someone that actually enjoys cleaning. In fact, research from Fantastic Services Group reveals that 59% of us procrastinate when it comes to jobs around the house and one in four (23%) of us can’t keep on top of the cleaning.

With our day-to-day lives only getting busier, from juggling work, family, keeping our houses tidy and maintaining some semblance of a social life, it is no surprise that we can’t always give 100% in every area.

However, what we can do is implement routines, organisational hacks and shortcuts to make our lives easier and our homes cleaner.

In order to understand the psychology behind cleaning and the impacts of living in an untidy home, we sat down with psychologist Jemma Doley to discuss the importance of maintaining a clean and organised home.

“Research shows that having a cluttered home can create a negative perception of our home environment, and decreased feelings of subjective well-being. Maintaining a clean and organised home not only gives us a sense of accomplishment and mastery, but it can also help us feel in control of our environment,” Doley says.

While it can be difficult for some people to focus on other tasks when we are in a disorganised environment, a cluttered home can increase feelings of depression and higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol.  

Jemma recommends that if you are feeling overwhelmed, it is best to break down tasks into smaller chunks to help it feel more manageable.

“When we complete a small task, we can gain a sense of accomplishment. As well as this, getting involved in cleaning can also help to increase our activity levels which can be a boost for both our physical and mental health,” Jemma says.

And with regular cleaning, decreased clutter and more time at the weekend, “a cleaner home creates a cleaner mindset. When we create a tidy living space, we experience a decrease in feelings of depression, lowered stress levels and a stronger focus on other elements in our lives like family, friends and work”.

With studies revealing that people with a cleaner home had better health outcomes than those with messy houses, Fantastic Services Group franchisee and cleaning expert Sophia Lakhani has compiled her top tips to ‘clean clever’ and take back your weekends:

Stop associating ‘chores’ with the weekend

Where many of us go wrong, is associating ‘housework’ or ‘chores’ only with our weekends, as if there is some universal rule stopping us from doing the vacuuming on a Monday!

Learn to clean clever and try taking on one task a day that you would usually leave for your weekends.

By doing some quick cleaning throughout the week, you’ll find you get to the weekend and don’t actually have that much left to do!

Keep your cleaning products easily accessible

Keeping cleaning products in the areas where you need them. This will help you stay on top of the cleaning without much effort!

For example, keep a dish wand (filled with detergent) in the shower for super quick cleaning while your hair conditioner soaks in.

Store a pack of antibacterial wipes in the bathroom vanity to quickly wipe down the bathroom while you brush your teeth.

Having your go-to products close by will mean you are more likely to spot clean when something needs it, rather than making a mental note to get to it later.

Clean up the clutter

To make dusting and wiping down surfaces even faster for you (or your cleaner!), keep on top of the clutter and try to minimise the décor on tabletops, bookshelves and TV units.

Not only will it mean less places for dust to settle, but it will also mean there are less things to move and clean around.

Keep it regular

Although it might seem contradictory, booking in regular cleaning with a professional will cost you less than infrequent one-off deep cleans in the long run.

Regular cleaning means high traffic areas are easily maintained which means each clean will be consistently quicker and cheaper.

A regular cleaning routine will also help the longevity of surfaces and furniture and reduce the workload when it’s time for a deeper clean.

Schedule in the “I’ll get around to it” jobs

If you engage a regular cleaner, they will no doubt come to learn what you like to be cleaned on the regular.

However, switching in some odd-jobs like the windows or oven into the regular cleaning circuit once or twice a month will help to ensure that everything is staying clean, without adding the extra cost of an alternative call-out for these odd jobs.

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