13 Game-Changing Spring Cleaning Tips for Mental Health
See how a clean, tidy, decluttered home can reduce stress and overwhelm. Plus: tips to support cleaning and mental health that include (but go beyond) sprucing up your space.
It’s no secret that spring is a popular time to clean. After a season spent mostly indoors, away from the cold winter weather, many of us are itching to reset—and spring cleaning provides the perfect opportunity to do so. But cleaning isn’t just about wiping down and decluttering our physical spaces; it’s about our mental health, too.
Whether you want to use the change of seasons as an opportunity to forge better cleaning habits or are looking for some new ways to spring clean and support mental health, we’ve got you covered. Keep reading to discover some of the best cleaning tips that can help you beat stress and overwhelm.
The Link Between Cleaning and Mental Health
“Cleaning helps with mental health because it gives you a sense of clarity and control as well as a more tranquil setting and environment for you to live and work in,” begins Holly Schiff, PsyD, a licensed clinical psychologist.
While stress can come from a multitude of places, the common denominator is that it can cause us to feel like we’re lacking control. When we add a messy and chaotic space to the mix, things can start to feel overwhelming. “Clutter represents unfinished business to our brains and this lack of completeness can be highly stressful,” says Dr. Schiff. Through cleaning, organizing, and reducing clutter, “people are able to gain a sense of control of their environment,” she continues, which can create a more relaxed energy in the home and mind.
In addition to promoting order and control in your life, Dr. Schiff says the repetitive activity of cleaning can also have a calming effect. It allows you to engage in mindfulness, similar to meditation. Incorporating a cleaning ritual into your daily, weekly, and monthly schedule can have a lasting impact on mental health and overall well-being. “It helps reduce anxiety levels since the order gives a feeling that something has been achieved,” explains Aura De Los Santos, a clinical psychologist and specialist at healthcanal.com.
The Best Spring Cleaning Tips for Mental Health
“The change of season, especially entering spring, is a good opportunity to clean,” says De Los Santos. This gives you a clear opportunity to declutter your space, set new cleaning goals, and begin the season with a fresh start—both physically and mentally.
To support you on your spring cleaning journey, here are 13 expert-approved tips for refreshing your space and supporting mental well-being along the way.
1. Set Goals
Creating short-term and long-term cleaning goals is one way to support your cleaning efforts and your mental health. Short-term goals might be small tasks that you do each day to add up to a larger effort of maintaining a clean home. Meanwhile, long-term goals might consist of larger tasks. Think: saving for a closet organization system or purchasing chic acrylic organizers over time until you have enough to organize your entire pantry.
2. Create a Cleaning Schedule
“Creating a routine cleaning schedule can help reduce stress by creating a sense of order and structure,” says Angela Lee from Hellamaid, a top-rated cleaning company in Ontario, Canada. Additionally, a cleaning schedule can also give you a clear idea of what needs to get done and what to expect so you can spread out tasks and not end up overwhelmed by the thought of one big cleaning day.
3. Make Your Bed Every Morning
One of the best (and easiest) ways to create a clean environment in your home is to make your bed every morning. It might sound simple, but tidying up in this way can completely transform your room—even if there are other items that need to be put away. In addition, making your bed every morning “can help you start your day with a sense of accomplishment and order, which can improve your overall mood and mindset,” says Lee.
4. Get in the Habit of Decluttering
Since clutter can cause a lot of stress, making a habit of decluttering can be ultra beneficial. “Regular decluttering and removing unnecessary items can help reduce feelings of overwhelm and promote a more organized and peaceful living space,” Lee adds. “Rather than waiting for a mess to accumulate, try to clean as you go throughout your day.” You can create a decluttering habit through your cleaning schedule or set the intention to declutter as you go.
This might look like:
- removing unwanted items from your wardrobe when putting laundry away
- donating duplicate items from your kitchen drawers when putting away dishes
- giving away one book every time you buy a new one
5. Clean the Bathroom Daily
Cleaning the bathroom can feel like a hassle, but a clean bathroom can make a major impact on the overall cleanliness of your home. “Taking a few minutes to clean the bathroom each day can help reduce the spread of germs and create a more hygienic environment,” Lee adds. By doing a little day by day, you can maintain a space that is easier to deep clean once a week or as needed.
6. Practice Deep Cleaning
Lee also says to remember to deep clean. “While surface-level cleaning is important, deep cleaning can also be an excellent way to reduce stress,” she explains. Once finished, knowing just how fresh and clean your home is will give you peace of mind and a feeling of accomplishment.
7. Add Plants to Your Space
Creating a serene environment can also be very cleansing. One way to do so is by adding plants to your space. Some plants—including the popular snake plant and aloe vera—naturally cleanse the air, providing cleaning benefits of their own. Plus, research shows that taking care of houseplants can help you destress.
8. Declutter Your Devices
Cleaning your physical space is beneficial, but giving your digital space a cleanse is just as important. “Setting time aside to clean up your email inbox, desktop files, and other digital clutter can help reduce stress and increase productivity,” Lee explains. “It can feel overwhelming to have a cluttered digital space, so organizing and deleting unnecessary items can help clear your mind and make it easier to focus on essential tasks,” she adds.
9. Try a Social Media Detox
In addition to cleaning and organizing your emails and files, it also helps to cleanse yourself of technology—especially social media—for an intended period of time, too. “Sometimes it’s important to take a step back from social media and other digital distractions to focus on the people and activities that truly matter to us,” Lee notes. She recommends taking a break from the apps or, at the very least, unfollowing accounts that don’t bring you joy. “This can reduce stress and allow you to focus on more meaningful relationships and activities.”
10. Organize Your Finances
“Managing your finances can also be a form of cleansing that can reduce stress and increase feelings of control and empowerment,” says Lee. If it helps, set a designated time every week to go over your budget, pay bills, and organize financial documents. Doing so can “make you feel more confident and better equipped to handle life’s challenges,” Lee adds.
11. Reset in Nature
Nature can also have a cleansing effect for your mind. “Going for a walk in a park or a hike in the woods can help clear your mind and reduce stress,” says Lee. She explains that the fresh air and exercise can also help improve your mood and boost energy levels, giving you a good reset.
12. Take Breaks
Giving yourself a break is also a form of cleaning for mental health. “Taking breaks is a way to refocus and not pay attention to distractions,” says De Los Santos.
Examples of taking breaks to ease your mind include:
- taking a vacation from work
- doing a digital detox
- giving yourself some dedicated downtime for self-care each day
13. Listen to Music
Since cleaning can be a meditative experience, listening to music can elevate the experience. Whether you listen to calming instrumental songs or top hits that make you want to dance, tuning into music can make cleaning more enjoyable and allow you to get in the zone better.