Cleveland Clinic Psychologist Dawn Potter said some people find cleaning is a good way to manage stress.
“A lot of people when they are faced with other problems that maybe they can’t address at the time or they’re just kind of overwhelmed they find that cleaning helps them restore a sense of control,” Potter said.
Research shows that messy, disorganized spaces can negatively impact mental health and wellbeing. One study suggests people with cluttered homes were more likely to report depressed moods.
Potter said when everything around you is neat and tidy there are fewer distractions and you can better focus on the task at hand. She said tidying up can take your mind off of something that’s out of your control and making you anxious.
“Cleaning produces a tangible result that we can see and feel. And we can look at it afterwards and be like, ‘Oh, that looks so great.’ So we get that satisfaction of doing something meaningful,” Potter said.
If you’re inspired to organize but aren’t sure where to begin, Potter recommends creating a plan of attack and just getting started.
She also advises setting reasonable expectations and not pressuring yourself to get everything done at once.