Spring has sprung, which means many people will be turning their attention to cleaning their homes. But while you might think an extra box or two in the basement or bedroom isn’t a big deal, think again.
Clutter can be a hazard, particularly to your mental health and overall wellbeing. Research from St. Lawrence University found that a cluttered bedroom and a poor night’s sleep go hand-in-hand.
The study also found that a dirty home will have a negative impact on your energy and productivity.
Researchers say that cleaning helps you gain a sense of control over your environment, and can improve your mood.
If you’re thinking of de-cluttering this spring season, consider taking the following steps:
- Go room by room and focus on a category;
- Set reasonable goals so you don’t quit halfway through;
- Create keep, donate and toss piles; and
- If you find you’re storing something for someone else, give them a deadline to pick it up and get it out.
What about those hard-to-clean items you’ve been avoiding? There are everyday products we use that are essential to clean regularly.
For instance, your pillow can have oil, dirt, sweat, bacteria, saliva and even mold on it. Toss those pillows into the washing machine on a gentle cycle, using a small amount of detergent. Add tennis balls to the dryer, so the filling in the pillows doesn’t clump together.
Coffee machines are another highly neglected item. A NSF International study of kitchen products found that 50% of sampled reservoirs in coffee makers had mold or yeast.
Also in your kitchen: Those sponges need to be replaced. More than 75% of dish sponges and rags had salmonella, E. coli and fecal matter, according to the study.
If you have an ice maker, now is a great time to give it a deep clean. Start by unplugging the refrigerator and dumping any ice. Then, clean it with warm soapy water, replace the filter, and run through a few cycles of ice before use.
And don’t forget your home office and living room. In several households, the NSF study found yeast and mold, and even staph, on the computer keyboard, remote control and video game controller.