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Why Spring Cleaning is Good for the Mind

Why Spring Cleaning is Good for the Mind

Think for just a moment on the following questions. Answer them with a yes or no:

  1. Do you know where your house keys are right now?
  2. Do you know where your purse/wallet is?
  3. Can you tell me where all of your clean socks are?
  4. What about your dirty socks – can you tell me where all of those are?
  5. Do you wear everything in your closet?
  6. Is there a place for everything and everything in its place?
  7. Is it a quick and easy process to get ready to leave your house in the morning for work/school?
  8. Are you calm and relaxed while you are at home?

If you answered no to three or more of the questions above, especially the last two questions, it might be time to do some spring cleaning. Spring cleaning typically involves parting with things you don’t need anymore. Spring cleaning is also about creating an organized living space, and homes that are free of clutter are good for the mind.

According to the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin created by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, a home that is cluttered and messy can depress and stress you out. People living in disorganized homes expressed dissatisfaction and an increase in depressed moods throughout the day.

A study published in the Journal of Neuroscience reported that “Multiple stimuli present in the visual field at the same time compete for neural representation by mutually suppressing their evoked activity throughout visual cortex, providing a neural correlate for the limited processing capacity of the visual system.” In layman’s terms, when you see too much stuff in your space, you’ll have a harder time giving your attention to any one thing for a significant period of time. However, by spring cleaning your space, you’ll have less stimuli wearing you down, and your mind will be better able to focus, problem-solve, and even to relax.

Other benefits of spring cleaning include saving time and money – You’ll know where things are so it will take less time to find them. And, you’ll be less likely to need to purchase replacement items that you simply couldn’t locate.

Finally, people who regularly purge their excess belongings and de-clutter their homes are more likely to have a more balanced diet, work out more frequently, and have a healthier body overall. Now, don’t you think it’s time to start your spring cleaning?

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