Winter has nearly come and gone, and most likely, the tidiness of our homes have gone with it.
Traditionally, the cold season demotivates many when it comes to sticking to their regular chores. The frigidness of a season dominated by the Kapha dosha inclines one toward a more sedentary, low-energy lifestyle. This can lead to the accumulation of stuff around the home, specifically dust and other tidbits of messiness.
So whether you’re driven by the thoughts of a warming season, the tradition of spring cleaning, or just want to tidy up around the house, it’s important to reflect on how cleaning and tidiness can affect more than just how your home looks. It’s true: beyond the aesthetic benefit a clean house can provide, it can also help boost mood, improve immunity, and inspire creativity.
Your Environment and Mood
Humans are innately sensitive to their surroundings. We pay astute (even if its unconscious) attention to the sights, sounds, smells, and stimuli provided by environment, and it can have drastic effects on our mood. It can motivate us, inspire creativity, encourage more social connections, and reduce our stress levels when positively organized (free of clutter, clear way finding, and access to nature).
In ancient Chinese philosophy, this phenomenon is known to be governed by Feng Shui. Literally meaning “wind-water,” Feng Shui deals with the relationship between humans and their environment, and how that relationship affects overall well-being. Feng Shui is healthy when there is an open flow of energy in your home. This deals with both clutter of “stuff” as well as clutter of other stimuli, like noise and light.
The takeaway: A positive environment can mean a positive mood, and that means a better quality of life!
Your Environment and Immunity
Your home is also a haven for good health. This is most often the case because of what a clean home is not – mold and dust, for example, can contribute to chronic conditions like asthma and allergies.
Mold grows in moist, warm atmospheres, and it’s aerobic in nature, meaning it requires oxygen. Under the fridge or in entry ways (where you may track in rain or snow) are just some of the areas that mold may begin to grow. Long-term exposure to mold is unhealthy to anyone, and symptoms can range from mild to severe, including sinus congestion to headaches to asthma. The elderly, young, and those with respiratory conditions are especially susceptible and can experience more severe symptoms.
Dust is a common nuisance, but in severe amounts, it can be the source of serious disease – most seriously, ophthalmia, which can result in total blindness. In more moderate example, dust can aggravate breathing and cause sinus and respiratory problems. Dust is a build up of allergens, such as pollen, animal dander, and small particulates, and areas with little air flow are especially prone to collect dust.
The takeaway: By regularly cleaning your home, you can help avoid dust build up as well as proactively prevent and reduce the likelihood of mold in your home, and this means better health!
Get a Jump On Your Spring Cleaning
While the official start of spring may still be a few weeks away, now’s the perfect time to get a jump on your spring cleaning. Get proactive about organizing what’s accumulated over the winter months, and start to identify any areas that might be especially tough. Most of all, start to motivate those you live with start thinking about spring cleaning too. With concentrated effort, cleaning the house top to bottom doesn’t have to be a burden!