The idea that you feel better when your house is clean and uncluttered is pretty well-established in the mental health field, but here’s the critical question: Do you need to be the one doing all the actual cleaning?
If you’re silently (or not so silently) cursing and seething with frustration with each push of the vacuum and swipe of the Clorox wipe, then keep reading because you are not alone.
The Real Problem With Taking On All The Housework
Let’s talk about a clean house and mental health. Experts point to the repetitive, ritualistic nature of house cleaning as calming and anxiety-reducing. And yes, sometimes it can feel good to take a Q-tip to the ledges of your shaker cabinets.
But maybe not when the rest of the house feels like a disaster. And you’ve just put in a solid day at your paid job. And you still have to make dinner, ferry the kids to and from soccer/ballet/field hockey/swimming, make lunches for tomorrow, and get everyone bathed and off to bed.
Suddenly, that anxiety-reducing ritual of wiping greasy handprints off your stainless steel appliances makes you want to cry actual tears. And that means your anxiety and stress is increasing, not decreasing, as you clean away.
At some point, the stress of thinking about, scheduling time for, and then doing the housework un-does every positive feeling you might have gained from it.
6 Truths And A Lie
Here’s the rub: Employers expect high commitment levels from their lean workforces these days. Email, mobile, Zoom, Teams, Slack, WhatsApp – we’re never out of reach. Add in rewards for putting in long hours and face-time at the office, and the workplace expectations can be intense.
At the same time, social expectations, especially for mothers, mean Super-Mom is also expected to (take a deep breath): Manage the family schedule, shuttle kids to and from their extra-curricular, nourish their growing bodies, enrich their home environment, and spend “quality time” with their kids to ensure well-adjusted, socially productive young people.
And of course, the house must be clean.
More women in particular are burning out trying to run a tight household ship, meet societal expectations and bring home the bacon. Mental health and self care? Pfft. Happiness-helpers like social-time and me-time are hopelessly buried under piles of laundry and paid work commitments.
Here are the truths:
The housework needs to be done.
Your job needs you.
Your kids need you.
Your partner needs you.
You friends and extended family need you.
YOU need you.
But here’s one big-fat-hairy lie: You have to meet all these needs without any help.
It can feel hard, and even scary to imagine bringing someone you don’t really know into your home to clean your “mess.” But hiring a cleaning service to take over the bulk of the weekly cleaning tasks saves you time. More importantly, it saves you mental and physical energy.
Because the best mental health benefit to a clean home is … the clean home. If that means someone else does the cleaning for you, you still experience all the great feelings that come with a clean house. And that? Well, that’s the only outcome that really matters.
Focus On The Cleaning You Want To Do.
Hire Out The Stuff You Don’t
Time is a finite resource. The time you spend on one activity (like housework) reduces the amount of time available for other things (like family, self-care and even paid work).
If you didn’t know, there actually is a No Housework Day (it’s April 7, by the way). But here at Scrubbi, we would rather see you do a lot less housework, everyday. Our trusted, reliable house cleaners will take care of the rest.
Here’s a quick hit-list of what a Scrubbi clean means for you:
- Less dusting and wiping
- Clearer reflections
- Less trips to the trash can
- Grime-free door handles and light switches
- Fresher bathrooms
- Shining floors and carpets/rugs with those satisfying vacuum marks on ‘em
And while we’re doing all that, you can not think about cleaning for once.