How Can Cleaning Be Used As Therapy?

Passing on wisdom was the earliest form of therapy. Even before writing, people shared stories and parables. It was a way of helping people heal. Even just talking about or venting problems to a listening ear helps.

Since then, experts have developed and near-perfected other means of treating mental health problems. An improved version of simple talking evolved into psychotherapy. And technology has been used too.

People have also discovered alternative techniques, like art therapy, animal therapy, and mindful meditation. But most don’t realize that everyday activities can greatly help your mental health. Cleaning as therapy is a popular trend going on right now.

Cleaning is as beneficial for your mental health as mindful meditation. It’s so much more than keeping things neat and tidy. There’s something relaxing and satisfying about wiping down the kitchen counter, arranging your bookshelf, organizing a closet, or sweeping the floor. 

cleaning is therapeutic
Source: The Owls Nest Recovery

How Can Cleaning Be Used As Therapy?

  • Mess has a negative impact on you

There is a direct connection between mental health and cleanliness. Living in a messy and cluttered home is not suitable for mental health. The lack of organization can stress you out and lead to more severe issues besides compromising your physical health.

A study found that women who lived in cluttered spaces or were full of unfinished projects were more likely to be depressed and fatigued.

  • It’s a coping strategy against anxiety

When you feel anxious or struggling with anxiety, it can be a good practice to start cleaning or organizing.

One study finds that repetitive and predictable actions– in this instance, cleaning– can help you cope with temporary anxiety. Moreover, the order in a house or environment makes people feel safe. 

mental health and cleanliness
  • It gives you a sense of control

Life is full of uncertainty, and there will be many situations where you feel like you’ve lost control and are living in chaos.

When dealing with a mental health condition like depression or anxiety, things are worse.

Aside from helping you cope, cleaning can give you a sense of control. It makes you feel like you are in charge and a master of your environment. 

Benefits of Cleaning As Therapy

  • It saves you time and money

Living in a chaotic environment can greatly inconvenience your life. You might constantly run late for work or school because you don’t know which clothes are clean or can’t find your keys. You might spend a lot by replacing things you can’t see around the house.

All these things will stress you out and, in the long run, will probably give you anxiety.

But if you keep your place neat and organized, you’ll know where everything is and won’t need to be in a hurry all the time. 

benefits of organizing
Source: The Owls Nest Recovery
  • It’s one way to meditate

Having a clean and neat home– the result of a significant cleaning session– is an incredible stress reliever. Seeing everything placed where it should be, without a hair out of place, gives you a sense of peace.

Cleaning is therapeutic. The actual process of cleaning is relaxing, satisfying, and a great stress management technique. You can use that time to stay in a calm and quiet state and think.

You can also incorporate mindfulness into your cleaning. Meditating alone is an excellent technique for managing anxiety and depression. If you do it while cleaning, you’re hitting multiple birds with one stone. You’ll feel more relaxed after you’ve finished.

  • It provides instant gratification

Besides meditating, you can use cleaning as an exercise of gratitude, particularly for each thing you touch.

For example, you can be thankful for the food you’ve eaten and admire the plates while washing the dishes. You can be grateful for your clothes and maybe reminisce some nice memories with them while decluttering and organizing your closet.

Doing this allows you to find an extra appreciation for your belongings, letting you realize you’re lucky to have them.

Inner peace comes from wanting or appreciating what you have. So, unearthing all the great things you already own can give you a new level of gratitude.

mental health and cleaning therapy
  • It provides instant gratification

There’s something satisfying about seeing your place neat and organized after you’ve used time and effort to get it like that. That’s because your brain releases certain chemicals that satisfy your desire for reward and pleasure.

One of the many benefits of organizing and cleaning is that it makes you feel productive, bringing you instant gratification. You feel like you’ve achieved something once you’re done, contributing to the sense of satisfaction. 

This feeling can be very important if you’ve been in a slump or gone through a depressive episode. Sometimes, you may feel like you’re worthless and unproductive. Cleaning can help alleviate the feeling and allow you to tidy up your house.

  • It’s a form of exercise

Like meditation, exercise is a great way to manage depression and anxiety. It releases happy chemicals in your brain, elevating your mood and decreasing stress.

Well, cleaning is a physical activity. Aside from the mental benefits, you’ll, of course, get the physical benefits, as well.

Sweeping the whole floor, going from room to room, running up the stairs, and wiping the kitchen counter can burn calories.

Heal Your Home and Heal Yourself

When people think of mental health treatments, they immediately go to medicines, psychotherapy, and sometimes yoga and meditation. They don’t realize that cleaning as therapy is very effective in helping you manage these disorders. It’s just one way you can help yourself go through your issues.

Going through depression and anxiety is scary. But you don’t need to do it alone. If you or anyone you know wants to begin the road to healing, turn to The Owl’s Nest Recovery. You can visit us at 2528 W Palmetto St, Florence, SC 29501, contact us at +1 843-919-4097, or visit our website at


Yasmin Portia Quiano


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