Have you noticed that your spouse or partner sees cleaning in a different way than you do? It can be as simple as a different definition of clean. However, it can also be more involved as some have an emotional connection to cleanliness. Some spouses will get more on edge if there is a mess and while that can be frustrating, there is more to that than you might think. Read on to find out how cleaning affects your relationship and what you can do about it.
How Cleaning Affects Your Relationship
How does cleaning affect people on a hormonal level?
There are a lot of studies about how cleaning affects people. A messier home or a cleaner home will typically impact the woman in the relationship more. There is a direct correlation to higher cortisol levels in women when they are exposed to cluttered or messy homes. These cortisol levels can affect depression, cause high blood pressure, weight gain, lead to feelings of frustration, and a whole host of negative symptoms that impact the body. By helping with cleaning, you can help to lower cortisol levels in your partner.
When a person is complaining it could be because their body is reacting to the mess and clutter in a negative way. Taking the time to help the person in your life with cleaning is imperative to their health. When you step up to help with cleaning and organizing mess, you are communicating that you do value this person in your life. It also sets a great example for children because it shows that we invest in the physical and emotional needs of others. Cleaning can change a person’s overall well being and so it should definitely be a priority.
Ken, the CEO of Healthier Home Products, often shares a story about his mother. His father passed away recently and left behind a very cluttered backyard. His mother struggled with it and had higher blood pressure. Ken came out and spent some time cleaning in her backyard. He was able to get the backyard into a much cleaner and more organized setup for his mom. Not long after, she went back to the doctor and found that her blood pressure was lower. By removing that mess, he was helping her overall health and well being. The same can be true for those high traffic areas in your home.
What ways can you help your partner clean and improve your relationship?
One of the quickest ways to communicate value to your partner, is to honor their requests for help with cleaning. Taking this time to help with certain cleaning tasks can communicate that you hear that they are overwhelmed and want to help. Some people will not come out and ask for help because it isn’t their personality. This is when you will need to look for areas of mess or clutter to help clean. While a pile or mess may not be offensive to you, it may be incredibly stressful for your partner.
While some areas of the home may not bring you any stress, they may be more stressful for your partner. Some examples might include making the bed, picking laundry up off of the floor, or putting things away after using them. By taking the time to move these items and clean in these ways you will be able to help your partner feel heard. Sometimes it isn’t about the mess, it’s about the feelings your partner has when seeing the mess. The mess itself may not bother you but knowing someone you care about is struggling may be the perfect motivation to do it anyway.
One of the most important things to note is that clutter is often directly related to stress. Some won’t even realize that it is the clutter that is triggering this stress reaction. One way to test this theory is to start by working to declutter a room where your partner spends the most of their time. After spending some time decluttering that area, watch to see a change in their temperament. You might be surprised by the changes you see when you remove clutter and help to keep things clean.
Conquer the Paper Clutter
Paper is one of the big problems in a household that has clutter. Items like mail and newspaper are often left in different places and never finish things out. It’s important to have a place for all paper in the house. If it is mail that needs to be dealt with, have a folder or basket for it. Having a simple location for paper can help you to avoid paper clutter. If it’s not something you need or have something to do with, remove it. If it is a bill to be paid, it can help to add it to an excel spreadsheet to handle later while removing that paper clutter from the home.
Thin Out Clothing Clutter
Clothing clutter can add to laundry piles and take over a space fairly quickly. Many people will hold on to clothing they haven’t worn for years. Taking some time to donate clothing you no longer wear can help to decrease both laundry piles and clutter. By taking some time to remove these items from your home you can reduce the stress associated with those items. Start by asking yourself if you have worn this item in the last year to help you decide which pieces of clothing should stay or go.
Keep the Sink and Counters Empty
One of the biggest areas for stress for most people, is in the kitchen. Many people cannot handle seeing a sink full of dishes or a counter that is full of cluttered. One simple way to add to the cleanliness of the home is to wipe down counters with a safe, all-purpose cleaner. Another way to help is to wash any dishes with a safe dish soap and try to keep the sink empty of dirty dishes. By taking some time to the kitchen area clean, you will restore a great deal of peace in the home.
Try the Healthier Home Products 30 Day Challenge
Healthier Home Products has put together a 30 day cleaning challenge on our Instagram that might be the perfect kickstart for any family. These simple tips can give you actionable ways to help with the cleaning and decluttering. Even better, taking part in this challenge can help you to have a cleaner home while encouraging your partner. Talk about a win win. Find that challenge on Instagram and share with Healthier Home Products how helping with cleaning has impacted your relationship for the better.