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How Does a Lack of Cleanliness Affect Your Health?

Does being clean and organized affect your health?

Why do we like being clean and organized?

While some of us are messier than others, we all like a clean home. Although some us tend to be more diligent when it comes to maintaining cleanliness, even those of us who clean and organize less often enjoy a clean and organized space. Why is that though? What is it about cleanliness that that people like? Why do look positively upon clean spaces and poorly upon cluttered messes? Sure, it’s ‘good’ to be clean, but why? Is it perhaps some sort of genetic predisposition in order to avoid illness? Well, we’re not exactly sure what drives (most of) us to clean and organize. However, what we do know is that there have been many studies done on the subject, and the conclusion in general is that cleanliness produces positive impacts on our health and wellbeing.

The Science

So what does the science say about keeping clean and organized? Essentially that it makes a huge difference and has major benefits for health.

A long term study out of Indiana university that looked at the variables impacting health related to residents of urban homes and communities found that cleanliness of the home had a strong correlation with level of physical activity. Starting in the year 2000, 998 individuals in the age ranges of 49-65 from St. Louis were tracked as part of the African American Health Longitudinal Study. The study found that cleanliness of the home is somehow linked to the drive for physical activity, and that the level of home cleanliness was the strongest predictor of cardiovascular health. Other variables looked at were furnishings, noise levels, air quality, and conditions of the home and nearby buildings.

A 2014 study from the Jones Graduate School of Business at Rice University found that being clean and organized makes you more ethical. Conversely, feeling disgusting is more likely to lead individuals to lie and cheat. Interestingly, this effect was observed whether the participant was exposed to something clean/gross or simply made to think about something clean/gross. Slightly more interesting, the negative effect of disgust was negated when the individual’s environment was cleaned up. The conclusion here is that cleanliness has a huge emotional impact on us, even influencing us to make good or bad decisions.

A 2011 study in The Journal of Neuroscience found that clutter competes for your attention. A cluttered workspace impacts your ability to focus and restricts the brain’s ability to process information. Worse yet, this competition for your focus can tire you out mentally, as you attempt to focus on your task while simultaneously being distracted by the clutter. Research indicated that an organized environment led to increased productivity and information processing, with a decrease in distraction and irritability (that mental tiredness). So that giant stack of papers on your office desk? Toss them out and get some real work done.

Clutter also leads to poor sleep, which in turn leads to higher stress and potentially depression. A St. Lawrence University study found that individuals at high risk of hoarder syndrome had poor restfulness due to the messiness of their bedrooms. Related to the point above, the clutter can build up and affect not only your mood, but also physical wellbeing. It’s not that this only affects hoarders, but hoarders tend to (obviously) have more clutter, and as such the impact of clutter is greatest. So want to make sure you’re getting quality sleep? Tidy up your bedroom and get rid of anything you don’t need that’s laying around.

Clean up and de-clutter for better health

We may not know exactly what drives us to prefer cleanliness, but looking at the science it’s clear that cleanliness and order can (and do) greatly affect our wellbeing. Our physical, mental, and even emotional health is all impacted.

So what can you do to reap the health benefits of being clean and organized? Well, easiest way is to have us lend a hand. Hope on over to our booking page and schedule a Calgary cleaning service. We’ll make your home sparkle and you can enjoy the mental boost. There’s also a lot of little things you can do yourself, and we will post more guides in the future to assist in helping you maintain a clean home.

Importance of cleanliness for commercial properties

People often forgot that offices require ongoing maintenance as well. Although they might have advanced HVAC filtration systems and usually aren’t occupied by pets and children (which often create a mess, even though love them), the daily hustle and bustle will inevitably lead to dirtiness that needs to be dealt with. Especially somewhere like here in Calgary, where the winter season means a lot of road sanding, and slushiness with our frequent chinooks result in a dirty than average office.


We spoke to the owners of the Calgary office cleaning company we regularly work with, Picture Perfect Cleaning about some benefits of a properly maintained office work space.

The most obvious benefit was that it maintains employee healthiness. We’ve all seen the notes on the office dishwasher asking staff kindly to put away their dishes. The reality is that office kitchens don’t get the same level of detail as home ones do. This can be for a variety of reasons ranging from employees who are just too busy and forget, to employees who don’t care. Regardless of the reason, kitchens are a perfect place to breed bacteria if not maintained properly. 

The second major benefit is that a clean offices improves your professional image. Not only on the client side, but employee side as well. Clients who come to your office to see it dirty and cluttered may think twice about your ability to service this needs effectively. Of course cleanliness isn’t a direct reflection of how well you do your job, but the human mind makes these associations regardless. Likewise, employees need to feel proud about their job and where they work. Employee satisfaction often stems from the feeling that management doesn’t care, and an unkempt workplace can further support these thoughts even if untrue. 

Closely related to the above point, a clean office environment frees up employee time for productive tasks. Whether it’s clutter they have to sort through in order to actually be able to do their job, or clean up others messes using time they could otherwise spend doing billable work, cleaning is not the best use of your employees time. Additionally, employees that are subjected to cleaning these sorts of messes will be affected negatively for a while afterwards, further impacting the work they actually get a chance to do.

Regardless of whether we’re talking about the home or office, cleanliness is an important aspect in terms of both health and productivity in our daily lives.

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