Home InteriorsHome Themes & Trends Do you clean & tidy to relieve stress? You’re not alone.

Do you clean & tidy to relieve stress? You’re not alone.

by LaurettaCWright
Do you clean and tidy to relieve stress?

Most of my friends think I’m a bit mad that I enjoy tidying, organising and cleaning the house. I get a sense of order and calm if the house is tidy and the floors and surfaces are clean. 

Obviously, with two kids it doesn’t stay like that for long, but that doesn’t stop me from following them round with cleaning sprays, bin bags and antibacterial hand gel!

Having a tidy desk means a tidy mind; I can think more clearly, I seem to prioritise my workload much more readily and I also feel more in control for some strange reason. Bizarre? Most definitely, but it turns out I’m not the only one.

I recently read the results of some research conducted by a company called Avery UK. It found that eight in ten adults reckon tidying and organising is a real stress buster – whether it be filing away important documents, having a pristine desk at work or labelling files.

This is surprisingly more than I’d hazard a guess at – and in fact, four in five people even said they find mess stressful (yup – me too!), while 63% don’t feel on top of things unless their items are in the ‘right place.’ Mmmh, ditto.

I don’t need therapy – I just need to clean!

I’m sure my friends think I’m a bit of an obsessive too; when I go over to some of their houses and discover that they are disorganised and dare I say it, even a little grimy, I feel agitated and unable to relax.

Part of me hates that; just last week I had to fight the urge to jump up at one of my male friend’s flats and start clearing stuff away, putting things into neat piles and wanting to give it a good old vac!

I had to make a comment of course, but he took it like water off a duck’s back rather than take the hint.

The survey I read found that the average adult spends the equivalent of almost eight days a year – or more than three-and-a-half hours a week – getting things in order at home and work. I think mine is more than double that – at least.

But as I say to VIP, wouldn’t he rather have someone who is a bit obsessive with tidying and cleaning than some lazy slob who lounges around and doesn’t lift a finger?

I’ve tried to curb my enthusiasm for cleaning by doing short cleans rather than delving in for deep cleans on a weekly basis. So, for example, when I’m brushing my teeth I’ll get a wet wipe out and be cleaning the sink at the same time.

Or when I’m watching the telly I might be polishing some shoes – the way I see it, I’m burning off extra calories, so it can't be a bad thing.

Plus it means that the chores don’t pile up – and I’m saving time as well. So actually, I’m not apologising for the way I am. In fact, I’m embracing my cleaning issues by sharing my top go-to cleaning products – here they are!

Clean and tidy to relieve stress

  1. Flash Spray Lemon £1 – has a lovely lemony smell that lingers in the room.
  2. Orange Glo Wood Cleaner – it’s super expensive in this country – the cheapest I’ve seen it for is £18.49 off Amazon, so when I’m in the States I’ll make a point of buying it to bring home! But it does the job sooooo well and smells divine.
  3. Greenshield Anti-Bacterial Microwave and Fridge Wipes – 99p – for a quick daily wipe in the fridge and microwave. So handy.

  4. JML Magic Eraser The Range £4.99 I swear by this! I use it every week without fail – it removes hard-to-shift marks off walls, mirrors, work surfaces, light switches, appliances, cupboards…you name it. The best thing is – there are NO chemicals – all you do is wet the sponge. Genius.

  5. E-Cloth Window Cleaning Pack – £8.99 – these also work really well on stainless steel appliances – brings up a lovely shine and I don't add any chemicals either.

  6. Bar Keepers Friend £4.99 – a stain remover and cleaner that works on all surfaces – and is great for keeping white sinks super white! I also use mine on grouting as it's great at reviving it!  

Here’s a list of 30 tidying or organising tasks Brits find most therapeutic…

  1. Crossing stuff off a to-do list
  2. Putting together a to-do list
  3. Organising important personal documents
  4. Vacuuming
  5. Tidying my desk at work
  6. Organising your storage
  7. Making your bed
  8. Washing the dishes
  9. Cleaning the bathroom
  10. Dusting/polishing my home
  11. Mowing the lawn
  12. Wiping kitchen worktops
  13. Writing things on my calendar
  14. Filing away documents at work
  15. Ironing
  16. Putting ironing away
  17. Labelling files, folders or storage
  18. Tidying my desk at home
  19. Loading the washing machine
  20. Organising CDs/vinyl alphabetically
  21. Washing the car
  22. Cleaning the inside of the car
  23. Sorting through paperwork at work
  24. Arranging wardrobe by colour, size and/or clothing type
  25. Arranging pots and pans by shape and size
  26. Organising books by genre and/or alphabetically
  27. Creating a filing system
  28. Organising DVDs/blu-rays alphabetically
  29. Clearing the garage
  30. Emptying the dishwasher

My favourites have to be making a to-do list (and then ticking it off) and tidying my desk at work. And my least favourite? Ironing! But thank god we have some decent telly in this country to make ironing a more pleasurable chore!

Which ones do you love or loathe?

You might also like to read…
A Pin For Your Interiors BoardDo you #clean, organise and tidy to relieve #stress? You're not alone! Here are 30 home tasks we do to mentally prepare!

62 comments

Alex @ CleanupAmbition 10th October 2018 - 3:09 pm

Bingo! This is the second time am reading about the correlation between cleaning and stress relief, first is the research you are talking about.

Never thought of it, but I follow a daily routine of cleaning my home, organizing stuff after which I feel much relaxed, calm and motivated to tackle down other tasks. Now, I figured out the reason, haha 🙂

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LaurettaCWright 10th October 2018 - 8:27 pm

Thanks Alex – I’m the same. I go even crazier when I watch programmes like Obsessive Compulsive Cleaners!

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justine meyer 24th June 2018 - 1:34 pm

I hate ironing but I find cleaning the bathroom is very destressing x

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LaurettaCWright 25th June 2018 - 9:36 pm

Yes, I know what you mean. The bathroom is my least favourite room to do!

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Stevie 17th April 2018 - 11:04 am

I vacuumed for about an hour yesterday!

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LaurettaCWright 18th April 2018 - 10:43 pm

I bet your place is nice and sparkling now!

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Gráinne O'Meara 14th April 2018 - 4:47 pm

I have depression & social anxiety, which I manage well. Order & a clean environment are very important to me, not just for a sense of wellbeing, but to eliviate stress, provide distraction & focus the mind.

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LaurettaCWright 15th April 2018 - 7:46 am

Sounds like you’re controlling the situation and not letting it control you – nice one Graninne!

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Sheena Batey 6th April 2018 - 2:00 pm

I am afraid the fact I hate housework makes me more stressed when I look at it rather than helping me work off the stress

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LaurettaCWright 8th April 2018 - 7:45 pm

Ah shame – we could help each other out by letting me pop over to do yours 😉

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Kim Styles 2nd April 2018 - 1:20 pm

I wish I had a reason to clean – I find it a chore and have to motivate myself to do it by putting fast pace music on !!

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LaurettaCWright 2nd April 2018 - 10:33 pm

At least you know how to motivate yourself Kim – and that’s a great idea. I might start doing that myself if it means I speed things up – and get to clean more!

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Fiona jk42 9th March 2018 - 11:20 am

I find tidying up very therapeutic. My son & his girlfriend have gone on holiday, so I’m popping in to feed their cats. Yesterday I could not resist organising my son’s T-shirts, underwear and socks so that his chest of drawers is all neat and tidy. There’s something very satisfying about doing this, so I shall probably tackle another chest of drawers when I visit today.

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LaurettaCWright 10th March 2018 - 8:23 pm

He’s very lucky to have you as his mum Fiona – how nice to come back and have drawers organised and sorted! That will probably be me when my kids move out!

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Hazel Rea 8th March 2018 - 8:48 pm

I agree – it allows you to clear your head while actually doing something useful. I find that if there is a major family crisis and I’ve done all I can to help solve it I then clean.

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LaurettaCWright 10th March 2018 - 8:24 pm

It’s odd isn’t it? It just brings a sense of calm I find. I’m glad I’m not the only one!

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Emma | Health Grinder 5th March 2018 - 3:09 am

Great post! I honestly thought that I was the only one. I’d be cleaning and rearranging the house even when it was neat and tidy. Thankfully, I’m not the only one.
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LaurettaCWright 7th July 2018 - 9:43 pm

Nah, you’re certainly not the only one don’t worry! 🙂

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JENNY KAKOUDAKIS 2nd March 2018 - 5:49 pm

I am going to come right out and say it: when in the office, and I visit the ladies, nothing is more calming than cleaning up the surfaces around the sinks in the ladies. I hate when others leave behind them a wet mess, and theres plenty of paper around so why not give it a good dry down? :))))

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LaurettaCWright 3rd March 2018 - 3:19 pm

Oh Jenny – you sound like my twin….I have an overwhelming urge to clean and tidy as I go…I try very hard not to, but my instincts take over!

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lesley renshaw 2nd March 2018 - 12:41 pm

I do this but I sent the family out for the day when I’m tidying. Firstly, cos they get in the way and secondly, to stop me biting their head off. It’s the only time I get to myself. Ok, it’s normally trashed when they get back home but those few hours are priceless x

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LaurettaCWright 7th July 2018 - 9:43 pm

AH YES – It’s that precious ‘me time’ we keep talking about isn’t it?!

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Catherine McCourt 28th February 2018 - 7:39 pm

I’m totally with you on this, including ironing – you will never see me pick up an iron!

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LaurettaCWright 1st March 2018 - 8:58 am

I begrudgingly pick the iron up – sounds like you’re doing one better than me!

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Mary | hellopeagreen 28th February 2018 - 12:09 pm

I’m always tidying but I hate to use the hoover….. I think the noise does something to me. I’m also not a fan of cleaning the oven eaither. But I love getting out beeswax to polish the bannister and the dining room table. Smells amazing.

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LaurettaCWright 28th February 2018 - 9:19 pm

Maybe you’re hyper sensitive to noise (I’m the same with smells funnily enough!) I love the smell of Beeswax too!

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Pati 26th February 2018 - 8:44 pm

So happy to hear i am not alone – when i am stressed i also go for cleaning sprees hehhe

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LaurettaCWright 26th February 2018 - 9:00 pm

You must also like those extreme cleaning programmes too then! Mine gets worse when I watch those!

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Stacey Sheppard 25th February 2018 - 11:41 pm

I always feel better when my home is clean and tidy. It’s like an instant stress reliever. Only problem is living with children makes all my efforts totally worthless. I swear they follow me around leaving a trail of destruction where I’ve just cleaned. Then that makes me even more stressed.

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LaurettaCWright 26th February 2018 - 12:05 am

I can sympathise with that Stacey – the same thing happens to me. But I am quite good at making them clean up their own mess when they make it now – teaching good manners and all that!

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Becky at PinksCharming 25th February 2018 - 5:44 pm

I wouldn’t say I find it therapeutic- I don’t like cleaning but I do much prefer a clean house! And that average of three and a half hours seems rather low, if you have kids anyway! Vaccuming the stairs and cleaning toilets are my worse chores, hate them x

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LaurettaCWright 7th July 2018 - 9:44 pm

Ah it’s the ironing for me – gets me every time.

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Anna 24th February 2018 - 11:44 pm

When I was stressed I was permanently cleaning, all day every day. Major ocd and it took all my will power to get out of the constant cycle in my new stress free life. Ok my place is a mess, but it’s a clean mess if that makes any sense.
I find ironing the most relaxing thing……. I know I’m an oddball! Everything else is just a chore.

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LaurettaCWright 26th February 2018 - 12:06 am

Ooh I wish I found ironing relaxing – it’s my worst chore. How about I come clean for you and you do my ironing?! 😉

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sandy ralph 24th February 2018 - 8:44 pm

oh this is me all over too

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LaurettaCWright 26th February 2018 - 12:06 am

I think a lot of people can relate to this.

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Mellissa Williams 23rd February 2018 - 11:23 am

I definitely feel I clean more when I am stressed – it can be quite therapeutic.

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LaurettaCWright 24th February 2018 - 12:02 pm

But what a great feeling when everything is clean and tidy though eh?!

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Elizabeth 23rd February 2018 - 10:20 am

I’m that lazy slob on the couch, lol! I’d rather go for a 30-mile bike ride than clean the bathroom, tbh, but yes, I do tend to clean frantically when I’m feeling stressed, lol!
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LaurettaCWright 24th February 2018 - 12:02 pm

I think any sort of exercise (cleaning or cycling!) are great stress relievers!

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Msddah 23rd February 2018 - 3:32 am

Oh no, I am not one of those that clean to relieve stress and I dont regret it one bit. Hahaha. Great post though!

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LaurettaCWright 24th February 2018 - 12:01 pm

Life would be a bit boring if we were all the same!

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Patrick 22nd February 2018 - 11:42 pm

This was charming….I tend to clean in massive bursts or whenever a friend comes by. I can chat but then I’ll start cleaning as we talk. I know that I’m supposed to this this BEFORE company but then again,I am not normal anymore….*LOL*
Orange Glo is an amazing cleaner….

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LaurettaCWright 24th February 2018 - 12:05 pm

I do exactly the same! I’ll start loading the dishwasher or something and then have to stop myself! Glad you agree on Orange Glo! My mum told me about it…!

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Dawn & Bella at Dear Mummy Blog 22nd February 2018 - 10:51 pm

My mummy says cluttered house, cluttered mind x she finds cleaning very therapeutic too x

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LaurettaCWright 24th February 2018 - 12:12 pm

Sounds very similar to me!

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Laura Dove 22nd February 2018 - 8:53 pm

I feel less stressed when our home is clean and tidy, but never to relieve it. Maybe I should start as it would help me out in the long run!

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LaurettaCWright 24th February 2018 - 12:12 pm

If you watch Obsessive Compulsive Cleaners that might give you a nudge – it always seems to work for me!

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Melanie 22nd February 2018 - 7:10 pm

This makes complete sense. I always feel fab when I have had a good spring clean out lol x

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LaurettaCWright 22nd February 2018 - 7:56 pm

Having a good clear out makes you feel quite smug too doesn’t it?!

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Super Busy Mum 22nd February 2018 - 6:36 pm

When I am stressed I do one of two things. Eat or have a clear out!

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LaurettaCWright 22nd February 2018 - 7:56 pm

I usually end up doing both! ha ha..

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Rhian Westbury 22nd February 2018 - 10:57 am

I wouldn’t say that I clean to relieve stress, mine is more for a feeling of control as much as anything x

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LaurettaCWright 22nd February 2018 - 1:08 pm

Yes, I’m with you on that one!

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Alison Rost 22nd February 2018 - 1:08 am

Cleaning is a form of therapy! It’s something that I also do to make myself feel better. It allows you to calm down and think clearly! You’re totally not alone in this one.

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LaurettaCWright 22nd February 2018 - 6:41 am

It’s strange isn’t it Alison? Perhaps hoarders should take a leaf out of this post!

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Lilinha 21st February 2018 - 9:46 pm

There is nothing as rewarding as the fresh smell of a clean home and freshly washed bed sheets!
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LaurettaCWright 21st February 2018 - 10:00 pm

Hallelujah!

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Rebecca | AAUBlog 21st February 2018 - 8:33 pm

totally with you on this! I find scrubbing the bathroom tiles pretty therapeutic as you can see such a difference. I hate vacuuming though!

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LaurettaCWright 21st February 2018 - 10:00 pm

I knew I wasn’t alone! Thanks Rebecca!

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Yeah Lifestyle 21st February 2018 - 4:17 pm

Its so great to see that people find cleaning therapeutic, I find that I find cooking calms me down. But after making all the mess, I have to end up cleaning, so these list of products and the information about it is so helpful.

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LaurettaCWright 21st February 2018 - 9:59 pm

There are worse things to find therapeutic right?!

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