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Why You Should Have a Year-End Cleaning Ritual

As the year draws to a close, it can be difficult to find a few moments of quiet reflection and thoughtful preparation – especially if you’re getting ready for a New Year’s Eve party to finish off the year. While many people enjoy creating New Year’s resolutions to prepare for the year ahead, studies show that these promises don’t always stick. According to one clinical study, most people will drop their resolutions eventually, with approximately 77% failing to maintain their pledge for longer than one week.

We all know that it can be difficult to make mental space for the year ahead, let alone create new goals. Enter the Japanese concept of “osoji,” a year-end cleaning ritual that is designed to give your home the clean slate it deserves. By cleaning out the clutter towards the end of the year, you may be able to discover an increased sense of well-being and mental focus long after the New Year’s Eve ball drops.

What Is Osoji Cleaning?

Most American families are already familiar with the concept of spring cleaning, as a way to renew the home after a long winter. In Japan, however, the most important cleaning period takes place at the very end of the calendar year.

Like spring cleaning, osoji cleaning began mainly as a practical concern, when people noticed the accumulation of soot and ashes around their wintry hearths. Today, the Japanese cleaning method of osoji is more symbolic and personalized to each individual and family. Far more than just a deep clean, it’s considered to be a time of reflection – and taking stock of what you have.

What Are the Benefits of New Year Cleaning?

If you’ve ever come home at the end of a long day to find your home spotless, then you already know that clean home can have a soothing effect on your mind. One study published in the journal Mindfulness even found that household chores like dishwashing can serve as a “contemplative practice,” increasing your overall well-being. But what exactly are the benefits of cleaning out your home for the New Year, anyway?

Here are a few of the top reasons for adopting a year-end cleaning ritual:

  • It can potentially reduce your odds of illness (when done right). Whether you have kids or not, winter is synonymous with cold and flu season. Kept in close contact indoors, many people get sick during the holiday season and through the end of the year. Although most cold and flu germs dissipate quickly on surfaces, some germs can continually get passed around the family. By keeping your home clean and carefully sanitizing any surfaces after an illness, you may be able to limit your exposure to pathogens.
  • It makes you happier. Did you know that having a “restful” and “restorative” home is linked to lower rates of depression? According to a study performed at UCLA, women who described their homes as clean showed significantly lower levels of depressed moods, whereas women who described their homes as “cluttered” were more likely to have high stress levels. When you perform some deep cleaning at the end of December, then, it stands to reason that you will enjoy decreased stress levels in January.
  • It’ll help you sleep. Do you love sleeping on a clean and well-made bed? You’re not alone: A poll by the National Sleep Foundation found that people who make the bed every day are 77% more likely to agree that they get a “good night’s sleep every night.” As it turns out, this also applies to the rest of your bedroom. If your room is neat, beautiful, and well-organized, you will have an easier time falling and staying asleep.
  • It encourages you to build new habits. When you start off the year by committing to a clean house, you may find a greater resolve to hit the gym or plan your next big project, too. After all, it takes time and practice to build new habits -- so your cleaning ritual may just inspire you to stick with resolutions in other areas.

Kickstart Your Year-End Cleaning Ritual

Given all the benefits of having a clean home, it’s easy to see how a year-end cleaning ritual could transform your upcoming year. Once your home is spotless, your mind will be free to focus on other things, whether that means getting that big promotion at work or training for a marathon.

At Merry Maids®, it’s our goal to help you find a fresh start in 2020 and beyond. Our experienced cleaning professionals will work around your schedule to ensure that your home is always clean, comfortable, and restorative – from New Year’s Day to the very end of the year. Because we offer regular cleaning services with weekly, bi-weekly, and monthly options, you can rest assured, knowing that your cleaning efforts will last.

Ready to learn more about our services? Call (888) 490-4227 for more information.