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November 9, 2009

A Reason to Clean???

Image: Flickr/Susy Morris

Image: Flickr/Susy Morris

Let me start this post by saying this. I am not a clean freak. I do not have a cleaning schedule. You cannot eat off of my floors (well, I suppose you could, but you would be taking your life into your own hands if you did). But I will say this – when I am feeling agitated, depressed, or stressed out…there is nothing that makes me feel better than a good cleaning session.

There’s something about the clean, fresh smell of a newly scrubbed kitchen that makes me feel like I can conquer the world. I think I inherited this from my mother who does what I call “scrub therapy”. To this day, you can predict her mood based on the ferocity with which she attacks her kitchen counters.

At any rate, I ran across a short article in Time detailing an interesting fact related to my thoughts here that I wanted to share. As it turns out, most psychologists agree that washing is an effective way of alleviating guilt. (Hmmm….new consequence for the kiddos, methinks….)

A team at BYU wanted to see if this hypothesis would work in reverse. Could you regulate ethical behavior through cleanliness? They conducted experiments involving Citrus scented Windex. As it turns out, participants were much more likely to act with kindness and charity once being exposed to that smell versus (wait for it….) a room scented with “fart-spray”.

So, the moral of the story? Bust out the cleaning supplies and do some scrubbing WITH your kids – and the benefits will go far beyond a squeaky clean countertop.

One thought on “A Reason to Clean???

  1. We are always role models for our kids, at any moment in time. I do not set a high standard for my home to be spotless all the time. I do try to keep it organized. My 2 year old sees me organize things regularly, and I see her get her toys out and put them away with out ever having been asked to do so. And she gets lots of praise for her choices!

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