You feel pleasing shivers along your spine as you watch a woman doing the first wipe through the grime that’s built up on a hob.
Your breath catches as she refills her guest bathroom’s drawers.
You sigh a bone-deep relief as her folded clothes fit oh so perfectly into a categorised container.
These are the unique thrills of home organisation and cleaning gurus, whose content we watch hungrily on Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube.
But why do we find these videos so satisfying? And why do we become obsessed?
‘All obsessions develop from a need to self soothe,’ psychotherapist and author Annie Bennett tells Metro.co.uk. ‘In the context of home organisation and creating a beautiful and clean environment, the aim is to calm down the heightened nervous system and relax or feel better.’
You might find yourself cleaning and organising more in times of stress and anxiety, as a sort of stand-in for sorting out your mind.
Your inner state might feel chaotic, but at least you can organise your interior space – or watch other people sort out theirs.
There’s no harm in enjoying cleaning, organising, and watching videos on these topics, but watch out for this enjoyment tipping into obsession.
You should also be cautious of using cleaning and organising as a sticking plaster for deeper issues, or putting the tidiness of your house above taking time for proper self-care.
If you’re concerned your love of a good scrub could be a problem, tune into what’s going on for you when you’re cleaning and when you’re not.
‘If you find that you are straightening pictures or putting things in order, perhaps your wardrobe is constantly being rearranged and arranged by colour, consider what is happening for you emotionally,’ says Annie.
‘These behaviours often start in childhood but may also develop later in life when stress becomes more intense and for some the stress levels become overwhelming. Our unconscious mind and our wonderful body work together in unison.
‘Often the pace of life is so fast we overlook our emotions and our body, it is usually our body that tells us that something is going on and we need to pay attention, so look upon your obsessions or compulsions as your mind and body telling that you need to pay attention.’
If you do think your obsession may have gone too far, don’t smother those worries with yet more bleach swirled down the toilet bowl.
Take some time to organise your mental state, prioritising this above your home or TikTok scrolling.
‘If you are resonating with this article consider slowing down your pace and take in some meditation or yoga and breathing exercises,’ Annie advises.
‘If you are really struggling visit your GP and have a chat about it.
‘Finding a good therapist and engaging in the process is an effective course of action to help you get to the bottom of what’s going on.’
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Follow us on Twitter at @MentallyYrs.
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