Are your cleaning habits becoming obsessive? Counsellor Sarah Barr looks at the impact of cleaning to the extreme.

The benefits of a tidy and organised home are obvious.

Cleaning can be an outlet for energy and negative emotions. Removing dust, dirt and clutter from our environment provides you with a cleaner, more comfortable space so you can feel happier and more relaxed.

But what happens if your cleaning habits are getting obsessive or making you feel anxious or angry?

What if your cleaning habits are creating negative emotions and impacting on your day to day life?

Research tells us, those who strive on having a perfectly clean, tidy and organised home, may have had an experience in their life, where everything felt chaotic and out of control. Or it may be a learned behavior.

So when you strive for order and tidiness within your home, it may be a way of trying to control your world.

In today’s society many parents feel they have more to do and less time to do it in. Trying to create a work/home life balance, whilst maintaining an immaculate home worthy of Pinterest.

A formula for stress at best and, at worst, complete exhaustion.

Parental burnout, has become a scientifically researched syndrome all of its own. Signs of burnout can include physical exhaustion, avoiding social contact, isolation and a need for perfectionism.

But when it comes to cleaning, when is it considered too much? When do you go from the average neat and tidy person to obsessive cleaning? When does cleaning become overboard and cause problems for you or your loved ones?

The answer will vary, but essentially if your cleaning has been causing some sort of issue or negative consequence with yourself or your loved ones, it may be bordering on obsessive/compulsive cleaning.

So, yes, a tidy home can create a sense of order and calm, but when that spills into a fear of chaos and the cleaning becomes extreme, it affects both the person cleaning and those who live with them.

Those with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) will have a great need or compulsion to clean or perform cleaning rituals so that they feel in control. When they cannot keep up with these things, they feel as if their life is falling apart.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has proven well when it comes to tackling those who feel the need to clean too much.

I am hosting a One Day Minding Mammy Workshop in Letterkenny in September, the aim is to give mum’s tools to help mind their well-being.

For more information please contact me via my Facebook page, email: or call/text 0864477867.
The workshop is intentially small so places are limited.

Take Care ~ Sarah