angry cleaning

At first I thought I was the only one who cleaned when I was angry or anxious. When I did a bit of research as to why I do this – I actually found out “angry cleaning” and “cleaning rage” is an actual thing. Most people feel a compulsive urge to clean something when they are annoyed or frustrated about or with someone. 

Now don’t get me wrong – my house is very very far from sparkly. Which you could interpret in two ways – one, that I don’t get angry very often. Or two, that I clean only certain areas or things. If at this point you are thinking, “Well – she has kids?” you would be right.  So I do get stressed, anxious and angry – and get this huge need to organise some stuff. People I work with, know that when I start unpacking my drawers and repacking them. It usually means, I have a lot going on. Is that weird?

I mentioned that I did some research into the “why” behind this phenomenon, and couldn’t come up with any good reasons. I have theories of my own, which make some sense to me.

Theory 1 – Control

My first theory is that I clean because it gives me a sense of control. I sort and organise the little things (sometimes big things depending on how stressed I am) that I can, and it makes me feel like I am in control of something. It makes me feel better that there are certain things that I actually can control, change, make better. I actually think that seeing and being in an area that is more organised and sorted makes it easier for me to process things that are stressing me out.

angry cleaning

Theory 2 – Time to process

My second theory is that it gives me time to process. While I clean, I usually talk to myself. Listen – I do this a lot. It’s actually a little scary, I will have a full conversation with myself about why I am upset, and what I should do, playing out the different scenarios. When I am done cleaning usually I have had all the time to sort through all my thoughts. I have decided on a way forward, and I feel accomplished. PLUS! My washing is done, my house is clean and I’ve possibly cooked too.

I’m actually leaning toward a mixture of both theories, I get upset with my husband, as you know, and then my house gets a good clean – hooray. He leaves me be – because he just knows I need the time. He is a wise man, I must say. Now that I have said all this – I am starting to feel a little crazy… do you angry clean too? Or what other ways do you cope with overwhelming emotions?

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In the meantime – I am guilty of angry cleaning, and probably a lot of other crazy things. All of us girls are a little crazy right??

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