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Clean machine: Is tidying up the house a stress reliever?

I'll admit it candidly. I love to clean, but not for the reasons you might believe.
When someone tells you they love to clean, vacuum, dust or scrub a toilet from time to time, most assume that is simply a case of wanting to neat and sanitary or simply keeping up with household chores for the sake of doing so and simply not minding doing the task.
But what about the idea that household duties, chores and other work of that ilk predicated on the premise that it actually helps relieve stress?
That idea might not be as silly as you think.
I know cleaning the entire house from head to toe, top to bottom is something I tackle when I've had a particularly pesky and stressful day at the office. What some people might view as more work after work is seen by plenty as a means to take that stress and exert it on a practical act that you have to do anyway to keep a clean house.

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Cleaning is just another form of lower grade cardiovascular training, right?
Perhaps hauling dirty laundry from upstairs to the laundry room or sprinting around to each room with a duster in one hand or mop in the other doesn't compare to riding on a treadmill or hitting the gym to use the elliptical, but it gives you that sense of purpose and focus that you long for in order to expel energy you simply don't know what to do with at the moment.
You also can overlook the simple notion that having a clean house gives you a peace of mind and a feeling of cleanliness that allows you to relax. Laundry laying everywhere, dishes in the sink or dust accumulating on every piece of furniture, whether you want to admit it or not, stresses you out. The feeling of finality when you wipe clean that last window is a sense of relief that feels pretty good.
For busy moms and dads alike, cleaning often can be the time they spend to themselves, without every actually leaving the house. Granted, that so called "me" time would probably be more enjoyable at a football or baseball game or perhaps at the movies, but when kids come into the equation you'll often take what you can get, even if that means toting around a toilet brush and bleach rather than a set of golf clubs.
Cleaning might not be at the top of most lists, but for some it is the way they cope, combat or completely rid themselves of stress. That might not be the flashiest way of doing so but you can't aruge its effectiveness.

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