Can Cleaning Your House Help You Lose Weight?

Most people, when thinking about trying to lose weight, think about the normal things like diet and exercise. But there’s another that goes hand in hand with your goals of weight loss: house cleaning. It’s not going to make you drop pounds like crazy, but on its own, it can definitely add to the number of calories burned and help you lead a health-conscious life.

Burning Calories Through Housework 

Activities at home with are not exercises, yet they come to really burn some good number of calories. The number of exact calories burned is prone to variation due to the difference in weight and intensity with which you do the activity, but here are estimates for some common chores:

  • Vacuuming (moderate): 119 cals/hr
  • Mopping: 153 calories in 30 minutes
  • Windows scrubbed down: 153 calories in half an hour
  • Scrubbing the bathtub: 200+ calories in 30 minutes
  • Brushing: 136 calories/hour
  • Doing laundry including washing, hanging, and folding: 73 calories per hour
  • Dusting: 85 calories in 60 minutes
  • Rearrange furniture (moderate): 100 calories per hour
  • Gardening (moderate): 200-400 calories per
  • Shoveling snow: 223 calories in 30 minutes

As observed above, 30 minutes of housework can burn 100-200 calories or more. That caloric expenditure may sum up by the week, finally establishing a calorie deficit, which is able to produce visible weight loss. For instance, if someone did household activities for one hour daily, they could burn 500-700 calories in one week. This helps in a steady, sustainable weight loss process when combined with a healthy diet and frequent exercise.

Turning Chores into a Workout 

Approach household chores with the same enthusiasm you would have while going to a workout to burn calories: try to hit big muscle groups and keep a good pace so you’re moving at close to an aerobic rate. Turn on some lively music to inspire you to work quickly and efficiently with as few breaks as possible.

Some ways to increase the intensity of housework and burn even more calories include:

  • Lunge while vacuuming or mopping
  • Use a manual carpet sweeper instead of a vacuum cleaner.
  • Wash the windows or scrub down surfaces
  • Walk up and down stairs to put away laundry or declutter
  • Have fun and dance while dusting or wiping the counters off
  • Go up and down the steps hauling laundry baskets or boxes filled with stuff to be donated 
  • Cutting the grass with a push mower instead of a riding mower
  • Raking a lot of leaves or shoveling a lot of snow

Try to build up to at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity housework on most days of the week. You can break it up into smaller blocks of 10 to 15 minutes several times a day if you are short of time. Be consistent: making housework a regular part of your routine can support a higher total activity level and sustain weight loss over time. Emily Smith, CFO of Cleaning Services Austin, believes that doing small tasks is better than just planning big ones.

Even if housework will help to burn some extra calories, it is not a replacement for good, regular workouts. Continue to attempt to get in specific, purposeful workout sessions for both strength training and cardio workouts to maximize health and weight loss efforts. Housework is an adjunct to the main fitness plan, not a substitute.

Some More Benefits to Losing Weight in a Clean Home

Apart from the burning of calories, the maintenance of a clean and organized home can support weight loss through the following:

Reduced stress: An untidy, disorganized space is a source of stress, one of the most common triggers for emotional eating. An overwhelming space can make it feel easy to just turn to food for comfort. When you take care to keep your home clean and organized, you will have a lesser extent of stress, and consequently, you will be less likely to engage in overeating due to stress. A clean space brings about a feeling of calm and control, in which you can make more mindful food choices.

Healthier choices of food: A clean and organized kitchen enforces better practices in food preparation, making it a convenience for those who intend to cook and eat healthily. You would more easily carry out cooking activities and store healthy foods. A clean, welcoming kitchen will surely enhance your motivation to cook great new recipes and save you from the temptation of convenience food.

Improved sleep: The bedroom will be clean with fresh sheets and less clutter, so it can help one to sleep better. Good sleep will be of immense help in weight management, since lack of sleep will upset the hunger hormones, ghrelin and leptin, making one have increased appetite and cravings. You have a calm, uncluttered sleep environment that will help you get asleep faster and rest more restoratively, hence promoting your efforts toward weight loss.

More mindfulness: The very process of cleaning can be meditative and grounding. Whether cleaning the shelf or folding clothes, it will bring you in touch with what is going on in your head and in the space around you. It makes you conscious of the rest of your life: more self-aware when choosing food and when, indeed, you are already full. Mindful eating has been a big part of weight loss and ultimately in weight maintenance.

Mood elevation and motivation: An organized and clean home will elevate your spirits. Feeling good about your space typically affords you the motivation to be healthier in every other respect, like keeping up with your workout routine and making healthy food choices. A clean house can also make it easier to locate workout clothing, and it can make preparing healthful foods easier, which allows for fewer barriers in keeping your weight loss plan on track.


All in all, housecleaning is not a form of activity that will support quick or dramatic weight loss in any way, shape, or form, but it does certainly support the whole weight loss routine. In every possible way, from burning extra calories to reducing stress, from promoting good habit to increasing mindfulness and from boosting mood and motivation, cleaning the house is a great addition to any comprehensive weight loss plan.

Remind yourself that cleaning, or perhaps hiring a maid service, will not only provide a healthy living environment but also contribute to your health and well-being. All you need is some energizing music, your cleaning supplies, and you’re ready to torch some serious calories while creating a space that supports your weight-loss goals. So in every little bit of activity, every bit counts, and making housework a regular and consistent part of your lifestyle is going to start moving you closer to a healthier, happier you.


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