In my post, 5 Apartment Therapy Tips I Use All the Time, I noted that keeping fresh flowers around the house inspires me in unexpected ways—it lifts my mood and helps me keep a neater home. Makes sense? Sounds hokey? A little of both? Turns out there's some science behind this!
We've included buying flowers in the Cure assignments for years. Maxwell has promoted this simple practice as an easy and affordable way to add beauty to our homes and lift our spirits. Turns out, a behavioral study at Harvard backs up the positive power of flowers...er, flower power, as their findings indicated:
Living with flowers can provide a boost of energy, happiness and enthusiasm ...Having flowers at home can have a positive carry-over impact on our mood at work, too. The study found that people were more likely to feel happier and have more enthusiasm and energy at work when flowers were in their home living environments.
For me, the positive impact of keeping fresh flowers also carries over to my cleaning habits. It's almost like the flowers are really lovely guests in my home and I want to make sure they're comfortable. Is that odd? Probably. Alas, it works. For instance, if I set a small pitcher of tulips on my dining table, I'm far more conscientious about keeping the table free of clutter because beautiful tulips shouldn't be sitting in a pile of lord-knows-what (I have two young kids, so my surfaces are a treasure trove of random sundry items). The same follows for keeping, say, a vase of hydrangeas on my coffee table. The beauty of the flowers tends to impel me to wipe down the table on which the flowers are set, pick up any surrounding junk, fluff the pillows, fold the blankets. If the theory of like follows like holds true, I suppose loveliness and calm begets loveliness and calm.
So if you're looking for some tidying up motivation, experiment with picking up fresh cut flowers at the grocery store or local florist. Or, if fresh cut flowers just aren't your jam, perhaps try a spray of greenery, invest in an orchid, or create a display of pretty succulents. Place your arrangement in an area that tends to collect clutter (kitchen counter, dining or coffee table, work desk) and see if their presence adds a bit more motivation to up your daily cleaning routine. Ah, the sneaky (and sweet smelling!) power of flowers...