I have spent almost my entire day cleaning. I am not talking about just kind of tidying. I am talking about a deep to the bone cleaning.
It is not often that I get time to clean, but I had purposed in my mind to clean, and boy did I clean. Now, it wasn’t that my space need that intense of a cleaning, I am a fairly clean person, yet, my space needed to just be gone through. Deeply gone through.
Do you even start cleaning off your desk or cleaning out your closet and wonder how so much life got thrown into piles around you? That was my thought today. I began going through drawers and boxes, and there was life in them.
I went through one box that had all my high school id’s in them, I have been out of high school for almost 15 years, like wow!! I also found my first license, and that was just laughable. The further I went into these boxes the deeper back I went in my life. Needless to say it was time to sacrifice some of these things to the gods of the dumpster, and yard sale.
On and on it went, pieces of my past, cards from friends, and the rare find of the thing you long had forgotten. Then, of course, you come across the treasure of a lifetime that you just have to keep, and if you are honest, you had long ago forgot about it but not you are insisting on keeping it.
And so my day went.
On and on.
Bag and box, after bag and box.
Finding bits of past and present mixed into together and then some.
Needless to say, the day was long.
When I started this cleaning process I has just generally wanted to clean my space, to get into the corners where the dust colony’s have begun putting down roots.
There is something about a clean space.
You can think clearer.
You just feel like a person again.
My space consists of a living room, that holds my itty bitty kitchen, and by kitchen I mean fridge, my bedroom, and my bathroom. My place fits about four people comfortably, and about six people if they really want to be there. I have learned to use my space as best as I can, and when my place is dirty it makes the whole space shrink to about half the size. It becomes imperative that I keep it clean.
My cleaning process is not very technical, I just clean what is dirty.
Now what I think is dirty, and what you think is dirty may be two very different things. I always start in my bathroom, because lets be honest it gets just gross in bathrooms. I swear, after cleaning my bathroom, I can do my makeup better, my hair does what I want it to, and my shower seems to be like a spa. You may not agree with me but I feel like it is my bathrooms way of saying, “Thank you kind woman, you have shown me great mercy.” I kid, but do I?
After I have given the bathroom it’s respect back, I have to tackle where my life seems to explode. Clothes.
I am positive that my closet throws up my clothes.
Clothes I didn’t even wear have some how found their way to the floor, the chair, and in a pile on the dresser. It never fails, I think my closet is in rebellion against me.
With the closet restored to order again, I make my way to my living room. Being as it is the room where most of us live, hence the living room title, there seems to always be life thrown everywhere. For me my living room is part kitchen, part office, half play room, and whatever is left is generally my quiet space. My thrift store couch and chair are the best part of my day. There is something about sitting on your couch after a long day. Everyone should have a couch. Couches are lovely things. If not a couch then something that makes you go, “Thank you for this space.”
My living room space is never too insane, as I have people in and out of my house a lot of the time. Once the “replacing things where they should be” happens, I am about done.
There is seriously something about a clean house/place.
Everything looks and feels better.
I know everyone has their ways of cleaning, and their own ways of keeping order in their own house, still let me share with you five tips on keeping your space clean.
- Some of the issues in keeping our homes clean come from the most obvious source, lack of time. With that being said, my first tip to you is pick up as you go. Picking up as you go can help you on many fronts. It helps you maintain a level of clean, and also makes it easier for you to process through the dirty areas. What I mean by that is that if your level of clean is always a pattern of picking up at the end of the day, or even as you go throughout the day, then when you wake up it will be to less of a mess and “oh crap” factor, and more to a calm atmosphere. Keeping a level of clean helps you to be able to process where the problem areas are as well. Problem areas can be your closet, bathroom, or under your bed. With a level of clean, you are able to see the areas that need more attention i.e. your clothes bomb in the corner of your room!
- Another tip to limit your mess with outfits is to plan your outfits the night before. When we plan ahead we can limit our stress when we are running those minutes late. Planning your outfit the night before can be the saving grace for you and your family as well. Picking out the pants you want to wear, and then two shirts as options to what you might be feeling the next day keeps the chaos of your closet from exploding onto your attitude and starting your day rough.
- Always make your bed, even if its just a rough version of the making of the bed, that is one of my number one things to a clean space. A made bed makes your entire room feel less overwhelming. There is also something about climbing into a made bed that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy. If you plan to make your bed each morning after you get up and brush your teeth, you will feel productive, and when you come home after a long day there your made bed will be. Even if the floor is flooded with clothes and books, or whatever else you seem to have, your clean and made bed will be a fresh breath of air.
- This may sound harsh but sometimes you have to be ruthless when going through your old things. No, you do not need your history notes from 8th grade. No, that sweater has not gotten any better over the last 4 years. I am sure Grandma will understand that you don’t have need of a tea cozy in pea green. Most of the time we can explain away why we “need” to keep this or that, but the truth is we, as Americans, hoard more things than we actually need. When it comes to a box that has been hidden in the back of your closet, go through it, feel the emotions, and then donate it to the dumpster of your choice or have yourself a good old fashion yard sale and make some money for your trash becoming someone else treasure. Make sure you put the tea cozy in the yard sale!
- When cleaning your space, make time to go through your space in sections. Ever heard of the phrase, “bite off more than you can chew.”? Well that is this concept. We have such good intentions about our clean fest that we are embarking on. There you are with your weapons of choice, mop, vacuum, dust cloth, and Mr.Clean Magic Erasers ready to tackle whatever problem that comes at you. Then three hours later you have a mess everywhere you look, and no end in sight. This is why I suggest cleaning in sections. That way you feel a bit of triumph when you finish a section. Then before you know it, the whole place is sparkling clean, and the level of clean is White House status.
Don’t let the hugeness of the task before you get you frustrated. Start somewhere and pick up that area. If you have a closet monster, it may take you a few days to tame him. Don’t give up. Once you have straightened up your space make a plan to keep it that way. Pick up as you go throughout the day, hang your clothes up, make your bed and be sure to give yourself grace. Grace because you live in that space, and a lived in space will always have the fingerprints of living, and that is good. You just need to have space to live, and space that is clean will help you live with peace and joy, and make the living all the sweeter.
Happy cleaning my friends!