I was watching a clip from Oprah’s show Super Soul Sunday with a guest named Gretchen Rubin, and the topic was on how to live a more authentic, present and happy life. In one part, they talked about cleanliness, and how having clean, uncluttered spaces could help us feel more at ease on a regular basis. While I do have a semi-low tolerance of extreme messiness in my normal state, I didn’t know that my feeling of well-being could be directly related to the messiness of my room and/or house.
I’m someone who will clean on Sundays, and then it’s downhill from there – think clothes and dishes everywhere. So, I set out to be clean for a week as an experiment, and to gauge whether the extra effort would be worthwhile. I would pick up after myself as I went along (not leaving clothes or dirty dishes out, putting things back in drawers, etc) and also kept neat at work (cleaning off my desk before end of each day, so I’d come to a clean desk each morning). I realized it made a huge difference in how I felt and was always worth the effort of tidying. I felt lighter, more focused, and happier. I think having less physical clutter also cuts down on the mental clutter and distraction of the mind.
I have a desk in my room that usually serves as a a temporary trash dump, but I’ve cleaned and decorated it so that it will inspire me to get some work done (photographed). In addition to clear surfaces, I also find that room decorations like flowers, house plants, candles, lights, trays and books really make my space feel more inviting, beautiful to look at and more home-y. There was a time when I didn’t care so much about that, but I’ve decided the details matter!
I hope you have a great start to your week and consider cleaning up your spaces if you could use a pick me up. I’m also interested in this book on Japanese organization, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, which states that when deciding whether or not to hold on to something, only choose something if it sparks joy. Simple enough right?