Saturday, August 25, 2012

Keep It Clean

Cleanliness is Next to Godliness

Harmony Outside Brings Harmony Within

Whenever I move into a new space- dorm room, subletted room, apartment- I always make an effort to keep it clean, organized, and harmonious. Growing up my bedroom was always a mess- clothes scattered on the floor, bed unmade, magazines stacked in corners- and the chaotic outside seemed to impact my inner self. Or maybe the disastrous mess was a reflection of the chaos within (which came first the chicken or the egg?) My Mom continuously tried to tell me that if my room was neater I'd feel better but with the time the mess just grew monumentally and it seemed impossible to even make a dent. Whenever I return to my childhood bedroom I am surrounded by over 15 years of clutter. I can't even imagine what I would discover if I began to dig in- journals written in 1st grader scrawl, empty antibiotic bottles from ear infections, Star magazines from 2006, and G-d knows what else. The clutter seems to penetrate my skin and enter my inside creating a level of confusion and discomfort. Ultimately when I am in a clean and organized space I feel more at peace and at ease. Yesterday I left my apartment in a hurry and was forced to leave it a wreck. There were clothes scattered everywhere, the sheets kicked off the bed, a mess of water still drying, shoes thrown in disarray. It resembled the craziness of the bedroom I grew up in. I couldn't stand it! I stayed at home last night and the entire time I was antsy because I knew my lovely new apartment resembled an abandoned home. It may sound obsessive but I had to get back, I had to clean up, I need to restore it to its harmony. I went in this morning and cleaned house and it felt so good. I looked around the space once I had finished and let out a sigh of relief. My apartment was clean again, it was just right, and my inner harmony was also restored. I know it sounds silly but I am beginning to believe what my Mother said to me years ago. When my surroundings are clean and have some sense of order I feel better. Cleanliness may not be next to Godliness but it definitely has its benefits.

Me in my clean nearly complete apartment !
"Cleanliness generates healthiness, which generates other aspects of life and most important security, but if security and healthiness are there without cleanliness then they are sure to collapse."

Ankur Agrawal

This quote is not completely related to the point I was attempting to make but it definitely expands upon my general theme. A clean space can improve the way we feel, unclutter our mind of exterior distraction, and help us to prosper. I am not saying that you can't live a great life in clutter or even filth. Supposedly mess correlates with creativity although I'd love to challenge that notion. But I strongly believe that a tidy living space helps to build a strong foundation for us to grow and live as people. I think about how I felt when I was younger living in mayhem. I was too young to know that there was really any other way to live. I had too much freedom and really what child wants to clean their room? (My version of cleaning was shoving all the mess underneath my bed to give it the appearance of being neat.) And I had no experience to compare it to. Now that I know how it feels to live in a neat and organized space I can honestly say how much I prefer it. My mind doesn't feel inhibited by a distracting mess. I take pride in where I live and what I see when I look around my apartment. And whenever I walk into the clean space I automatically feel a sense of calm and safety. If you look around your home and see scattered papers, bread crumbs, dirty clothes, and the occasional ant give cleaning up a try. Yes it takes some time and it's not all that fun but you may find, like me, that the result is well worth it!

Pull out a broom and start cleaning!

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