Clean your Home
Updated: Feb 17
Do you like the current state of cleanliness in your home?
A great way to put creativity before consumption is to clean and tidy up your home. Look around and you might notice there's a lot of stuff you own. I'm guilty of the same thing too. I have a lot of knickknacks, jewelry, stuffed animals, books, movies, and miscellaneous items.
When you are in a cluttered space, It does something to your mental state. When things are disorganized, in your home, you tend to feel more disorganized in your life. I know that works with me. It was the same way with my mom. She always felt better about life when she had a clean house. I didn't understand as a kid, but now I definitely understand where she was coming from. There's something really peaceful and beautiful about a clean home.
Growing up, I hated cleaning, but now I really enjoy it when I get into it. I have to get started before I get interested. But sometimes it doesn't take much to initiate it.
The life-changing magic of tidying up
Not too long ago, my boss told me about Marie Kondo and the KonMarie method of cleaning. So I watched her show, and I was inspired by how she approached cleaning. She has a very minimalist approach, which I enjoy (though I must say, I don't truly live as a minimalist).
The KonMarie Method is very simple. It's about organizing, based on category rather than room, and focusing on what really matters.
She has five categories: 1. Clothing, 2. Books, 3. Documents, 4. Miscellaneous items, and 5. Sentimental items. For each item in your house, you need to hold it in your hands and think to yourself: does this item spark joy? Does it excite you to see it? If you don't really care about it and you don't use it, you probably shouldn't have it in your house.
Bust of Anubis
I have been a pack rat my whole life. I always wanted to keep everything because I might need it one day. Every time my parents tried to get rid of something, I would tell them not to.
For example, my family was involved in theater, so we once made this bust of Anubis for a little play. We kept it for years; they might even still have it now. Every time my mom said we should get rid of it, I told her that the day we get rid of it is the day we're going to need it again.
Add the fact that I'm incredibly sentimental, and you have more clutter. I kept every single letter, note, or card anyone had ever given to me. And I mean, everything: I kept the plastic that came around the first roses my husband gave to me, the rose petals from the first set of roses I ever got, a box for the chocolates my husband gave to me. There was hardly anything I wouldn't keep.
Then after I got married, I had a ton of junk. I was going through it at one point and looking through some cards. They did make me happy, as there were a lot of good memories associated with them, but in all honesty, I hadn't read most of them since I received them. I was really torn with getting rid of some of the letters I received through my life.
Then my husband told me that throwing away the item does not throw away the person or the memory. That was really significant to me, because I tend to put my love for people into objects. I feel like it makes them more tangible. I didn't want to get rid of the items because I thought I was throwing away the people and the memories associated with the items, saying that they didn't mean anything to me. But they did mean something to me. Since it was truly meaningful to me, I would remember it.
I kept some very special letters to me, including every letter that my husband gave me, and I got rid of a lot of letters that meant a lot to me, which was difficult, but now some time later, I still remember a lot of those letters. I remember the people that sent them to me and the heart that went into them. I don't remember the exact words, but the words weren't really what mattered to me.
What brings you joy?
A similar principle applies to our stuff. We often buy so much junk. This is an effect from the over-consumption that we generally live. We have so much stuff, because we see something we want, and we get it.
Often times we do that, but then after a while, it loses its luster. We're not as crazy about it, so it gathers dust. Then we come home to a place that is so packed with stuff where almost every flat surface has items strewn all over it.
How did this happen? Bit by bit, we started acquiring a bunch of stuff that we don't even care about and don't even look at anymore. There are so many things that we have that we don't enjoy; try to enjoy it. You don't need a lot of items in order to have items that improve the quality of life.
The idea behind minimalism and the KonMarie Method is to is to take stuff and minimize it to what actually makes you happy so that you have more space, less clutter, a cleaner, more crisp look in your house, without random stuff weighing you down.
I really like that.
Other kinds of cleaning
Fortunately, tidying up by de-cluttering isn't the only kind of cleaning you can do.
Scrub the floorboards
Dust the furniture
Vacuum the floor
Sweep and mop
Wipe the counters clean
Scrub the toilet/tub/shower
These are nice tasks to do, because while you're creating a clean house, you don't need to put forth much mental effort, so you can use that time to think as well. Get lost in your thoughts. We sometimes are afraid to be bored, so we turn on music, which is a good form of consumption, but it's not necessary. Embrace the silence. Take that time as an opportunity to create.
Walk around your house. Find one item to get rid of or one item you can put away. Make something look a little better. Wipe down the counters, scrub the toilet, or vacuum the floor. Do something right now to improve the overall look of your home.