When I was in high school, I started my own cleaning business. Shocking, I know. I loved then what I love now: the opportunity to put the essential things back where they belong, tidy up, and leave things shiny and clean.
To be clear, I am not a neat freak. Nor do I mind things being out of order or that my house gets dirty. That, to me, is a sign we are living.
But I also don’t mind having to clean in order to return an area to its original state of order and calm. So, it is no wonder that one of the suggestions I make to people when they are looking to feel more organized and tidy is to clean.
Clean something. Anything!
It’ll give you a wonderful feeling of satisfaction and even a little instant gratification – which we all love and need from time to time.
Anytime, in my book, is the best time to clean and tidy up. It doesn’t have to be spring, or a weekend day, or because you have someone coming to your house. Anytime you are looking to get a boost of lightness and instantly feel better in your space I suggest you clean – a desk, a countertop, a floor. Any place there is unrest, clutter, and confusion, the antidote is to clean.
Clean evokes a new beginning. And can be contagious in a way. You clear off a counter and you are less lightly to want to clutter it again. Cleaning and straightening things out forces you to be more intentional in how you use your space.
And that intentionality creates more happiness and freedom in your life.
Obviously, I am a fan of literally cleaning – like the windows and floors, and giving your things in your physical space a good wash down. But I am also a fan of cleaning the proverbial closets that are often filled with excess responsibilities, limiting beliefs, and negative emotions.
The clutter in those spaces will do as much damage as the physically clutter-filled spaces in your home.
It is time to clean it all. Here are three areas to clear so you can find space in your place, peace in your head, and intentionality in your life.
Clear your physical space.
Don’t take on every physical space, please. Just pick an area that looks like it needs some clutter-clearing love. Maybe it is the kitchen table or counters that are filled with last week’s mail. Or your bedroom that has piles of clothes littering the floor and the bed. Pick one area in that space that feels chaotic. Sort items into two piles: the essential, and the essentially clutter. Things that add value to your space and your life are essential. And those are the things you will keep and put away. The essentially clutter are the things you are keeping “just in case”, that you know you don’t like, need or use. They can be discarded, donated or given away to someone else who needs it more than you do. Question why you have something and what is its purpose. When you do that, you become a more mindful consumer, and more conscious about how you want to live. And, you keep clutter at bay and set the stage for healthy and happy living.
Clear your mental space.
Is there someone or something you have in your life that is draining your energy? Perhaps you feel weighed down by a relationship or an item that conjures up old, painful, or negative emotions. This is clutter. And as difficult as it can be to “purge” your life of these people and things, you deserve to feel better. Take a look at your relationships, and the things in your space that carry heavy and negative memories and emotions, as well as the limiting beliefs and comparisons you harbor. These things anchor you in the past, and prevent you from being your best self. Consider purging them from your life. It will clear the path for you to invest your energy into thoughts, things and people that energize you and give you life – not take it away.
Clear your schedule.
Wouldn’t it be nice if from time to time we could just burn our schedule and all the “to dos” on it? I don’t want you to shirk your responsibilities. But I do think we need to pare down our calendars and re-think our priorities. We need to be sure we have time for ourselves and our loved ones. Often we say “yes” so much that our schedule ends up being packed with commitments that – let’s face it – aren’t always necessary. We have to learn to say “no”. We have to clear the nonessential so we can see more clearly what matters most. And make room for them more easily.
Doing these will give you a fresh outlook on your life and how you want to live it.
They will help you get “clean” and importantly, help you to more deliberately choose a happier, freer, and lighter life.