I like to clean. It makes my mind clearer. It reminds me that I can make a difference in the world. It declutters and de-stresses my brain.
I wonder if it’s in my blood. My Grandmas and Aunts all maintain[ed ] impeccable houses. I do not. But I do enjoy cleaning.
I think I used to clean out of guilt. I think that’s why I would feel so overwhelmed with it. Every 8 days or so I would think, we’re animals! We’re living like animals! This has to stop! “Where is my family?”
Now I clean a little bit at a time, a few minutes here and there, as little as 5 minutes a day or as much as an hour a day. And I do it because I like it.
Example: I need a break from this code. Asterisks, dollar signs, and curly brackets are not playing well with my brain anymore. So I stop and clean something. Bathrooms are a favorite of mine. I don’t know anyone else yet who cleans bathroom for therapy, but I know you’re out there. You and I love cleaning bathrooms.
To maintain some organization, I keep a checklist and check off what I did so I can complete the cycle. My goal is the entire house in a week, even heretofore never touched things like baseboard (I admit it — I’ve avoided the baseboard). I’ve accomplished it once so far, then got really sick over the holidays. Today I did the kitchen. It felt like it took an hour, but it had been awhile, and it included shining and polishing everything that looked like metal. Grease? No match for vinegar or Norwex Descaler. Whichever you prefer. The Descaler also nicely handles hard water stains. The orange kind (iron), the green kind (lime) and the white kind (calcium?).
I find “when you improve the world in one way, you improve it in many ways.” (This quote is from the movie Amazing Grace, which you should watch if you haven’t.)
I find when my space is cleaner, my mind is cleaner. When my mind is cleaner, it’s happier. When I’m happier, I treat others with more hope.
I try not to clean out of guilt anymore. Guilt paralyzes. Hope propels forward. And since “how you do anything is how you do everything,” (Dave Farmar, yoga teacher), maybe my motivation for everything I do will change.