1.5 hours of cleaning helped me reach a conclusion I couldn’t see clearly before.
Bit of a dramatic title there, wouldn’t you say! But I’m totally serious! Stick with me to the end to see why you should trust me on this…
I can honestly say that cleaning is one of the coping mechanisms that can reduce that feeling of being out-of-control-getting-slight-twitch-in-eye crazy.
Don’t get me wrong…
I would like to stress before you read the rest of this blog post, that I am not a particularly pristine person. If I have a choice between whether I clean the house or sit and write a blog post, got lost on Instagram or watch a movie with my Mister…. all of the latter three would win out… every time. I hate doing laundry with a passion and I resent cleaning things around the house that are immediately going to get dirty again. I will unashamedly admit to you now that, until yesterday, I had a large gang of dust-bunnies hanging from my en-suite alcove ceiling. Goodness knows how long it had been there! (Okay, I’m slightly ashamed…)
Rest assured, our house is presentable and the daily chores of dishes, laundry (ugh), making beds and cleaning kitchen/bathroom is done religiously, but the deep cleans and organisational needs of the house often go unfulfilled.
Let me explain…
My wonderful Mister has very few daily demands when it comes to the house, other than there has to be the heating on, milk in the fridge and teabags in the cupboard. And if the kitchen sides are tidy… the rest of the house could be in chaos and he wouldn’t be too bothered, bless him. Even when I get angry at myself for procrastinating over the laundry (and I often do), he never complains over my lack of organisation or productivity. He sees everything I do get done instead. And he encourages me to do the same.
Whilst I am VERY lucky, this gives me a LOT of leeway with accountability… Add this to the fact that I work full-time, drive 400 miles a week to get to work, get up at 5am, attempt to run a blog and have two crazy kittens and two barmy kids that visit every weekend…. means cleaning is often forgotten in favour of much needed sleep or rest.
Why this is so bad…
It contradicts my Virgo tendencies. This lack of the house feeling ‘spruced-up’ has me in a constant state of funk and discontent. I sit on the sofa, having had a very long day at work and needing to crack on with some stuff for this blog and yet… in the back of my mind all I can think about is that the shower glass door needs steam cleaning. Or the bedroom wardrobe needs wiping out and organising.
This state of anxiety (I would definitely say that is what it borders on) is not good for anyone. And last weekend it reached a boiling point for me. I had to do something.
So I thought about it and decided I would tackle as much as I could in an hour and a half to make the house a little fresher and brighter. Hopefully it would help my sanity. So I set about… at 7:30 in the morning on a Saturday, might I add, with the first task of cleaning the bin.
The Snowball Effect…
I started small (and icky), but it’s true what they say about the snowball effect. Once I had a sparkly, fresh-smelling bin (thank you, Zoflora) I wanted clean floors, so I swept the downstairs to within an inch of its life. Then I grabbed the feather duster and attacked every inch of wall and ceiling I could get to (while being attacked by kittens who are certain the feather duster is their arch nemesis in league with the vacuum). This snowball carried on tumbling until it ended with me elbow deep in the oven.
Anyway, long story short… I got quite a bit done in the hour and a half (with the help from my wonderful Mister).
But, I didn’t get everything done…
Here’s the thing though… after all that frantic cleaning and ticking off tasks on my list, even though I didn’t get everything done, I felt better. Not just about my home… but about me. Most importantly, I felt better able to be creative and organised in other areas.
This reminded me of a passion I’ve always had but not really focused on too much. I love natural health – healing the body and the mind naturally, by creating a healthy and happy environment around me.
I’ve been so busy focusing on my new job, my family and the do’s and don’ts in the blogging world, that I forgot all about this. I forgot that one of the main things I planned to write about on Studio at 17 was creating a healthy home, as well as a pretty one.
New sense of direction…
Despite working on The Reading Nook, I’ve been feeling rather aimless in my direction with Studio at 17 lately. I’ve always known I want it to be all about interiors and but I couldn’t quite figure out the particular niche into which I wanted to carry it. But, this little revelation I had after I had finished scrubbing the oven, helped remind me of my original mindset. To create a beautiful, happy & healthy home that doesn’t just focus on how a space looks but on how it feels, and how it makes YOU feel.
And all this came about by cleaning…
Of course, this blog post title says cleaning can help you feel sane, my dear reader. I’m not saying that if you get close and personal with a scouring pad and your oven you’ll have a full-blown revelation about what you’re meant to do with the rest of your life. But here’s why I think you should consider having a bit of a spring clean soon.
1. Clean House, Clean Mind
If you have a clean environment around you, there is less for you to think about, less for you to be distracted by and less for you to see around you.
Which is awesome.
A clean, uncluttered environment promotes a calm mind, empowering you to focus on other tasks, such as looking into that creative outlet you have been wanting to explore or that book you’ve been dying to read.
2. Clean House, Clean Task List
If you have ticked off all those niggling tasks that you’ve been meaning to do around the house, you have the space to create a new task list. A task list that can focus on things that are important to you and that can help you progress down the path you wish to follow.
Or, perhaps, now that you have crossed off all those items, you now have the time and headspace to figure out the direction you wish to take in life.
3. Clean House, New Discoveries
I know I can’t be the only one who can say this, but when I’m having a good clean and clear out, I can honestly say that I have – every time – stumbled upon something that I had completely forgotten about. In doing so I’ve discovered a new passion I want to explore or old pictures I’d forgotten I had and old books I want to read again.
Be honest… do you really know everything single thing that is in every corner of your home right now? Probably not. Maybe you could rediscover a forgotten interest or find a new one just by having a clean out.
These are just a few reasons why cleaning can help you stay sane and gain direction. There are so many reasons why keeping a clean and organised house is beneficial. But these three really hit home with me recently and I wanted to share them with you.