Until a couple years ago, I couldn't care less about the tidiness of a home. Going into someone's cluttered space had no bearing on my level of comfort. And if anything, I felt less at ease in a home that was spotless, and more relaxed where I was less likely to do any damage.
In my desire for a simpler life (and from having a child), I started researching** how to keep a tidy home. In said research, I found many helpful tips on getting organized and DIYing my way to a tidy space. As I gathered tips and pins for purging and cleaning, I soon realized that my problem wasn't so much how as it was why. Because I really didn't care whether or not my home was clean, I found that what I really wanted to figure out was why people care about having a tidy nest.
So, I changed my approach; I began searching things like, "why should I clean my house, anyway?" And...while I may just be bad at internetting (according to my husband, this is the case), I didn't find any helpful resources. Nothing out there motivated me to care about living in a tidy space. And so, due to my futile Internet gleanings, I resolved my dilemma by finding my own motivation and making my own list.
**Researching: A word originally intended for things like studying important theories and ideas, but here simply refers to Pinteresting.
1. Focusing on the fun at hand. It gets pretty tiring having to clean up after myself just to start a new project. Instead, I've found value in cleaning up as soon as I'm finished with a project and before moving on to the next adventure of the day. This applies to cooking and cleaning up a meal, sewing, reading, doing laundry, playing board games, and the list goes on. This way, when something new is happening, I don't have to be mad at yesterday's self for not cleaning up her mess.
2. Feeling less stressed when there aren't messes. You know when you sit down to focus on the task at hand--say reading or writing, and within a few minutes you have a load of laundry going, the dishes are done, and the bathroom is sparkling? What the heck is that?! I'm not sure if it's procrastination, but I know it happens to me all. the. time. With tidying as part of the daily routine, the temptation to de-clutter instead of say...write this post is eliminated.
3. Valuing Hospitality. Aside from all the obvious, extroverted reasons that I love to welcome people into my space, I also love it because it's an excuse for my husband and I to do a full on cleanup of our home. When racking my brain for motivation to keep a tidy home, this realization signaled something to me. It showed me that on some level, I obviously care about having a tidy space--even if it's for the sake of other people. So now, instead of rushing around trying to do everything, we can simply enjoy the preparation of food, music, games, and conversation before our guests arrive.
4. Having a home where parents feel welcome to bring their little ones. In our apartment, this doesn't mean putting up baby gates and sticking those plastic thingies into electric outlets. It mostly means hanging plants up high and putting stuff into its own place. This makes our space naturally safer for little ones: a place where they're free to explore and play.
5. It's fairly painless. Check out this blog post from my girl Demi-Brooke. She offers some great insight into the fact that it really doesn't take as much time as you might think to include tidying up in the daily, family routine. I also found The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up to be a helpful resource when learning to let go of my stuff. (The image to the right does contain an affiliate link. This means, at no extra cost, Amazon will pay me a small fee if you purchase the book through my link :-)).
6. It saves time. I always considered myself a "chaotic organized" person. As I thought about keeping a tidy home, I couldn't help but ask myself, "what does that even mean?" I think for me it means not wanting to lose sight of my creativity, my style, or a space that feels like my own. And yet, I'm so tired of wasting time looking for things: the checkbook, sewing needles, a spatula, whatever!! Just please, oh items of mine, be in one place so I can maintain some semblance of sanity...just leave my style be.
7. Serving others in the home. While I was finishing up my last few credits in college, I was both jobless (broke) and living with full time students. While looking for a job, I sought many-a-volunteer opportunity, but was met mostly with a full sent box and an empty inbox. It was really difficult to stay motivated and focused; I was bored, lonely, and felt pretty worthless. After awhile, I realized that the others in my home were way busier than me and that I could use some of my time to help them. So, in my early morning routine, I would clean up anything that was left from the day before (just simple things: washing or putting away leftover dishes, taking out the trash or sweeping the floors). By realizing I could lessen the stress of those around me, I found a simple way to serve them in a daily way. At the time, it felt like if I could start off my day by serving others than maybe the day wouldn't be so bad.
Hey, thanks so much for reading along!! I hope this list helps my fellow clutter buddies and I'd love to hear what motivates you to keep a clean space.
This week, we're featuring an Oakland Cafe that I found to be the perfect little space to get focused on some writing. Check out Haddon Hill Cafe near Lake Merritt for a lovely + (in my experience) quiet gem.
Haddon Hill Cafe // 504 Wesley Ave, Oakland
(Please do not assume this post to be reflective of the thoughts or philosophies of the above featured shop. Thanks for joining me!)
The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.
-Peter, a disciple of Jesus