Michael’s Addicted to Recycling ~ I’m Addicted to Cleaning

On any given day you could probably walk into my room and find multiple reasons why you think this title is false. I wait so long to do laundry that my laundry basket overflows and falls out of the closet I try to enclose it in. My bed is only made about half the time. Make-up covers my vanity. (Just to name a few).

What you may not realize is that I can only handle this level of mess for a few days and then it is time to clean it all up.

Your home is a very physical representation of what your life looks like at the time.

So, I’m trying to keep my life more organized, focus on my physical, mental, and spiritual health, etc. and my room needs to be clean so I can focus on those rather than the mess that I am in and ignoring. (You follow so far?)

When I found Tidying Up with Marie Kondo a few months back I started to find it easier to keep my space clean and tidy.

Now, to get an idea of how my first “Tidying Up” experience went, you can check out the Instagram story that I created that day below.

Let me give you a few quick highlights:

  1. Light a candle. If you watched through that quick story, you will see that I was slightly upset that I did not know until episode 6 that lighting a candle is helpful. It relaxes the mind, and I think it also helps to not smell the stench of your own mess you created. So, this is my reminder, before episode 6, to light a candle before you start tidying.

  2. Your clothes will look and feel overwhelming. We all get really good at holding onto clothes that we truly do not need. I think I had about 30-45 University of Missouri t-shirts that I was not wearing (if I am being honest here, I actually did not end up getting rid of them. They are going to become a beautiful t-shirt quilt when I get time to do that). You are going to look at your pile and see a shirt that you wore in high school that you think you want to wear again. Give it up. Trust me, it is freeing.

  3. Have a plan for what to do with all the things you choose to get rid of. I had a hard time convincing myself to throw away the few things that I tossed. I know I am really bad at getting rid of things. So, I chose to donate and sell, and then only actually throw away a few things. But you should have a plan before you step into tidying. You do not want to just make piles and then live surrounded by piles for as long as you lived in the mess.

  4. It will get dirtier before it gets cleaner. I think that’s the hardest part of the process to go through. I wanted things CLEAN. I did not want to dirty things even more and then finally get it all clean. But when you pull everything out and truly confront what you have, it really does make the process easier.

  5. What is “sparking joy?” This bit of the method I found hard. But also, easy. It is very hard to explain honestly. There were some things that I could pick up and I instantly knew they made me joyful (the jacket I bought myself for my trip to South Korea and my “Merry Crustmas” Christmas sweater to name two). And there were other things that I knew immediately made me feel unjoyful (anything given to me by an ex really). But there were some things that I would pick up and I felt nothing for. I like to think that’s completely normal. With these clothes I would try to sit and decide if I was just holding onto it for the keepsake, or if I really did wear it frequently. You will need to come up with your own method for when you hit these ruts, but I am sure that whatever you figure out will be perfect just for you.

Now, you may be thinking I am crazy. I just spent 700 words telling you “highlights” of tidying up. And maybe I am crazy, I think my fiancé chooses to think that sometimes. But I really do adhere to the belief that your home is a physical representation of your life (I know I already said it once, but I will say it again).

Why does this matter to you?

Are you trying to sell your home? Do you want friends and family to come over to your new home? Did you just look at your home and think “something needs to change”?

Tidying shouldn’t just be a thing you do right before guests come over or right before buyers walk through your home. If you truly make it a part of your everyday life you will not feel like you are drowning in laundry. You will not feel like you need to scrub every surface before your mom comes to town. And you will not feel like you need to change something all the time.

Every morning, I wake up and get myself ready for the day and sometimes I rush out the door because I woke up later than I planned on. But I come home each afternoon to tidy up what is out. I put my make-up away, I make my bed, I put the hangers back where they belong. And at the end of the week, I am not having to dedicate a whole Saturday to re-cleaning everything just so that it can get incredibly dirty the next day.

I invite you to jump on the crazy train with me. Let us organize our closets and lives simultaneously and stop feeling like everything is about to come unglued. Let us feel like we can do more with our lives than cleaning the bathroom sink every other day. Let us focus on the things that make us happy (read: joyful) rather than the cleaning we know we should do eventually.

Also, watch Tidying Up with Marie Kondo because she will get you more fired up to tidy than any blog that I write could.