16 October 2010

Cleaning house

My last apartment was a mess most of the time. As embarrassing as it is to say, I'm not talking about the "oh, sorry about the mess" when there's maybe a spot of dirt on a vase in the corner. I'm talking about a small path leading from one room to the next, with the rest of the floor containing toys, books, dirty clothes, clean clothes, etc. (But not rotting food or anything of that nature. Not dirt or filth or refuse. Just stuff). Every once in a while, I would get the urge to clean. This urge was usually accompanied by the urge to move furniture, which often required a clear floor. But I always got too busy. Or too tired. Or too uncaring. And within two weeks, my place would once again be filled with landmines made from pokey toys or books. By the time I decided to move out, I just stopped worrying about it. I figured I'd take care of it in the move. And that once I got to my new place, I would have a fresh, clean start.

However, it didn't really work out that way. Yes, I had a fresh, clean start. However, that attitude and those habits I failed to cultivate in my previous apartment(s) didn't just magically appear. My new apartment was supposed to have a place for everything with everything in its place. But neither Cam nor I were very good at picking up our messes. :/ Granted, there were no longer toys in the living room: those had been sequestered to Cam's bedroom. But other things just filled it up. And I continued on with being too busy, too tired, too uncaring. I looked past the mess. I looked straight to the TV or the computer screen or my book. A messy place isn't a problem if you don't see it.

And then I did see it. And I decided I was tired of it. I started in Cam's room. Cleaned, put things away, purged, rearranged furniture (of course). I did that last weekend. And all this week it's been "make sure everything gets put away, Cam." And surprise, his room is still clean. A week later. This never happens. And through a serious of unfortunate events (Columbus Day, Cam having a fever, daycare closed to move to a new building) I was home most of the week. I had one full day at school, and the rest were mostly me going in for a test or a rehearsal. So my time spent at home was spent expanding the clean bubble to the rest of the house. It helped that I was upset about something (I don't even remember) at least one of those days, which always helps fuel my drive to clean. So I have a clean bathroom, a clean(ish) bedroom (not including my closet though), a clean living room, and a generally clean/uncluttered kitchen. The kitchen still needs a bit of work (ie, I need to knock a wall out and claim some of my neighbor's space to put in more storage). But all in all, my house is clean.

It's still a work in progress. It's still a struggle. But it's getting easier. After my walk-through tonight before bed, the living room will be in the same state it was in Wednesday when I cleaned. And that, for me, is a miracle. (One might even say magic).

It's more than just having a clean/nice place for the random chance someone might stop by, though. A home should be a sanctuary from the chaos of the world, and if that home is chaotic, what sanctuary can one find? I've found in the last few days that I'm happier and calmer. I have the space to free my thoughts and think. And I'm enjoying the time I spend at home.


  1. The clutter I deal with is usually in my mind. But it still needs to be dealt with, just the same as the physical stuff. X

  2. I feel you on the clutter issues---and there are only 2 of us, in a 3 bedroom house with full basement!!!!!

    So we're working on getting things cleared out--one floor at a time! Hopefully it'll be a lot less messy around here, and SOON!


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