On Sunday afternoon, as I was sweeping the floor of my living room at the end of a busy Christmas break, idly contemplating work and chores, this thought occurred to me: Cleaning is an act of love.
If you don’t love your home, or your bedroom, or your yard, it’s very difficult to find the will to clean. Why spend time and energy cleaning something you don’t love? Cleaning is intimate, it’s sacrifice. Even beyond loving the space you inhabit, cleaning is an act of self-love, since we all know how great a clean space makes us feel.
A Clean Space Feels Great
Most of us don’t love cleaning, and I’m no exception. Even so, unless external factors are forcing you to clean (your parents, a roommate), most of us, at one point or another, do it. Maybe it’s the prospect of guests (a great motivator for me!), maybe it’s the dust ball in the corner, maybe it’s the lack of clean socks and underwear. At some point, we all clean. Because to not clean, to live in filth, feels terrible. To clean, and to live in cleanliness, feels great.
Cleaning Brings Peace
You know that feeling you get when you’ve organized a closet, or overhauled your workspace, and everything is sparkly and clean and tidy, and your brain feels like it can finally breathe? And then when you do your work, or even your Netflixing, you had a deeper sense of peace and contentment than you did before? This is a great gift to yourself. Getting rid of physical clutter also helps to get rid of mental clutter. This is one of the simplest, most clear-cut ways to make yourself feel better.
When I’m having a shit day, cleaning is often the last thing I want to do. Usually I want to eat junk and sit on the couch under a pile of blankets and have a pity party. That’s all well and good, but it doesn’t really lighten the load. Now, spending half an hour to clean the kitchen, tidy up or sweep – that will never, ever make me feel worse. Usually, it will make me feel better. Just like eating a good (not junky) meal will.
Self-love and self-care gets us through the rough times, and sometimes, all it takes to get out of a funk is a home-cooked meal, a clean house, a shower, and an early bedtime.
Clean food, clean space, clean body, clean mind.
These were my thoughts as I was sweeping, after a couple hours of house cleaning, after feeling annoyed and eager to finish so I could do something more fun, like cuddle with my boyfriend. I realized that by sweeping, I was doing myself – and my house – a huge favour. I was creating love and peace.
And suddenly I appreciated the act of sweeping a little more.
Happy Monday, friends!