Our homes are a bit like an extension of ourselves. We spend a lot of time there (even more, these days). Four walls say much about our lifestyles, the way we view space and our relationships with others. Decluttering, tidying, sorting out, cleaning… Actually, it feels incredibly good! Here’s our guide to doing it right.
A healthy environment
Cleaning and tidying your home is about taking care of the environment in which we live. The air that we breathe in it is vital, which is why it’s important to air out rooms regularly, and also choose household upkeep products wisely (non-toxic ones, etc.). Common sense says that cleaning also means not living in a home full of bacteria and microbes.
It makes you feel good!
Could it be that tidying up is the new self-improvement therapy? Yes, once you realise that doing housework, sorting out and tidying are actually fulfilling activities (how happy we are when we’ve finally finished!). How come? Because like sports (yes, really!), the activities of tidying and cleaning are about whole-body exertion. And this physical exertion prompts the brain to secrete pleasure hormones: endorphins. And these feelgood effects can improve our ability to concentrate all the more dramatically if we take on these super-tedious tasks wholeheartedly. That means connecting with the present moment, the here and now. Hey, maybe housework is a kind of meditation? The benefits are all the more significant since they are sustained over time (once tidied, a room stays perfectly tidy for at least a few hours, or even a few days).
Moreover, tidying allows us to be “in command”, to take back control over part of our lives. Perhaps it helps us to picture our future better and put our best foot forward again?
A way of lifting your spirits
Tidying, sorting out and cleaning allow you to clear space in your home… And in your head. That’s the key. Are you a big hoarder, always thinking “that might come in handy one day”? And in life, are you perhaps also the encumbered type? Are you really operating at full capacity? Our way of tidying up or not tidying up reflects our personality, our mindset and sometimes even our mindset as it was at certain points in our lives. Do you remember the state your apartment was in after a painful break-up? Do you fancy clearing some space? Or conversely, do you allow yourself to be overrun by mess (and by emotions)? Decluttering your home is about pulling yourself together, and doing something for yourself.
More time for yourself
Sure, the first “big” tidy-up takes time. But after that, it just needs to be done regularly. And the benefits are clear every time you come in the front door. Living in a healthy environment is more restful and relaxing than living in a total mess. At the end of the day, not having to spend hours looking for things saves you time that you can spend doing other things (reading for example, in a room that has a harmonious feel to it!). And what about making fights and arguments at home a thing of the past? (“Where on Earth have you put the remote control?” “Tidy your room!” “Look what a mess you’ve made!”).
In Feng Shui, an important notion in the home is the circulation of Qi. This energy that comes in through the door must supply all of the home’s occupants. But the flow of this positive force is limited in a cluttered space (and no wonder – like us, Qi bangs into or knocks against poorly-sited objects or furniture). According to this Chinese philosophy, a healthy, tidy home promotes Qi circulation and enhances the energy of all those living in it. An increasing number of tidying specialists are also referring to the mental load related to clutter (visually, for example, it’s very tiring to live in an environment without clear surfaces). Not forgetting all the activities associated with clutter: the offending items have to be cleaned, tidied away and dealt with.
An epiphany for the planet
When you start tidying and sorting out… You realise just how many (often useless) items we accumulate without realising it. So what’s the outcome of that? Well, when you embrace this new way of life, you think twice before making a purchase. A first step towards going minimalist!