Feeling Stifled At Home?

Feeling Stifled At Home?

HAPPY JULY! July is always a special month to me (mostly because I turn a year older in about 11 days…). I’m feeling reinvigorated, and couldn’t wait to get this blog post up!

Straight up honesty today guys. That quote from above, that’s a direct quote from me. Confession time, I HATE CLEANING. Oh my gosh do I despise. But it’s not that I dislike being clean, in fact my personal hygiene is something I take pride in. It isn’t that at all, I just hate cleaning up my flat! Unless I have a date or people coming over, I generally just don’t mind having a messy place of residence, it’s as simple as that.

Seriously, my house is trashed a lot of the time, simply because I just find zero engagement or necessity in cleaning up my stuff. I’ve always been one of those people who sits in his bedroom while he’s working. Completely oblivious to the tornado that clearly hit my room, I normally use my computer with clothes everywhere on the ground and bed. My bearded dragon running around having the time of its life and the only thing I care about is making sure I can rotate 90 degrees if someone knocks on my door. To me, a dirty room is just a symptom of being both creative and driven.

It’s often said that the world’s renowned geniuses had the messiest of places (Wow this sentence makes me sound like an egotistical jerk). Now under no circumstances am I even remotely implying that I’m a genius, the reason I bring it up is that there has been a trend that those who are occupied have more important things to do then clean up their space. That’s what generally happens to me, I look at my messy house and I think; well no one else has to deal with my mess…so forget it. Instead I’m going to do one of a thousand other things that I’d much rather do to occupy myself. In my own way, I refused to take action on it, which of course in a cardinal sin in my own mind, after all if one of the pillars of this website..

Unfortunately I noticed this trend when it comes to being productive while I work. It starts off slow at first, almost unnoticeable. But within a 6 month time, it becomes so prominent that I literally cannot ignore it at all. Eventually I just become too aware of my surroundings. I start to see all the mess in my house, I see the trashed rooms every morning when I get up early to start writing. Eventually, it all becomes to stifling for me to get a single thing done at all.

Crap, all I want to do is be creative...

Crap, all I want to do is be creative…

I see the dirty bathroom, my dishes, and the whole spiel. It eventually becomes too “in my face”, to where I start to work outside my apartment to get a bit of fresh air. It becomes all too stifling for me to deal with. It was literally killing my creative ability because I couldn’t focus on what I needed to get done because I was surrounded by everything else that needed to get done. So I drop everything that I’m doing and spring clean my place. I’d say this probably happens roughly every three months or so.

But this last time this happened, I noticed considerable differences in my before and after state. Being the neurological mess of a writer that I am, I always try to keep my thoughts written down. As I was cleaning alongside my roommate Alexander I realized a huge improvement afterwards, and started researching into why this phenomenon worked the way that it did.

I discovered a whole lot about how a clean space effects people, as I’ll show in the rest of this article, but the immediate effects I noticed by cleaning up my house were astounding. Here’s what I found.

I’d been struggling to keep up consistent posting on The Social Write, due to running out of ideas (it happens to everyone). Cleaning up my house led me to three different possible posts immediately, including this one, which you’ll be seeing in the next week. Second, I noticed a sharp rising in my performance and productivity when not surrounded in the mess. I started getting a lot more articles done, I was less lazy by a huge margin. Three, I rediscovered two lists of possible posts and several other things that I’d hoped to work with and expand on. Finally, it has kept more willing to work at keeping my house clean, something that generally doesn’t happen unless good friends are coming over.

Essentially in my own unintended experiment, I realized that the cleaner my house is consistently, the more concerned I am with keeping it clean. In one fell swoop I’ve become happier, and more content with my lifestyle, and at the moment I’m damn concerned with keeping it that way. But if this happened to me, does it happen to everyone? I had to find out!

How Your Environment Effects You

Just like it’s very important to keep up our personal hygiene to keep our minds straight, its equally as important to keep our homes clean. This article from Localwin.com suggests that if the eyes are the windows to our souls, our homes are the windows of our personalities. Normally a huge part of that comes from the stigma in normal society that is attached to having a messy home. But it’s not too far out of the mindset to just look at someone’s messy home and immediately just pre-judge them, assuming how lazy they must be. Of course you don’t want to just assume things, but it happens.

On top of just having others assume that you must be lazy, there is always the chance of developing or empowering a concept called Chronic Disorganization. What is Chronic Disorganization? When life becomes busy, most people run the risk of developing Situational Disorganization, which essentially is the process of becoming too busy because of some new thing in their life. A huge project at work, getting married, maybe you have kids, things of that nature. Now most of the time after a bit, you snap out of it and start to repair your household however  sometimes that doesn’t happen, and you develop Chronic Disorganization. Which is essentially the process of getting overwhelmed and not being able to get the house cleaned without help. From what I’ve read CD is quite serious, and many people come out traumatized from the experience.

Now short of developing a chronic issue with keeping things clean, it is quite rare for that to happen. But what is totally conceivable is the notion of perpetual procrastination. What is meant by that is that as your house becomes messy, you become more and more reluctant to tackle cleaning it. So instead of lightly cleaning the house once a week, you clean the house once a month, or once every three months. The bigger the task becomes, the more you want to put it off, thereby making the task even bigger by the next time you consider cleaning it.

I could clean all this...Or I could just sit in my room and sleep more

I could clean all this…Or I could just sit in my room and sleep more

So if you think about it. When you don’t keep your house clean, you become more and more reluctant to face the task of cleaning it up! That sort of mentality or pushing things away from you just because you don’t like the idea of having to face is a dangerous mindset to have about anything. Remember the post about Growth Mindsets and Fixed Mindsets? What you’re facing right now is a Fixed Mindset. Now don’t get me wrong, Not wanting to do something because it doesn’t sound fun and it not affecting your life in anyway is one thing, but procrastinating on something prevalent in your life JUST BECAUSE you don’t want to deal with it right now is hugely inefficient.

A mindset like that starts to infect every area of the mind, think about the subtlety of that thought. “Eh, not right now”. Sounds small and insignificant doesn’t it? If you analyze it however, it reveals an importance that’s hidden. The importance isn’t the words, but with the ease that they’re delivered. It’s the easiest excuse in the world to just assume that you’ll take care of it later, then suddenly three months later you’re faced with garbage that’s over-flowing, both sinks and the tub are clogged, and you haven’t seen the cat in like three days but you hear her meowing in frustration somewhere in the house.

Meanwhile, the opposite of having your environment a complete mess is having it clean as a whistle. Which once it’s accomplished, has some surprising benefits, Our environment affects your mood to a shocking degree. Countless articles show that the burst of physical energy that comes with cleaning puts you in a better mood, and that having your space clean gives you a sense of accomplishment, thereby picking up your mood by stoking your pride just the tiniest bit. After all, when are you more likely to get stuff done, When your happy and raring to go, or when your sad and don’t want to do anything?

Clean Up Your House

With such a boost to your energy levels and overall mood, it’s easy to see the benefits making sure you keep your space clean. But aside from making your brain and heart happy, there’s all sorts of benefits that you might not think of. Cleaning and maintaining a space helps you relax more when you’ve got some downtime, it helps increase your productivity, and when things are falling apart in your life it helps you maintain a sense of control amidst the chaos. That last point is one of special importance, as it can be especially difficult to maintain a clean space after an extreme downward turn in your life.

Cleaning up your space allows for one huge benefit. Unclogging your life, If your bad moods have stifled you and your house has fallen into disarray, it’s conceivable to think that if you turn it around and clean up your now messy space, it’ll suddenly help uncork that bad mood, and give you a clear vision forward! Plus you have all these neat opportunities that aren’t take advantage nearly enough!

It Allows You to Step Back

Say you Hit a Wall on a project. You sit there at home, trying desperately to figure your way back to the light of progress. The book just isn’t writing itself, or you’ve hit a snag in trying to figure out an insane mathematical equation. You sit on your bed angry and pissed off because it just isn’t coming to you the way it really should! Here’s the exact steps you should do.

It’s pretty common knowledge that when you take a step back from a project, it can often reveal a new perspective or angle you hadn’t thought of. At the very least, it’ll get your face away from whatever you were focusing on. Even if that strike of genius doesn’t come while you’re cleaning, you can easily build your energy and mood back up so you can keep working. And if for example that strike of genius DOES come. Well then you simply drop everything that you’re doing to rush back to your desk and quickly get back to work. After all, it’s not like anything is forcing you to keep cleaning, it’s just a way to step back for a bit.

You’ll Never Know What You’ll Come Across

Cleaning up your house is a fantastic way to stumble upon stuff that you never realized you have. Say you’re feeling very nostalgic, so you decide to say screw it and start cleaning out your garage. As you look through the boxes, you start coming across things that you’d totally forgotten still existed in your life. It’s a great feeling to reach into a box and pull out your old clothes, get a glimpse of the styles you used to have. Or maybe you find a bunch of old photobooks and you look through a bunch of ancient memories with some friends that have all gone their separate ways.

Hi There, I'd like to donate my entire wardrobe from the 90s...

Hi There, I’d like to donate my entire wardrobe from the 90s…

Maybe you’ll start discovering old bikes and pieces that you can give to younger siblings, or cousins. Maybe you discover a list of books you’ve always wanted to read. Or a bucket list that you never had the chance to complete. Maybe you find you’re very old collection of bobble heads that could be worth some money, or an old soccer ball, which used to be your number one passion. Regardless of what you might find, you owe it to yourself to look!

You Can Get Rid of SO MUCH STUFF

Let’s take one step further! Humans are constantly pack rats, aside from the new minimalist wave that hit the world not too long ago, America is based entirely around Consumerism! So there will probably be times in your life when you just have too much crap that you just don’t use. So what is the reason to hang on to all of your extra stuff? All your clothes that are too small or large, donate them. Old toys and things that other can use, give them away.

Books you don’t read anymore? Sell them for a bit of scratch or give them away to people, it doesn’t matter exactly what you do with them. but while you’re cleaning out your house you should seriously start sorting through stuff you don’t want or need and give, sell, or donate to people who could use it. There are plenty of organizations and charities that can use the donations or are willing to buy used clothing, books, appliances.

This helps in two ways, you’ll clear room for any of the new stuff you acquire in the near future, or you’ll just leave the space unused. There’s a certain freedom that comes with having less stuff. Less mess, more room.

The Final Word

I’ve encountered two kinds of girls and their reactions to a messy house. This is a generalization, I’m not starting anything. Girls, tend to prefer you to keep a cleaner house while dating. I’ve also met girls who don’t really care, but for the sake of covering all bases, it’s always better to try and keep a cleaner house. The crazy thing about is the fact that ultimately the state of your home doesn’t matter in the slightest, it’s the way that it reflects upon you as a person.

I highly recommend a spot cleaning technique once a week just to make sure the house stays spiff and clean. Walk through your house once a week and clean up things that need cleaning, keeping things relatively clean, that way you only need to like spring clean once a year. It helps keep things clean, AND in the case that you have people over suddenly or a girl your super into comes over you don’t need to ferociously attack your room trying to clean everything up.

My scores when cleaning up my room

My scores when cleaning up my room

It doesn’t just help an outsider gain perspective on the kind of person you are, it also shows yourself when your at your happiest. Whether your happier when living in squalor or on a clean environment, it’s going to be a very clear reflection on who you are. I challenge all of you today to spring clean your house over the next day or two. You don’t need to rush, but it should be done in the next afternoon or two, otherwise you’ll just drop off and stop cleaning entirely. The challenge here for you is to go through all your crap and get rid of the stuff you don’t need. To find the stuff you didn’t know you still had. See how happy you get at looking at your finished house.

With the benefits of keeping everything clean, and the added help of clearing out your unneeded things, and possibly stumbling upon some of the things you haven’t seen in years. It really only makes sense that we need to keep our places clean. I can totally attest to having a blast finding a bunch of stuff that you’ve lost. Amongst all the stuff that I lost and found I found my pair of single shot Nerf guns and all their bullets, I located a couple of beanies that I’d totally forgotten I had, and I found my ever famous goggles that hung faithfully around my neck for years!

So get in there, thoroughly clean your entire house!


Stevenson Grey

P.S. Like, Share, Comment and Follow Us! What’s the craziest thing you’ve found while cleaning up your house that you totally thought no longer existed?