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How to Clean Your House and Change Your Life

cleaning to ease anxiety in the home
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So. Very. Tired.
It seems we utter these words every day. Between the long work hours and crippling anxiety, we are drained, and coming home to a chaotic vortex of filth and disarray is just the cherry on top of a craptastic day. So we'll just shove our laundry pile to the other side of the bed and go to sleep, because we need to get "untired" so we can survive tomorrow.
It's hard going on day to day when we just feel so... blah. It's even more frustrating when you cant find the source. We're doing our therapy, taking our meds, getting out in the sunshine. Some of us may have even added kale to our diets (I am not one of "us"). So where is this feeling of stagnant feeling of foreboding coming from?
Probably your house, dude.

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Think about it. Is there anything comforting about having the shades drawn tight and your books stacked haphazardly on your nightstand? Are you at ease in a kitchen where you have to wash dishes every time you want a simple bowl of cereal? Having fun digging through your various laundry piles looking for what may or may not be a clean towel?
Yeah, me neither.
So despite the fact that it all feels like too much to completely revamp your house, you really only need one day to start. Just one day where there is nothing else on the agenda but rigorous housework.  One whole day where you can get everything done to push reset on your life. One day to cleanse the home and the soul.


How To Start

First of all you need a day clear of any obligations, so consult your calendar. If you have something small you can reschedule (or something you've needed an excuse to get out of (hehe)) then clear it. The sooner you get started, the better!
Ok, so now that your selected Cleaning Date has arrived, it's time to work up the energy to get rolling. When you wake up that morning be sure to freshen up- take a shower if you like to wake yourself up, and do your usual morning routines if you were to go out. This will get you in the mindset that something important is about to get done today.

 

You can wear whatever you think works best for you- leggings, T-shirts, shorts, whatevs. I usually like to put on jeans because it makes me feel more productive. I know for a fact if I wear something to comfy I'm gonna sit my ass down and take a nap. So if you're anything like me, go with jeans, T-shirt and comfy shoes. 
I believe that life begins at coffee, so make yourself a cozy cup and have a light breakfast. Some ideas are bagels, small bowl of cereal, or a piece of fruit. Eat something too heavy and you'll feel bloated and tired before you even get started.
Open every curtain you have and let the airy, healthy light pour in. It'll brighten up your house as well as your spirit. Think of yourself as a solar powered flashlight- gotta charge up before getting to work.
Lastly, break out your laptop, stereo, cell phone- whatever it is you have to play the jams. Upbeat music is a fantastic motivator and really helps the time fly by.
 

Ready To Go! Now What?

So now your dressed, energized, and ready to party- but where to start? First off you might want to detox your home of useless or unwanted items. You probably have a lot of things that have gone untouched for months, even years, and they're just adding to the clutter. We're not gonna start  calling Hoarders around here, but when we keep things just for the sake of keeping them, things get out of control. You can follow this quick guide here to help you figure out how to choose what stays and what goes. The most important thing to remember when discarding items is to keep only the things that spark joy. You're either all for it or it's gone. That way, you have a home filled with only things you truly love, and you don't have to continue giving looks of disdain to your great Aunt Ruth's awful looking lamp.

That Sounds Pretty Time Consuming... Isn't It?

Traditionally, to declutter the KonMari way, Kondo recommends decluttering the whole house before taking further action. Since we are looking to do a full shakedown, I would dedicate a set amount of hours to discarding- or you can go room by room. The goal for us here is to get the house in the best shape according to your own abilities. It'll set off a Domino effect, and eventually you can come back and do a full decluttering and be rid of everything you don't need once and for all!

So We've Decluttered. What's Next?

Cleaning! Which we are going to be excited about, and I'll tell you why.
Seeing your home transform from dark and dank to bright and open is a metaphor for the soul. We spend most of our time in our little houses and apartments, and our environments make us who we are. So as your cleaning, take note of all the changes taking place- you're wiping away the negative energy in your space, and in turn you cleanse the energy inside of you. All of a sudden you can breathe easier, and coming home feels inviting rather than daunting.
Another reason to look forward to cleaning is that it counts for light cardio. Exercise is good for your physical and mental health, so this is really a two birds one stone situation. Awesome!

Ok, Cool. But Where Do I Start?

There's no definitive order to cleaning, but I like to start with floors. My entire house has either hardwood or vinyl flooring, so it's a whole lot of dry and wet Swiffering. I bought a small $20 vacuum cleaner (similar to this one here) for the two little rugs I have, and I have found it also works well on my hardwood floors! So there's no shame in vacuuming the kitchen instead of sweeping- whatever gets the job done. Be sure to sweep under furniture and in corners- dust bunnies reproduce as quickly as real bunnies.
Throw your laundry in the washer while you get to work on other parts of the house. You should now know what is clean and dirty since you just went through most of your belongings. Don't just wash the laundry though- throw your shower curtain, drapes, pillow cases and blankets in as well! Most people wash their sheets regularly but don't often consider other fabric items that get dirty over time.
Don't forget to take a short break for snacks and water! Again, eat light so that you don't become bloated and lethargic.

 

The kitchen usually ends up being the most chaotic, so when you choose to tackle that, do the dishes first. They spread over your counter tops like a disease, and you're not gonna get anything done with them all over the place. If you have a dishwasher you may be tempted to just dump them in there. But if your dishes have been sitting around for a couple of days, the dishwasher isn't going to get that dried on cheese off your plates. Take the time to hand wash each of your dishes, and really go to town on each piece to ensure they are clean AF. The last thing you need is to eat with a half-ass clean fork and end up with a stomach bacteria that causes severe heartburn and vomiting (can you tell this is from experience?)
Use this time to slow down and take a breather, and just reflect on yourself and the progress you're making. You're seeing corners you've never noticed, and discovered the real color of your carpets. You can envision your new life where you can come home and relax without having to move things off your seat before you sit down. Aww, yiss.
Be sure to use a cleaner with bleach in it to clean your counters, sinks and appliances in both your kitchen and the bathroom. We want to kill ALL the germs and have beautifully clean surfaces. Please wear gloves, because your hands will get extremely dry and uncomfortable from working with bleach. Crack open a couple of windows to let the smell ventilate as well.

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You'll want to clean everything from head to toe. How often do we scrub the inside of our toilet bowls and call it good? Have you ever looked at the rest of the thing? It's probably covered in dust and flakes of makeup and God knows what else. Same goes for things like the microwave or refrigerator- maybe we wipe down the outside every now and again but never get around to cleaning the insides. DO it! And while you're at it, cleanse your fridge of expired products. Now you know what you need to get on your next grocery trip.
If you have a handheld vacuum, clean your couch with it. If not, a lint roller from the dollar store will work! You'll be amazed by the difference, even if you don't have animals. Clean inside the cushions and fluff your pillows. Boom, looking fresh and inviting.
Usually at the end of a cleaning spree is when I start working on putting up my laundry. My laundry room is right next to my TV room so I just plop my laundry on the couch and sit while I fold. I bring out all my hangers from my closet so I can have everything ready to go. I fold everything except for my shirts- this makes my clothes look much neater in the drawers, and therefore easier to find.

 

You may want to do even more while you're on your cleaning frenzy, and I say go for it! Let this be one of the things that consume you. Once it's over you'll not only see the difference, but feel it. It's like shedding old skin and becoming brand new again. Having a clean and open home is the first step to revamping your life and overcoming your anxieties. Heal your home, heal your spirit.

Comments

  1. Great inspiration! I need to do a deep clean on my house. This made me think about when I can do it & schedule it in. Thanks

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