I cleaned my living room, because:
- someone was going to see it for the first time and I wanted to make a good impression
- I virtually lived there for a week and it was starting to look like it with the tissues and discarded magazines and empty pop cans
- I was sick and tired of feeling this oppressive mess around me all the time
- I felt like I probably could get it done
And I did. I got it done. It's not perfect. I need to wash the windows and mop and I really want to have my furniture professionally cleaned (does that make me a bad person?) and I gave up halfway through dusting. Also, Saturday night I unfolded all the neatly folded blankets and never refolded them.
But all in all, the transformation to my living room brought me something great that I had forgotten about. The ability to breathe. It's not that I don't ever clean, but like most people, I think (please don't correct me if I'm wrong) I keep things a "modified clean." In other words, it may be mostly clean, but my yarn basket is overflowing and I haven't thrown out those dead flowers because then I'll have to wash the vase, and I haven't sorted through all the bills on the end table and I've got that giant pile of my kids' homework I have to sort through and...
Right now, this second (other than the blankets and the windows and the dust and the mopping) my living room is not modified clean, it's clean-clean. And you know what I feel when I sit down in there? Peace and harmony. My mind is clear. I can read or knit or crochet or make lists or watch TV and not have the voices of my unsorted laundry pressing down on me the whole time.
Tonight, I've got a thing and I won't get home until late, but you better believe that tomorrow night, I'm going to clean my kitchen and see if I can get it the same level of bliss.
And what exactly does this mean long term?
I don't know. I can't see me ever living the kind of life that allows me to rid myself of the term modified clean. I will always have all that crap and I will never have time to deal with it all. Even now, with my living room clean-clean, that means that my hallway is full of things to be taken to the basement and my bedroom is well, disastrous is probably the word for it.
So an entire house of clean-clean on a continuous basis? Maybe when I'm retired and my kids have moved out and I am rich and have hired a maid.
But for now, I think what it means is that I have remembered something. A clean and tidy environment really does mean less noise in my crazy-ass head. It means more focus and less distraction. It means a little quiet in an otherwise loud world.
Maybe if I can remember that, I can at least get my whole house modified clean and one room clean-clean. That would probably work.