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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Tidying Up a Bit

I've been spring cleaning my life: moving from place to place in my house, stopping one day to tackle a bookcase, another to empty the cluttered china cupboard--essentially taking on one room at a time, donating or discarding at least half of what I have, keeping a quarter, and setting aside the last quarter in a designated spot to decide later when I finally reach that point in my tidying.

Over the years I've noticed how the inside of my house reflects the inner me. When I'm scatter-brained and harried, my house looks like a cyclone hit. When I'm feeling more in control of my schedule and of the choices in my life, my living area is, well, while not always eat-off-the-floor clean, it's not completely embarrassing when neighbors stop by to drop off a dozen eggs or a huge bowl of popcorn. (I love neighbors who do those sorts of things!)

"Eggs on Tile" thank you photo for the eggs from a neighbor.
Last year I was sick. I know, you're tired of hearing me say that. What I rarely admit to myself is that I am still sick. I'm able to control most of the debilitating symptoms with a strict diet regimen (see "Confessions of a Chocoholic" for more on that), but when I stray, even if only a tiny bit, I end up in pain. This week has been a painful week for me, so yesterday's massive vacuuming and steam cleaning of the tile and wooden floors was a huge undertaking, but one that actually helped me to heal. Once I got my house looking the way I wished I felt, I actually did feel much better.

Okay, maybe mine is not an exact science, but one can't deny the benefits: a sparkling clean house, in which we could actually have eaten off the floor if we really so desired. And I felt like once again I controlled my pain instead of the other way around.

Today it's off to the University of New Hampshire to teach all day, but tomorrow I think I'll finally clean off my office shelves...as I start a new freelance assignment that I just landed yesterday. It's good to feel in control of something. If not our entire destiny, at least the short-term chaos that threatens to engulf us daily.



14 comments:

Rachel Lewis said...

I notice that when my house is messy or chaotic it makes me feel overwhelmed in my life. Sometimes an organized space really does help ease any stress in your daily life.

Andrea Natsios said...

Professor Dana, I totally agree with what you're saying about being in control of you're life and having it reflect the organization of your living space. Up until last weekend I had no free time to clean my room, but when I finally did, I felt so much better about myself and I could sleep better at night.

Andrea Natsios said...

Professor Dana, I completely agree with the amount of control in your life reflects the level of organization around you. Up until last weekend, I had no free time to clean my room. It looked like a tornado had hit! Once I cleaned it I felt more relaxed and could sleep better at night.

Ian said...

I find myself cleaning my room about once a month. I always plan on having a garage sale at a moment's notice so I want things to be organized when the time comes to bring stuff outside. You are right. There is a sense of pride having nice clean living quarters.

Christopher Ywoskus said...

ana,
First off im sorry that you got so sick last year and couldnt get up to do much. That would have been very scary and im glad that your ok and shining like the sun! I like this blog very much and love how easily somebodies things and the neatness of them reflect a lot of who they are. Great job

Olivia Pollock said...

Even though I have never been sick like you have, I find this piece completely relatable. I am happy that you are feeling at least a little bit better and I hope it stays that way!

jessica allen said...

I'm not a big fan of cleaning, but who is? But once I am in the cleaning mode my apartment looks spotless. It's a nice feeling when you arrive home to a clean place.

Mitchell Planty said...

My life must be a complete mess then because my room is completely disorganized. I wouldn't say that it was dirty as much as overflowing with things. Currently there are car parts, fishing supplies, and books stacked in a very disordered fashion. Removing one piece from the stack could send it crashing down. Well maybe it is kind of like my life then.

Joshua Powers said...

Sometimes, a little control in your domain can go a long way. I am the exact same as you, I can't stand when something is messy. Being sick doesn't help either! Everyone needs control, and I am glad you were able to find yours!

Stephanie Peltak said...

I seriously love cleaning because it puts me in control and relieves a mass amount of stress. Being tidy and organizing makes me feel a sense of accomplishment. I'm glad that you feel better too after your mini spring cleaning episode. I will have to tackle mine this weekend at some point!

Rosanyi Rivera said...

Professor Dana, I definitely identify with your post. How my house looks is certainly a reflection of me. I think I'm a bit OCD when it comes to cleaning it :) Great post!!!

Chase Baroody said...

I agree Professor Biscotti, I am more at ease when I have clean surroundings as well. My biggest problem is a messy car, I just cant have it or I start cleaning it while I drive and that's never good.

Chase Baroody said...
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William Bryan said...

I am not what you would call a "clean freak," which also should be a derogatory term I think. I live among piles of books and papers. This is sometimes frustrating, but over all it is comforting to have my things around me. That's not to say that a good spring clean does not brighten my mood, I usually find something fun or exciting, and a good place to stretch is hard to find.