Cleaning is a “delicate” subject for all of us – I never met a person who likes to clean the house, except for those who suffer from OCD, but that’s another story. For a regular person, cleaning is a chore which most of us postpone as much as possible. Even if you do know that a clean house has a lot of benefits for your wellness, from making you happier, more likely to exercise to giving you an eerie sense of accomplishment, cleaning remains one of the most unpleasant tasks. But when you do dive into cleaning head first, embracing the entire process, you can learn a lot of life lessons, as strange as it may sound.
1. Learn to let go
This is the most important lesson I found when I last cleaned my house: Let go! Remember how stylists say that if you have never worn a certain clothing in the past year, just let it go? Well, the same goes for decluttering the relationships in your life. As I was giving away my old skirts and never-worn pants from my last year in college, I realized I had to let go to some people in my life too. If a relationship ceases to bring you joy, just let it go. But…
2. Do hold on to really important things
As important as it is to let go, it’s equally important to hold on to things which bring you joy and beautify your life. If your old pair of sneakers is still making you feel like you can conquer the world, keep them. Even if you don’t actually wear them outside. The same goes for people and relationships in your life: if it fills your heart with joy, keep them! Which brings me to the next point…
3. Small things are the most important
When it’s cleaning time, you can find out what really matters to you. You will be amazed to discover some small things that mean a lot to you. When you start cleaning the desk or the drawers, you will stumble upon lots of trinkets. In my case, I found how much a small piece of paper meant, when my cleaning maid wanted to throw away something that turned out to be a treasured map. A long time ago, before the poor piece of paper became stained and limp, this small map of Dublin was the only memory I had of a dear friend I met in Dublin. She used this very same map when she first arrived in the city and she then gave it so I could move around the city without getting lost. The map always reminded me of the times I spent in Dublin with my dear friend. So, instead of throwing it away, I framed it and displayed it on my desk. The lesson of the day: Sometimes small things matter the most!
4. Everyone hides a mess
When you finally get serious about your cleaning, you will discover plenty of places you haven’t cleaned in ages. Like underneath the couch or behind the stove. Not only do these places look gross, they are also filled with germs that damage your health. Everyone has some kind of hidden mess. And that mess is not only behind the stove, it can even something that causes communication issues between you and your partner. It can be the reason you don’t speak with your parents anymore. It can be that dirty secret which lead to your divorce. It’s normal to have hidden messes in your life, but one day you need to deal with them. The sooner, the better. Just like you take soap and a brush to scrub the dirt behind the couch, take your courage and scrub all the dirt from your life, from toxic people and relationships to communication issues and whatever else you may find. Don’t judge, just scrub!
5. Never give up!
Cleaning might be hard and unpleasant, but never give up! This is probably the most important lesson you can learn from cleaning your house. There maybe times when you feel overwhelmed. No matter how hard it is, never give up on what you have started. The most important thing in life is to keep going, no matter what. Push yourself one more step ahead and you will achieve your goal.
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