How Cleaning My Bedroom Changed My Life
My messy bedroom never bothered me. But once it changed, I never went back.
Messy bedroom? You know the type, the typical mess. An unmade bed, clothes not put away and clutter on the night table. More accurately, piles of a week’s worth of clothes that are covering what’s left of a chair, scattered around are jewelry, loose change, remote controls, receipts, used dishes, and finally the unmade bed – lumpy, disheveled and maybe mirroring how you feel inside. With it all you could find shoes strewn on the floor along with a bag of clothes that has likely passed the return date, and don’t even get to thinking about the mystery of dust bunnies and junk shoved under the bed. You know it, a normal messy bedroom. This supposed-to-be sanctuary becomes a silent thief of joy. It only serves to remind you of that endless to-do list competing for your attention in every waking moment.
I learned that having a mess was messed up.
While piles of clothes, cluttered surfaces and an unmade bed might be normal, I’m here to tell you that accepting a messy bedroom as it is… is pretty messed up. I am speaking from personal experience as a reformed Miss Mess, guilty of that acceptance. Having allowed myself to live in that way kept me stressed, far less happy, and settled with chaos. I’m going to tell you how cleaning my bedroom rewrote my script, changing my life forever and that you too can experience feeling happier, less stressed, and almost instantly empowered.
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I promise I’m not telling you that it’s going to be super easy and that there isn’t any elbow grease involved, because there is. Although I did find out how to make it easier and more importantly, how to make it last. What I do promise is that it’s a very rewarding task. Let me describe the payoff I discovered.
Good reasons for a clean space aren’t motivating.
You’ve probably heard before, reasons to clean your room; less stress, better sleep, clarity of mind, etc. No real surprises here. All great things, awesome things actually, and all those benefits are totally true! However, as good as they may be, I have found that they don’t really stimulate enough motivation for most people to take action.
True motivation comes from being aware of the cause and effect.
Here are the intangible realizations that dawned over me the very day after I cleaned my bedroom (and I mean I really decluttered and cleaned that space).
- I woke up refreshed. Of course this wasn’t the first time that had ever happened. I recall feeling that way as a child visiting my grandparents house, and even again on vacations. Yet it was a different kind of refreshed. For the first time, I felt like I was not only rested but that I was calm. There seemed to be less on my mind. Of course, I hadn’t done anything significant to reduce my to do list, and my bedroom mess wasn’t consciously on my mind nagging at me. It was removing the ‘visual noise’ from my space which gave me a serenity and clarity of mind.
- I woke up feeling empowered. Not only did I feel refreshed, but because of the sense of calm and simplicity I felt more focused and had a charge of energy driving me to face my day. My task list hadn’t reduced, but my brain power and edge increased so that everything became approachable and manageable.
- My morning routine quickly shortened. I attribute having clarity of mind, and that elimination of ‘visual noise’, for making my mornings easy and efficient; certainly rewarding. Coffee and breakfast seemed leisurely as all other parts to my routine. My sense of time changed to work for the better. I was no longer in a rush and running late.
- My clothes prepped me with confidence for my work day. Not only were my clothes off the floor, the ones that weren’t in the laundry machines were put away where they belonged so I could find them. In fact, I was able to plan what to wear before I even went to the dresser or the closet because I knew what was clean versus what had been clothes chaos each morning. Not only had I freed myself from the struggle of trying on outfits, I felt put together.
- I was inspired to continue to make my bed and keep things tidy. Not only did the extra time help, but I learned a love for having a clean space. I loved it enough that it was now worth taking those extra two minutes to make my bed. In fact, it became my mantra and part of who I was becoming. “I am a bed maker.” Making my bed shifted from a chore to a rewarding habit. On top of it, I even formed a habit of putting away my pajamas and closing the closet door! Clean in no time. Wow, it was that easy.
- I learned to love relaxing in my room. I discovered the peacefulness of reading in a tidy room. Whenever I would go back into my room, whether it was to change my clothes, or grab laundry, I felt relief. It was clean, quiet, and calm; a peaceful retreat. The function of the room increased as I became inspired to spend more of my time there. I started purchasing candles, and saw the space’s potential for nicer bedding and pillows, and even started reading more, just so that I had a reason to be there! I felt myself taking pride in my space, never having realized the embarrassment of my bedroom. In hindsight I could see how I was internally disappointed and was settling somehow.
- I felt not just pride in my space, but in myself! Not because I cleaned up my space, because I had cleaned my room many times before. Instead I felt like I was directing my life for the better. The productivity of it all nurtured and strengthened my overall well being. Having that positivity founded my self confidence. It was not the psyched-up, “I can do this” kind of confidence, but the quiet and grounding inward confidence. I learned of the self-esteem I didn’t know had been missing.
- I climbed in bed knowing everything accounted for with my mind clear. There was something quiet and inviting about going to bed. It was not crashing asleep with exhaustion or crawling into bed after falling asleep at the television. It was a pampering night time routine that I looked forward to. I went to bed feeling a sense of accomplishment that tomorrow would not just be manageable, but enjoyable. My body rested, but my soul thrived.
- I was energized and inspired to make this change bigger. With each day, maintaining a clean space was an increasingly easy habit. Feeling better drove me to maintain that healthy space. I used to be pushed by negativity to initiate cleaning it out, but now I am motivated by the strength and
positivity that filled my world to keep it together. Soon, I was doing it without a thought. It was a habit. The positive changes were exponential and with the strength, revitalization and clarity of mind, I was ready to keep going. So I did.
I wasn’t the ‘clean and organized type.’
If anyone were to tell me that the instant I decided to clean my bedroom would be a day that fundamentally changed my life I would’ve laughed. You see, like most, I had gone through the drudgery of the chore scores of times before. I had psyched myself up and knew every reason in the world why being clean and decluttered and organized was a good thing. Pure and simple, it was an overall good thing to do. But… it just felt like forcing a square peg into a round hole. I figured I just wasn’t the “organized type” or the right kind of personality, or even that the stars just didn’t align for me. In fact, creating and maintaining a constant level of cleanliness and organization was not a life of anyone I knew! It was for those people who had a talent, you know the Tony Robbins’ of the world. I assumed it certainly was not in my capacity, little me from Kent, Washington.
I didn’t DO anything different than before. So what changed?
But here’s the one thing that made the difference. It wasn’t any method I used, it wasn’t that the stars aligned, and definitely it was not a special skill. I simply grew into self-awareness. That was it, super simple – awareness to the reality of the transformative power that came with the change. Finally, a light shone in my life bringing me out from my state of autopilot and apathetic compromise. I was newly able to see my capability to bring freshness and control into my everyday life. I learned from that first push to clean my bedroom, that feeling empowered and confident, was what created my motivation to maintain it. Gaining strength from having soundly positive rewards, was what allowed me to channel deep wells of pure and inspired motivation.
So today, if someone were to tell me that decluttering could change my life so I could get better sleep, I would still agree, but I doubt it would function as long term motivation or be life changing. At the end of the day, sleep is sleep. Instead, this newfound self-actualization not only benefits the night but with it the day.
In contrast, if someone were to tell me to simply examine myself and self-confront with humility and adaptability to change, I would bet the farm on it. Why? Because it really is that simple. It’s a new perspective. Joining a new perspective with a new lifestyle habit, summarizes a long-term positive end result of empowerment, confidence, and a rested soul.
It’s that simple and easy, and you can have it too.
You can initiate real change and make your home into your sanctuary too. I welcome you to join our community of members who are changing their lives, one room at a time.
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