Long title? Yes. Long story? No. Well, maybe.
2017, and to be honest, for a couple years leading up to it… okay, to be real honest, for several years leading up to it… was kind of a clutterf*ck. Clutter was around me literally everywhere. The kitchen, living room, dining room (hello, #diningroomtabledumpingground), entryway, bathroom, bedroom, my work office… You get the idea. Pretty much every space I inhabited was enmeshed with stuff. Much of it was just shit that needed to get pitched or donated.
Over the holidays, I was off work for a little over two weeks. It was glorious. After about 10 days, I looked around – really seeing this time – and became (even more) disgusted with myself about how my living space had gotten out of control with clutter. My “lifestyle” had become paralyzing. Anyone been there? It’s too much. Too much to do, too much to think about, too much to deal with. Too time-consuming. Too mindboggling. Too depressing. It feels like there is so much to do that you don’t know where to begin. So you don’t. And you don’t. And you don’t. And before you know it, you’re on the Jerry Springer episode of I’m an Accidental Hoarder. I don’t even like the Jerry Springer Show. Is he even still around? I didn’t want to find out.
I would walk into my house and instantly be drained of all good vibes. One step through the doorway had the power to strip me of not only a good mood, but my spiritual well-being. A cluttered space leads to a cluttered mind. And a cluttered mind makes it hard for you to connect with the Universe. And when you can’t get connected with the Universe, you get stuck in this heavy, static state of spiritual toxicity. I was heading into about page 36 of my Give a Mouse a Cookie sort of life. I didn’t want to get to page 40 and watch the cycle repeat itself.
So little by little, I began the arduous task of detoxing my living space. Yes, it was overwhelming. Yes, it was exhausting. I stayed up until 2 or 3 a.m. most nights. And yes, it was embarrassing, even if I only shared pictures with a close friend. Verrrry close friend. But I did share pictures because I needed to come clean. Literally and figuratively. At times I felt like I was just moving shit from one room to another and I wondered if I was actually making it worse. But as I began to see progress, one room at a time, I picked up momentum. Every day became more productive than the last. And guess what? Every day I was in a better mood than the day before. Looking around was no longer as overwhelming. It wasn’t depressing. It wasn’t even disgusting. I took bags and boxes of unused stuff to local charity, and as each room became clean and tidy, not only did my home begin to feel lighter, but my spirit did as well.
I got into daily habits of making my bed, cleaning the kitchen, doing laundry, and actually opening and doing something with every single piece of mail. Novel concept. Granted, it has only been two weeks (ha!), but walking into a room that is clean, organized, and clutter-free is so gratifying and peaceful. Before detoxing my bedroom space, I avoided going there except to sleep. It was oppressive. I didn’t sleep well and woke up exhausted. Now I look forward to going to bed early so that I can climb under the crisp covers to read before heading into dreamland. I sleep well and I wake up in a good mood. And when I venture into the kitchen for that first cup of coffee, I actually look forward to it rather than dreading the sink full of dishes or the clutter on the counter. And I can actually serve dinner on the dining room table because the only thing on it is the centerpiece.
Since coming clean, a few times I’ve started to absent-mindedly travel down the thoughtpath of how my living space had turned into what felt like a toxic landfill. But chaos can be a chatty bitch, so each time she’s wandered into my mental space, I tune out the static by turning to the Universe. And each time, it complies, washing over me in a soothing cleanse of mind and spirit. Along with my daily cleaning habits, I’m back into my daily spiritual practice that includes meditation, and have carved out bits of “me” time throughout the day. I feel connected again. I’m realigned.
End of story? I hope so. But chaos is not just a chatty bitch. She’s a persistent one, too.