With Chinese New Year around the corner, everyday is housecleaning day. When previously I was never really into housework, now I spend most of my days doing either housework or gardening and enjoying it.
One fact that became very obvious to me is that if our home, work area, car or anywhere that we spend time in is untidy, dirty and cluttered, it affects our energy levels. We tend to feel more lethargic, demotivated, tired and moody in such an environment. If we are facing bad times, it will even make us more depressed. That is why, it is important to keep our place clean, tidy and with as little clutter as possible.
I know some of us have resigned to the fact that we are disorganised, untidy and may defend ourselves that we work better that way. I was one of those people in the past. Last time, I have the most untidy desk and disorganised email Inbox– and somehow, I thought could work better admist all the clutter…. even though I must admit that I do end up wasting a lot of time searching for things. If we cannot control clutter and cannot organised ourselves, in the long term when we work, we become edgy and stressed more easily. These are unnecessary stress- no matter what we want to say about it, at the back of our minds, we know- in the middle of the mess, we could have missed out one important email in the Inbox, or we could have forgotten to do something because the task got buried in a pile.
Few weeks ago, I finally was able to clear my entire garden after spending between 4 to 6 hours for about 5 days- of all the weeds, broken branches, dry leaves, etc. Imagine that I had filled up about 20 black bin bags worth of dry leaves and weeds. The twigs and cut wood are another story. All in all, we had a mini lorry came over and it was full to the brim just carrying our garden refuse. So you can imagine what a mini jungle my garden previously were. But after everything was cleared, and I repositioned flower pots so that it appeared more organised, I was amazed that the vibe felt better- and my house felt brighter, the air fresher (instead of blowing through dry and rotted stuff)- even though we have not really cut any trees. Previously, when we pull weeds and cut unwanted trees, they were left there to rot. And rotted stuff tend to bring bad vibes- I do not need to any Feng Shui book to figure that out- it is just common sense. Now, the garden is a pleasant place for the family to go to.
After the garden, I have been spending time cleaning inside the house. That day, I spent hours cleaning my book cabinets- which have not been cleaned for a long time. The time spent wiping and sorting the books (and I decided to give some of it away), wiping off the dust… took hours. But after wiping and organising everything, the area felt good and so much more pleasant to the eyes.
When I did the cleaning inside the house, I felt sort of drained- as compared to cleaning the garden. Even though when I cleared my garden, I spent hours filling up bin bags of weeds and dry leaves, I do not feel tired because I am with nature. But when inside the house, perhaps when I open book cabinets and clean, it releases some kind of stale energy. So I took breaks often to drink water and go outdoors to the garden to regain my energy- if you are tired, you can do that. And, don’t feel heavy hearted to throw away stuff- you need to be a bit ruthless. I recovered my energy after I swept and mop the floors and then took a good bath and changed my clothes.
Next time if you are feeling sluggish, tired and ‘overwhelmed’, look around your house to see if there are lots of clutter and stuff from the past that you are hoarding and not throwing away– start cleaning and decluttering. You will feel the difference. Initially, if you cannot bear to throw away things, start with those that you can let go first. Then gradually move to tougher stuff.
A friend told me years ago that it is very important to declutter and I never really understood until now. My friend, previously a hoarder, gradually started decluttering and throwing/giving away things that she no longer needed. She now live a very simplistic life.