As you are reading this title, you may be thinking, what the h-e-double hockey sticks do these two things have in common.
Well my friend, let me tell you.
Let’s go back a bit. For the first 26 years of my life, I did not know how to really clean. Growing up, I did my chores (often reluctantly) when my mom asked me to or left me a list. However, I did not understand the importance of cleaning regularly, thoroughly or with any kind of routine.
Fast forward to today. I am now 27 years old. I am married and the mom to a super fast and playful one-year-old. Over the past year, I have realized how much it affects my mood and mental health when my house is cluttered or unclean. In fact, this bothered me so much that I did what any other millennial would do – I went to the internet and searched “ways to be happy at home”. I came across a study done in 2010 whose findings suggested that women who lived in cluttered and unclean homes had higher rates of depression and fatigue. The interesting thing was it was only women. Not men. So your husband or significant other might throw all his stuff on the counter when he walks in at night and it doesn’t bother him a bit. You, however, walk-in and see the cluttered kitchen counter and immediately feel your mood drop.
Armed with this new knowledge I’d like to tell you that I got my butt into gear and quickly learned how to have a clean an uncluttered home without much trouble at all. This could not be further from the truth. My journey looked more like frantic bursts of inspiration where I do all the things followed by intense meltdowns where I declare through all the tears that no one helps me, I can’t do this and – wait for it – I’m not good enough.
I spent some time wallowing then continued searching for more inspiration and wisdom on how to be a working mom, a present wife, and mom and find time to clean my house. Y’all – there is so much information and encouragement out there. The internet is a magical place. I came across three women who have podcasts, blogs, and online courses specifically for encouraging and supporting women to live their best lives. Kendra Hennesy (focuses on homemaking and cleaning with a modern twist), Allie Cassaza (minimalism for a more relaxed and happy motherhood) and Rachel Hollis (self-help and personal development guru). By surrounding myself with positivity and inspiration from these women while also having a close friend who was walking through this journey with me I’m proud to say I’ve finally made some progress in keeping a clean and uncluttered home. AND IT FEELS SO GOOD!
Spending time in a space I feel good in has done wonders for my mood. I’m able to actually relax when I’m at home. I feel productive when I’m cleaning because I’ve learned ways to clean faster and figured out which areas of my home really have the biggest impact (for me it’s my kitchen and bathroom).
HAVING A CLEAN HOUSE LEADS TO YOU FEELING MORE RELAXED AND LESS DEPRESSED. This is how self-care and housekeeping are related.
Don’t believe me? Try it out and see for yourself. Make it a priority to clear off your counters every night before bed. See how much walking into your bedroom after work each day with a freshly made bed and clear nightstand impacts your mood. If you’re thinking you’d like to do this but have no idea how – do what I did. Look for help. Look for resources. Find a friend who feels the same way and walk this path together. Everything you want to know is on the internet for free if you take the time to look.
You deserve love and the time it takes to love yourself well. Even if that means making time to clean your bathroom so you can take a bubble bath in a clean decluttered space. Loving your space is part of loving yourself.
The Self Care Lady