The Importance of a Clean Environment


You know what always makes me feel better? Cleaning. You know what I never thought I'd say? That.

In high school I had the messiest room out of anyone I knew. I had a living room to myself (of course I did) where I would spend most of my time, and that was sometimes marginally presentable, but my bedroom was a floordrobe. Several inches of solid floordrobe, only the presence of the word "floor" here at all is a stretch. It was never dirty, just an actual sea of clothing. I would occasionally sort it out, but that wouldn't last long. My messy room was as much a part of my identity as my love of musicals and membership to #TeamEdward. I saw the appeal of maintaining a tidy room, but could not for the life of me force myself to care enough to actually do it. Fast forward to 2014 when I moved into my own apartment for the first time and BAM. There it was. A deep-rooted love of cleaning that I never knew I had. My working theory is that since I was never really forced to do chores growing up, once I moved out they were still a bit of a novelty to me, but there's also a definite element of intrinsic satisfaction at play. The sense of calm, control and possibility that comes with a spotless environment... it's magical. Don't need a fairy godmother when you've got a full bottle of multi-purpose surface cleaning spray and some wipes. Oh man I love cleaning surfaces.

Since almost every one of my How To posts involves some version of the instruction "clean your room", I thought it was probably about time that I go into just why it is that I feel so very strongly about the importance of a clean environment.


Nothing can mess up my ability to function quite like a cluttered, disorganised, messy environment. Right now, for example, my room is an absolute bomb site and I've had to come to Starbucks in order to get anything done. I do derive far more joy from the fine art of organisation than the average normie, but this shit goes beyond my own pathological love of alphabetisation. That's right. It's GENUINELY RELATABLE. Having a messy room is unsettling on multiple psychological levels. For starters, it's a constant and unavoidable reminder of all the things you have to get done, and as long as your wardrobe is scattered artistically across your floor you're probably going to be hit by a sense of guilt and procrastination every dang time you look up. Tackling the clutter eliminates not only one concrete thing on your actual To Do list, but also the constant visual representation of every single other thing that's currently stressing you out.
It clears your mind and gives you one less thing to worry about.

There's also the practical aspect; being unable to walk from your door to your bed without stepping on nine different jumpers, kicking your GHD and almost slipping to your death on last month's Harper's Bazaar is not particularly conducive to an easy, breezy life. Sometimes I literally just roll over and go back to sleep as soon as I see a messy room, which is also not particularly conducive to me getting up and going to work like a functional adult. Cleaning and organising your room means that 1. You can actually see/find everything you own 2. There is space for activities/general functionality 3. You're not going to be damaging your possessions by trampling on them and kicking them away as though they have offended you on a deep and personal level despite you being the one who put them on the floor in the first place and 4. You can focus on the areas and items you like, and when things look pretty you're just going to be a lot happier. Life rule.

When your room is clean and tidy it's like a blank canvas upon which to create the masterpiece that is your blessed life. You have space to do activities, you can find everything you own and the smugness that comes with a clean room will propel you forward into a whole new sphere of productivity. You can also rearrange your space and create a whole #newyou based upon these interior improvements. You can't do that if your room is messy. I mean you can, but it'll look crap.


Granted, the tidying process - see: having to pick things up and put them away - is a pain in the ass. I don't enjoy that part whatsoever. However, once it's done you get to the really satisfying bits like WIPING DOWN SURFACES and MULTIPLE LOADS OF LAUNDRY, SOMETIMES INCLUDING BEDDING! Seriously, nothing makes my heart sing like doing the dishes and taking out all the rubbish, followed by a solid laundry blitz & simultaneous deep clean.
I hear myself. Let's all find solace in the fact I still hate picking things up.

Since moving out I have had the realisation that shockingly if I don’t clean something it doesn’t get done, (this is from the same brilliant mind that brought you “bills are expensive” and “people write shopping lists for a reason”), so I am gonna give this Starbz the ol' exeunt en masse (I am aware I'm not technically "en masse" but my presence and charisma are enough to justify the phrasing) and go clean my damn room.

3 comments

  1. "Almost slipping to your death on last month's Harper's Bazaar" is my favourite thing I've ever read hahahaha. I thrive creatively in a clean space, and I spend at least half an hour every day tidying. I'm obsessed!

    Sharni // A Girl & Grey

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  2. I relate to this on so many levels it's unbelievable. I too enjoy a good dose of cleaning and there are psychological studies to say that it does help brain endorphins so there you go, we are right and they are wrong. I can't be productive in any untidy space which is hard because I do not share this trate with my parents who are self proclaimed hoardors and when I'm at home the battle begins of keeping some kind of order in a place where our shoe rack is spilling onto the floor and my mum constantly loses her vape because she doesn't have a designated place for it. I can't wait to have my own place again so I can re-establish order and cleanliness back into my life and therefore return to my productive self. Before then, like you; coffee shops will have to do.

    Marbl☾☽Moon

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  3. I read this with tears of joy! A daughter after my own heart.

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