5 Lessons I Learned While Cleaning My Room
Now that spring is officially here, it’s time to clean out the old to make space for the new. Anyone that truly knows me has seen the ordered chaos of my room. Yes, I said ordered chaos. I can find anything in it no problem. Once I put things away, it takes me ages. Good luck to my future husband who has no idea I can make a clean room look like a tornado ran through it when looking for an outfit. Despite my affinity for such disorder--only in my personal space, everywhere else is kept tidy--my room was getting to be too much even to my standards. So, I began to clean.
As I walked back and forth to the trash can, I realized I had so much stuff that I didn’t even need. Us Weekly magazines, old receipts, expired coupons, documents with information that was no longer important. For me, I always have this fear that if I throw something away too soon after I don’t need it, I’ll somehow need it. So, I’ll keep it for months just in case. But while flipping through the magazines with old news, the first lesson hit me.
Lesson One: We Hold on to Things Unnecessarily
There are things in life that we just don’t want to let go. Whether it be a person or a moment or a negative emotion. We hold on to these things and they slow us down from our dreams, visions and aspirations.
Before I threw everything away, I had to maneuver my way past my backpack, cords, my favorite knee-high boots (may they rest in peace until next winter) and clothes. The process to get from the door to my bed took longer than it would have if I had a straight path with nothing in my way. When we bog ourselves down with unnecessary things, we only slow down our progress.
Lesson Two: Things Get Hidden in the Clutter
While cleaning, I had to determine what was important. Was it trash or was it a vital piece of information that needed to stay in my room? As I uncovered more of the floor, I found things that I forgot I had and then realized something else.
Once we begin hoarding people, moments and negative emotions in our lives, it begins to build up. Soon they take up so much space that we can no longer see our old dreams and aspirations. They’ve been covered by things only gilded with importance. In order to see the things that are real, you have to go through and decide what is trash and what is vital.
Lesson Three: There’s a Time and a Place for Everything
The process of cleaning my room is finally coming along. I can see more of the floor and things are looking up. Now, I’m left with the task of putting things where they belong. I seriously hate this step because I have way too many things to put back.
Not everything needs to be thrown away but things do need to be put where they belong. I’m sure you’ve heard countless times, there’s a time and a place for everything. I heard this a lot from my mom when I was ready to say something out of anger that didn’t necessarily need to be said or when I was misbehaving in public as a kid.
Throughout life things will come and go, but if it’s time for something to go, that means it no longer has a purpose in where your life is headed. If something happened in the past, there is no point in dragging it with you into the present and the future. Leave it where it belongs--on a shelf in your past. Experiences or people that came before do not have to define the outcome of your future. Allow them to be milestones or lessons (good or bad) that help you curate a better you.
Lesson Four: Things That Don’t Want to Leave Have to Be Physically Removed
The next task on my room cleaning agenda is to bring out the vacuum and pick up all the feathers I have on my floor. Let me give you a little background on the feather problem I have.
When I moved into my new apartment, my mother ordered me a padded mattress topper because she insisted that the mattress I purchased was poor quality and not soft enough for my back. The topper made everything feel fabulous…until the feathers started poking through. They contantly poke through the fitted sheet and litter the floor. I have feathers attached to my sheets, towels, blankets and even some of my roommate’s clothing (sorry Aye!). Since they’re EVERYWHERE, I decided a quick vacuum would handle the problem and I’d be all done.
As I passed the vacuum over the feathers a few got sucked up while most of them remained in the carpet. These were stubborn little buggers. In order to get them off the ground, I had to bend down and pick them up individually. *rolls eyes* What exactly is a vacuum good for if I have to do the work anyways?
Sometimes it’s what we hold on to, and other times things are stubborn and have to be removed. The best example of this is people. If they have no purpose in where you see yourself heading, remove them. If they doubt you, cut them off. If they drag you down or use you, kick them to the curb. Somethings in life will stay as long as you let it. If it does nothing but hold you back, don’t let it stay.
Lesson Five: Our Potential Can Be Lessened by Our Perspective
I’m feeling amazing because all of the annoying feathers are picked up, I can see the sun on the floor and suddenly my room looks huge! Who knew how much space I had? I mean, I did, but I forgot about it because it was usually hidden.
As my room doubled in size before my eyes, my perspective changed. My room no longer felt small. I was able to see the places I could decorate or add more furniture. And life is exactly the same way. When you hold on to the clutter, you can’t see past it. You start to believe that what you see is all there is. But once it’s gone you’re able to see your potential.
Who knew that a bit of spring cleaning could turn into a life lesson?