After opening the door to my bedroom, guests and friends are occasionally greeted with mountains of papers towering over my opened laptop, a fleet of dirty cups lining my coffee stained desk, and waves of blankets strewn about my unmade twin XL bed. 

You may be thinking, “Merri, how did you get to this troubling state of disarray?” 

Well, in short, life is hard. 

With the many messes that crop up in life — being woefully unprepared for finals week, forgetting meetings, desiring more of a social life, or just not knowing what to do for spring break — the pressures and stressors of being a person sometimes makes life’s basic functions, like maintaining a living space, a little difficult. 

But, when the weight on my shoulders feels a little too heavy and my cluttered room begins to equate to a cluttered mind, a voice in my head starts screaming that it’s time to clean my room. 

So, let’s get to it. 

Over the last few months, I have found cleaning to be surprisingly therapeutic. Getting to listen to music, tune out my stress, and focus on cleaning out the messes of my room allows me to separate from myself and simply breathe. Not to mention, allowing my brain to channel some neurotic tendencies into my living space rather than every assignment I turn in.

Cleaning, to me, is a reaffirmation that I am worthy of an easily livable space. Being in a cluttered space clogs up my brainwaves, and to fix that means that I am allowing myself to think and breathe more easily and  comfortably. 

Sometimes, when I finish cleaning, I like to buy flowers for my room as a finishing touch. They’re lovely, until I forget to discard them when they’re past their prime. Luckily enough for me, I can always get rid of the remains on my next cleaning day.

As my splurge-purchase vacuum sucks away the germs, debris, dirt, and many particles that have made a home in my apartment floor, I remind myself that taking a moment to care for my space, and myself, is okay. 

As I vacuum away the particles on my floor, I like to imagine little germs getting sucked into the chasm and spiraling around until they find a new home in the filter. Maybe someday I’ll achieve a flawlessly clean floor. But maybe I need to invest in carpet cleaner first.

Cleaning is hard. Seemingly more difficult though, is making time for ourselves. 

But when you are feeling life’s many messes crunching down on you, try grabbing a multi-purpose cleaner of your choice and a cloth and start with your desk. You may find that breathing gets a little easier, and the weight on your shoulders gets a little lighter. 

Take time for yourself, take care of yourself, and happy cleaning. I hope it does for you the same it does for me.

With a freshly made bed, be sure to clean off and reorganize a bedside table if you’ve got one. Save plenty of space for the cups that will rebuild homes there, and make sure to re-plug-in all needed technology and appliances.