Why You Really Need to Clean Your Room

cleanliness college life graduates like mother said tidiness young people

Except, it isn't just about time, convenience, and hygiene (and no, it's not about feng shui or the flow of chi either, though those things are important).

I want you to ask yourself, do you like living in a tidy space? If you could have someone clean up your room everyday, for free, just as you liked it, with everything where you wanted, would you?

If the answer to that question is yes, I would like you to consider that maybe the reason you're not cleaning you room is because you don't think you deserve a clean space.

You are Worth your Time

This happens a lot with us young'n's. We are so caught up in proving ourselves in our jobs, to our employers and co-workers, our teachers and fellow students, that we neglect to value time taken just for ourselves. As long as we look presentable walking out the door, what does it matter if our bedroom is a mess? Nobody else will see it.

Well, I would like to suggest that, just as you strive to impress others with your outward appearance, you should strive to impress yourself by taking care of yourself. By taking the time to clean your room, keep your space tidy, get out of your pajamas on the weekend, make yourself a nice, involved meal, you send the implicit message to yourself that you respect and value your own comfort. This is pretty much the exact same message you send a loved one when you make them a nice dinner. Can you imagine the message it would send if you invited your boy/girlfriend over for dinner and made them a nice, lovingly crafted bowl of Ramen? I assure you, it would not go over well. So why treat yourself that way?

No More Excuses

The time argument comes up a lot: I don't have the time, or I'd rather spend my time doing something else more fun. Obviously, that's your own choice, but let me pose a question: If you don't have time to take good care of yourself, who does? We don't live with our mothers anymore (okay, some of us do, but most of them have decided it's time to stop babying us...ahem, mom!). Additionally, the needs we are neglecting are actually pretty necessary. Shelter, food, sleep, appearance and grooming. These things are the most basic requirements of animal survival, and set the foundation for all other endeavors. We get used to the lower standards we allow ourselves, and don't notice the detriment, but then when we actually make a nice sit down dinner, get enough sleep, and tidy our room, it's like taking a deep breath when we've been holding our breath without realizing it.

The last and most important this is that taking care of yourself will give you a sense of self-respect and dignity that carries over into a lot of other areas of life. By taking care of yourself, you remind yourself that you deserve good treatment, and when you interact with others, you will convey that attitude subconsciously. They will get the message that you are a person of worth, because you hold yourself as a person of worth. Therefore, they will treat you with respect. It's a great self-feedback loop. You respect yourself, so they do, so you do even more, etc.

This is not an abstract concept. I've been in some pretty bad spots in my life. When I finally get my head on straight and decide to turn things around, the very first thing I do, without exception, has been to start keeping my room tidy. It all starts with making your bed. Just like mother said.

I'd love to hear perspectives or shared experiences on self-care and tidiness. I hear there are creative types who do better with clutter, so I'm sure there are arguments to the contrary. That said, I can only write and play music when things are tidy. Post thoughts to comments.


Image source: eqnilk66 on Flickr