(Disclaimer: All the examples and cases used in this essay are real, something my sister does/did, or something I do/did).
When it comes to being clean and organized, my sister and I could not be more different. It’s not even about being two sides of a same coin, we’re actually two totally different coins, from different currencies. If all the European countries were still keeping their currencies, I would say she’s a Peseta, in reference to the economic mess Spain is going through right now, and I would see myself as a DM, Germany being the only one doing relatively well in its ‘less messy’ economy.
Just to make things clear, I don’t go around cleaning every inch and corner of the house I’m in. My mother would definitely raise her eyebrows and snort if I were making such claims. But as long as it’s MY room, MY space, in a house where no one else is around to do the cleaning for me, I do believe in maintaining things clean and rather organized. My room is a reflection of my state of mind and vice versa, and moreover, however weird this may sound, my room is a reflection of my system of values. Let me expand on that before I am considered a freak for using ‘room’ and ‘system of values’ in a same sentence.
There are times, of course, when my room is completely disorganized, with my bed unmade and every possible thing lying on my desk. That’s probably when I’m multi tasking and I actually enjoy being disorganized, because I feel that I shouldn’t be at ease and such atmosphere inspires a certain urge, reminding me of the responsibilities and tasks I should complete. This state of ‘frenzy’ will help me strike off my duties one by one from my list of things to do, and my room will slowly become more organized as my list becomes shorter. But it is impossible for me to even fathom the idea that anyone would choose to permanently, or at least for more than 2-3 days, live in such state. (Not pointing fingers at anyone here). When I’m done with that state of rumble, seeing the things find their own place one by one from lying pointlessly on my desk, and seeing my bed made and the blanket straightened, yes, even if it’s just for me to disturb it that very night, gives me closure. What will come next may be another phase of craziness, but at least, I will be able to welcome it with a refreshened sound state of mind. And, apart from all this, doesn’t a newly cleaned room just give you a satisfying feeling of accomplishment? Wouldn’t you rather see that empty bottle of lotion IN the trash can, where it clearly belongs? Wouldn’t you feel better to have your energy bar on your desk, where you can see it easily and eat it when you want to, rather than have it lying on the floor, underneath a pile of I don’t know what?
Cleaning and organizing a room is not something that is done without any thinking, at least, that is how I see it. This divine activity calls for your attention, your taste, your preference (would you rather arrange your scarves according to their colors or their lack/presence of patterns, or even, according to seasons?), in other words, your ‘system of values’. You learn about yourself during this intricate process. Are you a color person? (In other words, are you a ‘visual’ person?) Or do you value and arrange things according to their usage? (In other words, are you a ‘practical’ person?) Or perhaps even the frequency of their usage? Do you systematize books in line with their authors or with the topic of the book? And when it comes to books from the same author, would you see his/her books lying on the shelf comforming to how much you liked each book, or chronologically?
How can you miss on the world of opportunities and discoveries that cleaning and organizing provide?