The Felicity of Cleaning Your Room
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The Joy Of Cleaning Your Room

The mental cleansing that comes from tidying up.

The Joy Of Cleaning Your Room

As I am sure many of you have, a couple of months ago I watched "Tidying Up with Marie Kondo" on Netflix. While inspired by her gumption in clearing out mess, I felt her approach to be almost impossible without a large amount of time and energy dedicated to the project. So I created my own little system to spark joy. This May, upon arriving from college to my childhood home, I marched into my own room, determined, and armed with three garbage bags. One I marked "Garbage", the second "Donation", and the third "Resell". I began going through every drawer and surface of the room I'd occupied since the 1st grade.

It felt amazing clearing out trash, but it especially felt great separating out donatable items. I like to thrift shop, and I admittedly have a lot of clothing. I thrift as I have a very typical income for a college student (low) and enjoy thrift shopping as it is recycling and helps eliminate the waste and emissions from fast fashion companies. What always feels a little weird to me about it, though, is that thrifting (not consignment--that's a whole other thing) is designed for those with low incomes. As a person who admittedly could buy retail to put clothes on my back, I felt that scalping brand name or interesting clothing from locations that were the only option for some is class ignorant. The way I justify buying at these locations, is donating in order to keep the system working and full and cyclical.

When it came to the "Resell", I chose items that were valuable enough to make a little cash at a local consignment shop. An amazing plus of getting rid of stressful clutter is a little extra spending money to get a coffee or bagel with friends this summer.

However, one of the best things about this experience was the things I rediscovered and repurposed while dredging my childhood space. Among my crowded and overflowing desk drawers, I found journals I had written dated from 2007-2017. I also recovered purses, jewelry, hats, and notebooks, all of which, combined with my post-high school security in the way I dress, were all things I wanted to wear/use again. I found yarn and needles and began knitting anew. Unread books were put back on my shelf. Colored pens and pencils were placed in a cup on my desk along with dozens of sheets of sketch paper.

When I had finished cleaning my room, I felt calmer, not only because the mess and misplaced objects were no longer crowding my mental space, but also because the process itself was special. Reading the journals, reigniting my passions for sketching, knitting, and reading, as well as adding to and reducing my clothing, were beyond an important experience. I felt in touch with a younger version of me and, with that came a powerful reconciliation between who I was 13 years ago and who I've become since. While most people are better than I when it comes to regularly clearing out their rooms, I encourage you this summer to go through that bin that has been untouched in years, the back of that closet, or the storage room at the end of the basement. You may be surprised by what you find.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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