Physical Space A Reflection of Mental Space

Yesterday we finished Week 2 here of the October Novel Push Initiative.  I would love to post a report but I am MISSING word count reports from a lot of people!  While I chase all of them down, I have other things on my mind.

I read somewhere, way back in my university undergrad days, that your physical space is a reflection of your mental space.  In the simplest of terms, a messy house/room/office often reflects a messy mind.  For me this has almost always proved to be the case.  I have a hard time thinking when my space is a mess.  It’s like the chaos is pressing in from the outside and my thoughts won’t settle and organize until I’ve cleaned, neatened, put away, and organized.  The act of cleaning and organizing is analogous to doing the same to my brain.  Needless to say, my apartment was never cleaner than during midterms and finals.

I’m a neatnick by nature.  My office at work is very organized and just so.  So when my boss picks knick nacks up off my desk and messes with them while she’s talking to me, half my brain can’t pay attention because I’m thinking  “put that back”.  And of course she doesn’t put it back where it GOES.  I promise, I’m really not OCD.  I just think better when things are neat and organized.

So how does that work at home where I share my space with my husband and two dogs?  Well, the dogs certainly don’t pick up after themselves.  And my husband seems to just not see clutter or mess.   Frankly, I’m not all that great at being neat myself when it’s not just my own habits I’m fighting.  So there’s this constant sort of tension that usually takes a month or so to build up to an OMG WE MUST CLEAN RIGHT NOW frenzy.  After the last 6 weeks of rain, we are SO THERE.

But it’s not just the accumulation of paw prints on the floor or dog hair in the corners or glasses that didn’t migrate to the dishwasher from the living room at bedtime last night.  It’s the wholesale accumulation of stuff.  We simply have too much of it for our tiny house.  Our respective offices become dumping grounds for assorted stuff and we are far too prone to just shutting the doors and moving on with life.

But it’s still there.  Behind the door.  And whenever I have occasion to go in there the mess mocks me.  It’s all very distracting.  We’re pretty good about keeping the public parts of the house in decent shape (what with the constant battle against dog hair), but I know I’m going to have to suck it up and work on the rest of it.  We need to go through and get rid of stuff.   Sell it, freecycle it, throw it away.  And October is going to be the month to do it.  I’m joining my mom for a garage sale the first weekend in November, so I’m setting myself a goal to go through and pull and price stuff for that.  Clean out every closet.  Starting this weekend.

If we don’t need it, want it, or use it, it’s outta there.  I’m so ready for that.

Simplify life.  Make extra space.  Organize.  It will help me to think better.  Clear out the mental clutter.  Create more visual space.

At least that’s what I’m going to tell myself because right now I’m having shades o’ childhood when my mother used to force me to clean out my closet.

Recipe of the day: Beef Stroganoff

2 thoughts on “Physical Space A Reflection of Mental Space

  1. Yes!! This is EXACTLY how I am! Glad to know I’m not the only one. And I’m getting close to the cleaning frenzy as well–can’t stand it any longer, and no one else in the house will do anything but dishes. Sometimes not even those.

    And I’m making that stroganoff tonight!! YUM!

  2. Again, so the complete opposite. I’m like your husband, don’t even notice it. Makes my neatnik mother, whom I share a home with, crazy! Been like this ever since she can remember – apparently my tolerance for mess is innate!

    Sorry about the NPI numbers – had to type up all the handwritten and then migraine yesterday floored me. Here they are.

    8 – 280
    9 – 523
    10 – 409
    11 – 315
    12 – 357
    13 – 356
    14 – 0 migraine was too overwhelming
    15 – 400 so far

    Hope that helps!

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