Reflections on Life Thus Far

My life. My story: Exploring mental health, spirituality, meditation & random thoughts I have

Organized Chaos


A monk sweeping at his temple in Dehiwalla

A monk sweeping at his temple in Dehiwalla (Photo credit: Oatsandsugar)

As I continue my Spring cleaning I am getting outside more to work on the yard. It seems that there is a sort of momentum that has come about as a result of my cleaning efforts. Even my dad is beginning to assess what he needs to hold on to or get rid of. I never imagined Spring cleaning could develop into a part of my daily life. For a long time I existed in clutter and dirt but once I started cleaning it’s been impossible to go back. There has been a steady development from decluttering to actually managing to turn to smaller details. It used to be so hard to clean because of all the clutter but as I have gotten rid of so much it’s become easier to keep the ball rolling so to speak. A clean and tidy space sounds like no big deal but it is a da*n miracle in my house. My mother was a compulsive hoarder when she was still alive so housework was nearly impossible. Now I can think about cleaning without wondering how on earth I will manage it because there’s so much stuff in the way. It just feels so liberating! Unless you have lived with a compulsive hoarder for years you may not fully appreciate the gravity of my experience and feelings. It’s hard to convey the utter despair, frustration and lethargy that can descend in such an atmosphere of over cluttering and dirt. Just moving about is hard because of everything that is in the way. Now I am actually able to move about easily and see the surface of things again! I can even clean them!

There are still areas of my home needing decluttering and cleaning but I can identify them now whereas before everything was requiring decluttering and cleaning! Before I thought in terms of what areas were clean and how might I keep them that way in such an environment of disorganization and chaos. So I am truly grateful these days for having the energy to continue my efforts in decluttering and cleaning. These are simple things but so important to your wellness. Have you ever noticed the effects a dirty, cluttered room has on your mood or energy levels? It literally can zap your good mood and energy if you have to stay in it any length of time. Just imagine living like that for years! I had no control over anything as a child so I developed an eating disorder. For 15 years I either starved or deprived myself of food to stay very underweight. A part of the reason I did that was to feel like I had some kind of power in my life. My parents were quite neglectful so didn’t consider my low weight an issue. Thankfully, I am in a healthier state these days.

Spring cleaning has brought about a sense of calm and peace in my life never present before. I really delight in the simple  things. A clean bathroom or dust free shelf is enough to give me a feeling of balance. When I look about and see order and organization after so many awful years of disaster I smile inwardly. Not feeling a sense of shame when someone unexpectedly shows up for a visit is worth its weight in gold. Life can be hard but keeping a Zen-like environment can be extremely helpful for bringing that sense of calm and peace I mentioned earlier. Attending to one’s living space is not about impressing others but to reflect the respect you have for yourself. I realize lots of people clean for other reasons but to me it is a measure of how much I respect myself. If I leave my living space to get cluttered and dirty I feel that means I don’t value myself very much. I’m sure there are a number of interpretations one could find that are positive but for me dirt and clutter is a negative thing.

How do you view clutter and dirt in your living space? Is it something you can live with or do you need to keep things more in order?

©Anya, 2013.


18 thoughts on “Organized Chaos

  1. you are so right! clutter and chaos leaves you feeling out of control and it takes away your peace. I can see a definite correlation between your home environment and your eating disorder. You had to find some thing in your surroundings that you could control. Having a clean environment to live in where you feel free to move about effortlessly is great positive energy. I could go n for ever about this. I think it is a breakthrough for you and your dad! Now to keep it that way lol! ♥

    • Thanks! I think I will keep it up as long as I avoid depression. But I usually got depressed for situational reasons or the winter lack of light. So hopefully I can stay motivated. I value a clean, tidy space so I have a feeling I’ll keep up my efforts. My dad is messy but I have been managing even with him not cleaning up after himself.

  2. I think the state of a house can actually be the state of ones brain. You have had a glimpse into your parents brains so to speak. Now as you clean it sounds like your Dad and you are feeling liberated! That’s awesome!
    My house is kind of messy right now… I did get outside myself today and raked some of our lawn. 🙂

    • Totally! I agree with you and was going to put it in my post but didn’t want to be insulting to anyone, LOL. My dad’s room is messy but I’ve been helping him when he’s receptive to it. Generally he doesn’t mind but I don’t like to go through his personal things without asking first. I am glad I can help him though because he has really helped me. So it makes me feel like I am contributing something more than my company alone.

      I’m sure your house isn’t that messy but even if it is at least you recognize it. My parents just ignored everything and dismissed my concerns about the mess when I was younger. Since my mom isn’t alive it’s been easier to convince my dad about the merits of cleanliness! lol

      That’s good you got outside today. Our lawn needs mowing. Then I think the rake will be necessary, haha.

      • Yes I can hear the energy in you post and responses!! I’m so glad you both feeling good about it!!

        Oh yes our lawn needs mowing too, just waiting for Hubby to come back for that, I can’t get the mower started…lol

    • Thanks 🙂 Ironically, I am tired today so have not done as much as I have lately. Did my laundry and tried catching up a bit on reading blogs and posting. We had a prospective buyer for our car I advertised the other day this afternoon. If we’re lucky my dad can sell it by tomorrow when they said they would return. My dad isn’t waiting for the highest ‘bidder’ so if the buyer returns tomorrow with the money they’ll get it.

  3. I too need order in my house, I can let it get a little disorganized but sooner than later things must be put right. Really it just depends on how tired I am.

  4. Cluttered house… cluttered mind, for sure! That would have been really hard living with a loved one that was a hoarder. My house has to be clean in order for me to feel good. Otherwise my brain goes off on a tangent! Lol hugs Paula xxx

  5. I lived with a lot of clutter. It was and has always helped in keeping others at a distance. Unfortunately clutter stops energy from moving freely. We need the movement of energy in our homes and rooms. With clutter so many people have less energy and so less energy to do something to change their life or to clean up the clutter. It is self-perpetuating. Stuck energy can contribute so much to stuck energy in people and them being stuck in their lives.

    I worked on de-cluttering for ten years, got it much better. Then moved several times. Now I have so many less belongings and clutter is still an issue, I tend to make piles rather than organize. I am still working on that. To me it is all about my abuse issues, healing, and taking good care of myself, a long term project.

    Good and healing thoughts to you.


    • Thank you for sharing your experience, Kate. Clutter and/or hoarding is something that causes shame in some people. I experienced shame by proxy of living with a compulsive hoarder. My mother was severely abused as a child and mentally ill the majority of time I knew her as I was growing up. She collected anything and everything. I often got the impression she saw inanimate objects as having feelings so wanted to ‘save’ them if lost or unwanted (i.e. for sale or dropped on the ground somewhere). She had more obvious love for her objects than she did my sister and I.

      I can understand the urge to hang on to things because I see my dad struggle with it and my mom of course whilst she was alive. For my mom it was a way to distract herself from her inner demons by being able to always have something to look at. So she constantly brought home stuff to offer a fresh distraction from her mind’s turmoil. Although she didn’t look anxious the hoarding was connected to anxiety. An anxiety that she might not have enough. In one sense that meant not having enough materially due to growing up poor; on the other it was not having enough to provide visual distraction to offer an escape from her mind. After that stopped working she had psychosis. She was scary enough before that happened so when she had psychosis I was often afraid of her. I don’t remember her ever being truly balanced mentally for any amount of time beyond a few hours or couple of days. Then she would be imbalanced again. As the most sensitive child I became the scapegoat and identified patient in the family.

      Sorry for the lengthy reply! LOL

      • Hi,

        Lengthy replies are okay. I too was the sensitive child, the scapegoat in my family and the one who was labeled crazy by my mother. There was a time when I thought of some inanimate objects as having feelings of sadness and abandonment too, I think for me it was a true projection of what I was going through in my own life.

        I’m so sorry about your mother’s mental health issues and hoarding. I know that kind of stuff, negative energy, stays around for a long time, it’s in the space and in the things. I’m so glad that you have done so much to change your home space and doing so much healing work. Good for you!

        Good and healing thoughts to you.


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