text and photo © Jonathan Zap
I’ve lived in many non-ideal homes, including a decade or so in an 18′ RV with less interior space than most bathrooms. It was still possible to make that small space into a fairly comfortable home with some creativity and adaptability. Small or large, however, I cannot enjoy any home once it gets messy and chaotic. Many people find that they have more and more possessions and less and less time to deal with them all. Keeping your space orderly and aesthetically pleasing can be a very empowering practice. If you feel anxious or depressed you are still capable of cleaning up your space, a task that usually doesn’t take a lot of mental focus. When you work on cleaning up your space, there are very tangible results that improve morale.
In dreams, houses often represent the self. When you take care of your home, you are also taking care of your self and anyone else who shares the space. House cleaning is, therefore, a magical and psychological ritual as well as a practical one. It can be a form of self-love and an act of external considering for anyone else sharing the space. A messy home by contrast seems an influence toward living a messy, neglectful life.
We live in a world overflowing with info clutter, but at the same time it is also a world where we can inexpensively access almost infinite media. Manual tasks that were once mind-numbing now can be enriching because most people can afford an mp3 player an or other devices. For me, manual work time is often reading time as I listen to a lot of audio books I get from the library. I also listen to podcasts, many of which are free. Time spent bringing order to the material part of your life can also be time spent enriching yourself culturally. Instead of viewing cleaning time as yet another burden, it is possible to view it as beneficial time when you get to work on improving your quality of life. Some may prefer to do household chores mindfully as a form of meditation. You can make consciousness work out of any activity by aiming to do it with great impeccability.
Most people have to work very hard to keep a roof over their heads. Since a home is such a major investment why not get the most from it by keeping it in a pleasing order? Most homes now have capacities that homes never had in the past. With an internet connection you have interactive contact with much of the information in the world. Movie theaters have become less necessary when many can watch high-definition movies in the comfort of their homes. We may have less space than we want, but most homes have resources that kings and heads of state couldn’t dream of a hundred years ago. Value the time you have in your own personal sanctuary, care for the space and the people in it, including you. Consider this a propitious time to improve the quality of life you have in your home, no matter how small, limited or temporary that sanctuary might be.
Read: Mechanical Resistance Matrix