This is the first time that I’ve ever lived in my own place, away from parents and outside of residence. I know it’s a weird time where many of us are living at home with family, but when I was given the opportunity to live with friends for my final year of university I knew it was worth the experience. This post is my reflection on the importance of taking care of my living space and what I’ve learned so far!
This year is also a little different because we are required to stay in the same space 24/7. This means that I’ve learned to prioritise a clean house and workspace. Usually the brain is refreshed and recharged when we move between different environments and interact with others, but again, that’s not possible right now. Recently, I’ve noticed that cleaning and organizing the house has been my replacement for this sort of stimulating activity.
What I’ve noticed is that when I take time off studying to care for the house I feel present within the moment. These can be small tasks like sweeping the kitchen floor, wiping the counters, taking out the recycling, shovelling snow, or vacuuming up the hair that always clusters in the corner of the bathroom. When I take a break to care of my surroundings I’m reminded that the assignment I’ve been worrying about isn’t that big of a deal in the grande scene of things and that I’m lucky to have a nice living space to study in.
I’ve also gained a sense of purpose from organizing the house. When I lived at home my parents took care of the chores, and when I lived in residence the cleaning staff helped and there was always the feeling that my stay was temporary. I didn’t care as much about my surroundings because I knew I would only live there for two semesters just like all the other people who had lived in that dorm room before me.
Now I feel a sort of pride when the house is clean and everything is in order. I’m hoping this feeling lasts.
Finding a balance between school work and taking care of my surroundings is a new necessity for me because they play off of each other. In order to be productive I need a clean space, and in order to relieve school stress I take time to make sure the house is nice.