Cleaning is cathartic

This is the product of ten hours of work over the past week. I just wish I’d thought to take a before picture.

The floor, shelves, desk, drawers and closet were all full of clutter. I’ve been able to use my desk for the first time in three years or so:

A Clean room

Several rules for room cleaning helped:

1) If I haven’t used or worn something in the last year it needs to get thrown out or given away. I made one exception, a pea coat which will be useful when I live somewhere cold. I took all of the clothes that I didn’t bring down to school with me and put them in two boxes in the attic. If I don’t use them over the next year they’re going to goodwill. Should I throw them away now? Probably, but I’m sentimental.

2) Every object in my room fell into one of three categories: Keep, Archive –> Trash or Trash/Giveaway. Everything in Keep found a place, in a drawer or on a shelf. Archive –> Trash is stuff that I want to remember, news clippings of high school sports games, old papers, photos, and other old items, where the physical item is just clutter. These will get scanned or photographed and then discarded. Trash/Giveaway is the biggest category; I tried to find a home for everything that I didn’t want in my room, in the hands of friends or on Craigslist.

On the scale of things having a clean room is not that big a deal, or that much to be proud of. However I put off this project for years; I started over the summer and only finished this morning. In the future I’m going to cut down on purchases of vacation trinkets, clothes, books in print, CD’s, and toys. I am going to increase purchases of hard drives, wireless products (speakers, printers, phones etc), and e-books. The Unclutterer blog has useful advice for how to store things.

Liked what you read? I am available for hire.

2 thoughts on “Cleaning is cathartic

  1. Kyle Hansen

    One thing they don’t teach in school, or you really don’t read much about, is the importance of being organized. I firmly believe being organized and working in an uncluttered environmnet is a key compenent in being effective.


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