Relaxing by Tidying Up

If you come to a place I've been living in on my own, you'll probably find it messy and dusty. It's not that I hate chores. I simply convince myself every day I've something better to do than cleaning, and it works almost every time.

But for some reason I ignore, I go on a cleaning spree when I feel stuck. I tidy up my desk, take out the trash bag, clean the kitchen, make my bed, and have a shave. Once I'm back to the original minimalistic state of my apartment, I write down my goals and tasks on post-it notes and place them on the wall. Then I just go on a walk and empty my head.

When I come back, I feel relaxed and ready to move mountains.

I have a friend who cleans her apartment when she's stressed. Another friend of mine loves the feeling of cleaning plates. It's like she enters a deep meditative trance and comes out of it rejuvenated.

There is probably a relation of causality between the act of tidying up and this feeling of relief. My take is that cleaning is perceived as taking back control of your environment, and thus yourself.

We all know neat freaks. Pushed to the extreme, it's a form of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Have you ever broken the rules of a neat freak? It's a recipe for chaos. An unironed shirt can quickly be seen as a personal attack.

If cleaning is taking control, neat freaks are probably control freaks as well.