Frugality & Cleanliness

It is a custom for me to do some real deep house cleaning as the new year approaches. However, this is not the only time of the year when I clean my house :), in case you were wondering. I could well have chosen any other time for this laborious task, as you may say there’s no difference from today to tomorrow, however there is a reason why the calendars are the way they are, and that is to do with the energy in the stars/planets, and their various cycles. It’s the end of an energetic cycle, the beginning of another one, so a good time to clean.

In the same manner, straightening out the physical aspects of our life also bring clarity to the mental ones. Tidying up a shelf, washing the dishes, folding the laundry, scrubbing the walls, etc. forces our mind to focus on the present moment, and in detail, and it gives us a sense of satisfaction, independently of when. This also applies to not only cleaning but changing the position of furniture, de-cluttering, getting rid of things we no longer use/need, and making our space the physical place where we want to be the most comfortable and aligned with.

“Clutter bombards our minds with excessive stimuli, causing our senses to work overtime on stimuli that aren’t necessary or important.” – Sherri Bourg Carter

In this study, they concluded that people with untidy homes have elevated levels of cortisol, increasing stressful and neurotic behaviours. It also works the other way round: people who live stressful lives tend to live in untidy spaces, which further worsens things. We all know that high cortisol levels also induce poor sleep and weight gain.

Also, think about a messy space, what does it do to you, visually? not very nice. One feels energetically freer, more open, when the space looks free and open. Remember that as above, so below. As physically, also energetically. As without, so within. According to this study, clutter overloads the visual cortex and interferes with its ability to process information. And according to this other study, people with very untidy homes are 77% more likely to be overweight! it makes sense, as when one feels anxious or stressed, tends to eat more. It also has to do with “not having time to eat properly”, thus grabbing pre-cooked or pre-packed foods on the go, eating fast, etc.

Okay, maybe not in heels and make-up, though.

There are many things that a clean home can do for the mind. Little things like opening the windows every morning for fresh air to come in, making the bed, never leaving dirty dishes in the sink before going to sleep, shaking the rugs outdoors… make a difference to your health. Cleanliness is a form of self-respect. Making your home clean a priority goes in line with making your body, your health, a priority, you are showing to yourself that you are worth it. Like anything, getting it done won’t always be easy, but the results will leave you feeling more confident, valued, satisfied. Plus, you get some light physical exercise! You see? our material status reflects our mental status, and vice versa.

And, lastly, let’s talk about frugality. You don’t have to have many things in order to have a happy space. In fact, the less things you have the better. Don’t purchase more than you need, apply this to things, clothes and food. And when something breaks, or has a tear, mend it. I always mend my belongings when possible, instead of throwing them away. A small hole in a sock, for example. I was brought up having little, and taught to take care of what I had until things are worn out. Why throwing away a garment if it has just a little tear? think about why you bought it in the first place, and how you spent money earned with your work, so why not keep it for as long as you can? This is synonym of “I’m not giving up on you just yet”, but most importantly: “I’m respecting myself for the choice I made getting you”. It shows a lot about one’s attitude in other aspects of life too. Frugality makes you a better person.

Not very sexy, but useful. Me here sewing a sock 🙂

The word “frugal” shares a Latin root with frug (= virtue), frux (= fruit or value) and frui (= to enjoy or have the use of). Frugality is enjoying the virtue of getting good value for every minute of your life energy, and enjoying it. It means we are to enjoy what we have. If you have 10 dresses but still feel you have nothing to wear, you are probably… sick? 🙂 But if you have 5 dresses and enjoy wearing all of them, and take care of them, for years, you are frugal. Wasting doesn’t lie in the number of possessions but in the failure to enjoy them. Being frugal is not being stingy, but enjoying what we have without having the need of wanting more.

Cleaning and being frugal is not something you do to show off, or to get likes on social media, it’s something you do for yourself. And it is time well spent, instead of spending endless hours browsing the internet sitting on a chair looking at a screen. I don’t understand how some people prefer to call a ‘professional cleaner’ to do the cleaning for them, when it’s such a great opportunity for one’s well-being.


Links of interest:

A clean house and mental health go hand in hand

5 ways a clean house improves your thinking

The powerful psychology behind cleanliness

Tidy home, tidy mind

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