Home is where the heart is, so you should treat it as such. Kriste Peoples breaks down your spring cleaning to invite new love.
If home is where the heart is, what’s the condition of yours?
That last minute scramble before the guests show up: it’s when I do some of my best work. Without the incentive of company coming to inspire a proper cleanup of my apartment, I can easily make peace with dirty laundry and dishes left a day or two too long. Because it’s ‘just me’, I sometimes tell myself it doesn’t matter if I’m harvesting dust bunnies in the far reaches of my living room, or if I take my meals standing up, wedged halfway into my fridge, poking at leftovers or what’s most readily ripped, picked or peeled and edible from the package.
Know what happens when the ‘just me’ mentality takes hold? You find yourself pushing aside a mountain of clothes—half dirty or worse—just to get into bed; you eat cereal out of mugs because you don’t have the stamina to load the washer (or to be the washer); you let the foam of old shower soap gather and cake in the tub, on the curtain and the mirror you’ve smeared with a tired hand.
When ‘just me’ reduces you to that last uncomfortable pair of clean underwear, half-read books and papers strewn across the couch, and that lonely, limp carrot in the icebox, you’re in trouble.
You’re in trouble because you’ve let your standards slide by doing the minimum to get by. In the span of letting your space become overwhelmed with clutter, your morale dips, your appearance slips and that spring in your step has ground down to a trudge.
‘Just me’ is not your friend—especially if you’re single and looking.
I don’t have to be a feng shui expert to tell you to clean up your place for optimized energy and flow. And I can say from my own experience that the state of your living arrangement—regardless of whether you rent, share, own or squat—has everything to do with the overall quality of your life.
If you’ve set the intention to invite new love into your life, it’s important to be a match for what you’re seeking.
A vibration of lethargy and sloth doesn’t bode well for a long-term relationship. If what you want is a confident, relatively happy partner who adores you and stays in good physical shape, you won’t register on that person’s radar if you’re rumpled awkwardly in the corner, hungry from a lack of proper food in the fridge, tired from wrestling with dirty clothes during sleep and pinched in your last clean pair of panties. Just because you’re not inviting people into your living space doesn’t mean it’s not obvious to everyone you encounter.
When we wait to clean and beautify our space in the expectation of guests, it’s a suggestion that we don’t deserve a deeply satisfying living environment for ‘just us.’
Perhaps you know people who spend a lot on fancy hand towels and good dishes they never use? Same deal: if you aren’t enough of a reason to break out the good stuff and create a living space you love, then it’s time to re-examine how you keep house. Doing so will help you get clear on what you want to bring into your life—and what needs to be cleared out if it.
Take an honest look around your place. It will speak volumes on the state of your mind, body and spirit, not to mention the possibilities for your love life.
In the Kitchen
Are your dishes chipped? Do you drink more from old mayo jars and salad dressing bottles than actual glasses? Do you have more takeout containers than produce? Is your kitchen table cluttered with papers you’ve been meaning to address? When’s the last time you sat down to eat your own home cooking?
If your kitchen’s in disarray, or if you can’t stand your own company at mealtime, find ways to make dining solo enjoyable. Clear the clutter from the table, for starters. Recycle those old jars and bring in dishes that appeal to you. Experiment at mealtime by cooking with new foods. If you can’t cook, then sign up for a class. Better yet, invite friends over to show you how.
The kitchen is where we prepare the fuel that nourishes our bodies, and it’s important to make the mealtime one that feels good all around.
In the Living Room
How comfortable is your couch? Are your chairs inviting? Are there any eyesores that have you been meaning to replace for the last six months or more? What’s adorning your walls?
The living room is the space where we come to relax and catch up with ourselves, and if the first thing you associate with this space is a dead zone or dumping ground, take time to transform it into a haven you’d enjoy unwinding in.
In the Bath
If your bathroom is dirtier than clean, then it shouldn’t come as a surprise if your hygiene starts to slip, too. And if you’re looking for love and intimacy, cleanliness will get you a whole lot closer to a partner than showing up in an actual or figurative funk.
In the Bedroom
A good night in bed—no matter what you’re doing between the sheets—is best supported by an environment that is inviting, spacious, clean and comfortable. If you tend to bring your (non-sexual) gadgets to bed, or if you’re used to falling asleep to the television, try unplugging instead and cultivating a sensual space with fabrics, art and fragrances that help you unwind.
The first time I cleaned house with the intention of making sure it aligned to my desires, I realized that some of the art on my walls supported the energy of starving and suffering for art. I eventually replaced those pieces with living green plants and vibrant colors. I saved my money and ditched the tattered couch I used as a collection area for coats.
In the months that followed it was this practice of checking in with my surroundings that helped to give me greater insight into deeper feelings I wasn’t ready to acknowledge. The effect of bringing my awareness to the stagnation I’d caused had a ripple effect on my outer life in surprisingly positive ways. Learning to love my space inspired me to treat me differently in the process. When my space felt good, so did I. And even if I didn’t feel so great, my home was a welcome refuge that cocooned me in loving energy when it seemed hard to muster on my own.
Speaking of feelings, when you review the state of your living space, be willing to consider how you’d like to feel with your future partner. Essentially, in our highest energy, our partners reflect the best that’s in us, which means we have an open invitation to do it for ourselves. There’s a saying that charity begins at home. Love does too.
[image: via Mary on Flickr]