Since I have memories, my mom always has her house impeccable… perfect decor, shiny hardwood floors (the old kind that you buffer and wax at least once a week by hand!), never dirty dishes in the sink, all clothes ironed, beds perfectly made, polished silverware. “All this” without any of the modern life advantages… no vacuum cleaners, no dishwasher, no washing machine or dryer…”All this” also working full time and also coming home to cook a 3 tempo meal from scratch each day… hence the reason why I’m an only child, I guess. She had help anyways, there always was a maid/nanny that helped her with the housework and me: braiding my hair, ironing my school uniform, polishing my shoes, so I look perfect all the time. It was not a one-person job, it was a “woman confraternity” helping each other to make it happen.
Despite this, my room was constantly a mess to the point that my mom eventually gave up on me. Clothes, toys, books, dirty plates, candy wrappers under the bed, on the bed, behind the bed. It was not pretty and a constant reason for the family tension. I didn’t understand back then what was the point to tidy up my room, pick up my dirty clothes or make my own bed…didn’t make sense and sounded like a complete waste of my time.
When I moved to college, during all my college years and first years of work, my brain developed in a way that overwhelmed me, daily,…millions of abstract ideas, creative ideas mixed with facts and science and rational thoughts…speeding hundreds of miles per hour inside my head. There was only one way to have peace and calm: A neat, clean, and minimalistic environment. Making my exterior in order, helped me to control the interior creative chaos.
Starting my day making my bed, having my closet color-coded, all my pencils sharpen, or a detailed list of “things to do” (when it was not a thing yet) was the base of my success.
I realized that having controlled and perfect surroundings setup a white canvas for my ideas to shape, develop, evolve, and tangibilize. It worked and still does.
Cleaning is important to me because it is the tool that I use to be successful, that I use to share that peace of mind with my peers, that I use to reset my world from the outside to the inside.
Cleaning is important to me because it is the start of everything, it sets the tone of your work, establishes your standards, and pretty much works as a springboard to jump far away. Like my mom, I also have the help of course (and you should too).