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Conscious Cleaning

5 years ago by

Conscious Cleaning

I make my bed. Every morning.

A habit that was definitely instilled during formative years growing up, it’s just something I can’t NOT do. Recently though, it occurred to me that I also like coming home, and particularly after being away for several days but just as much after a long day at work, to an apartment that is in perfect order. No dishes in the sink, no shoes or clothes strewn about the bedroom, and certainly nothing out of place in the living room.

And so, I’ve been consciously cleaning up after myself everyday since being back from vacation. It’s a small task that’s helped me feel just a tad more zen everyday when life living in the city (and not on a sun soaked beach) can feel anything but orderly …

Do you keep your space tidy too?


Add yours
  • I totally hear you. There is nothing more delicious to me nowadays than waking up and making my coffee in a spotless kitchen. Waking up to (or coming home after work to) a disgusting pile of dirty dishes just makes me depressed lately.
    Come to think of it, a beautifully neat and tidy bathroom makes getting ready for work a little less frenzied and more enjoyable too.

  • i also make my bed every morning. i like things neat, it helps me concentrate! :)

  • There’s a big difference between clean and neat. I am clean. My husband is neat. He wants all surfaces to be devoid of objects, but has no problem using a towel to wipe them down, and then drying dishes with the same towel. I have no problem with piles (not scattered) of papers that need tending to (somehow he delegates all that to me) but I will scrub the bathrooms and use a new dishtowel every time I do dishes. I don’t make the bed because I hang the duvet to air out almost every day. To me, that’s clean. I want a place that smells nice and fresh, from fresh air and not products, and that has a minimum of germs.

  • Luciana June, 30 2016, 2:01

    Great post, Garance, I am with you on this, although like Taste of France, I let the bed air thoroughly; as for the rest, I try without pressure to have a clean, welcoming, and tidy space, nothing too neurotic. I have a fantastic person who cleans the house once a week, and then I maintain making an effort to assign a place for everything, especially in the bathroom and kitchen. The most important thing for me is to be attuned to what my house needs in order for us to enjoy life. Also…Marie Kondo….

  • July_di June, 29 2016, 5:44 / Reply

    I recognize myself in this article ! There isn’t much that I like more than coming home and finding a clean and welcoming room, I find it relaxing. It’s kind of my little luxury. Plus, it helps me focus when I need to study or work home !

  • Beautifully written. Isn’t that the dream though? To have that hotel stay at your own place. Tell us Brie, step by step, how do you do it? Or, is it just OCD…because for me it is a very intentional conscious effort. I’m getting there, getting better.


  • Séverine June, 29 2016, 6:48 / Reply

    Oui, moi aussi j’aime quand ma maison est bien rangée. Je me sens plus détendue, l’esprit libéré et l’oeil reposé. Mais ce n’est pas toujours facile puisque mon mari, lui, aime laisser traîner ses vêtements un peu partout…

    Bisous de Nouvelle-Calédonie

  • I’ve always live in small spaces so being habitual tidy was a survival instinct. I love though when everything is clean, smelling great, and in its place, that is when I feel like I can cook a good meal and really relax and enjoy my space. Your space is beautiful!

    Chelsey | http://www.chelseythornton.com

  • Lansky June, 30 2016, 2:37 / Reply

    Je vis à avec mes parents. Je me hate du jour au j’aurai mon espace à moi. J’ai l’impression que du fait que je n’ai pas tout l’espace à moi, j’aurai jamais l’envi que tout soit parfait. Je m’occupe que de ma chambre. J’ai un concept de ma maison que j’aimerai qu’elle soit, mais quand tu n’es pas la responsable de ta maison, je trouve que c’est différent. Je n’achète rien de beau pour la maison par exemple, parce que le décor de ma maison n’est pas ce que j’ai en tête d’un décor parfait. Cependant, je m’assure que le seul petit espace que j’ai a moi soit simple, propre et ordonné. C’est agréable effectivement de rentrer dans ton espace et tout est bien placé et propre.

  • Same for me. And, Brie, you are such an inspiration.

  • MissYou June, 30 2016, 5:08 / Reply

    Oh oui tout pareil !!! Un lit frais et fait quel bonheur de le retrouver le soir… Tout comme rentrer chez un douillet et bien rangé “chez soi”. Au moins que son cocon soit zen, reposé et reposant. Au moins retrouver le calme et l’esthétisme serein quand on rentre des turpitudes de la journée, du travail, du monde si “ouf” dans lequel nous tentons de vivre. Grader la sérénité c’est important pour la tête pour le corps et être plus forte dehors !

  • Yes, absolutely! There’s something about an untidy place that makes me feel stressed, so I always do my best to tidy up (and most importantly) not untidy!


  • Sigh….. I do. I particularly like to go to bed leaving a spotless kitchen behind. Sadly, husband is not on the same page here. I often wake up to find crumbs, popcorn, a couple of dishes in the sink, and other detritus where order had ruled just a few hours before.

  • Non!
    Cest mon désordre!
    Très personnelle d’ailleurs …haha
    Faute d’une education qui facilitais toujours ces types de travaix menagères.
    J’en suis donc très mal à l’aise comme maitresse de maison …

  • I definitely apply the “1 minute rule” or the “power hour” when I have more time.
    For me, it’s more about waking up and entering a kitchen void of dirty dishes.

    – Chloe

  • Ai-Ch'ng July, 1 2016, 1:19 / Reply

    Lovely photo, Brie. If that is your personal space, it is exquisite.

    As a teenager and single woman, I used to live amidst organised (severe) chaos: things were everywhere, as I didn’t have proper storage areas for my art, sewing, books, fabric, and my study area was like a bomb had gone off. For everyone else, it was an absolute headache. For me, I knew where everything was. The huge issue, though, was cleaning: not only was I untidy, but I needed to have cleanliness – and that’s pretty hard, and takes very long time to clean, when things are everywhere on surfaces. My dad, who was always the neat and clean freak, used to get so cross with me. My mum, who is the clean and disorganised freak, used to be more lenient with my visible mess.

    After we moved into a much smaller home that I’d designed from top-to-bottom with specific storage areas, I decided to make a conscious effort to always clear up after myself after every single activity. This was easier than I’d expected, as I’d already done such huge clear-out just before we moved house. So, when we moved into our place, I had everything off surfaces – except for the study, where my son now has all his books in neat piles, as he has ongoing projects from school.

    Cleaning is so much faster, it’s actually a pleasure to do, now. And my brain is much clearer with all the clear and clean surfaces.

    Tidying after each thing as I finish it, so that the home is free of anything on any surfaces, and everything wiped down each time we comet cooking/eating mean another two massive things for me:
    (1) if I die during the night, there won’t be tonne of rubbish for my husband and son to sort through and discard/sell (so traumatic, as I’ve come to realise when my grandmother died – sooo much stuff to go through, it was horrendous – despite everything being amazing vintage or antiques).
    (2) I plan my days a whole lot better, because I have to set aside the right amount of time in each day to complete things I’d like to – or need to do, so things are left lying around.

    Becoming neat, has made me more mindful of time and how others feel better when things aren’t left all over the place.

    No longer do we there any of us yelling, “where are my socks/the scissors/the shopping list/my keys, phone, wallet/bill I need to pay today”. And, we can now complete our weekly clean and dusting (no ornaments, per se, to dust, so we just wipe surfaces – all our decoration tends to be paintings on our walls, and no extraneous furniture like stools we don’t sit on/side-tables only to hold vases with flowers or more ornaments) in about one quarter the time is used to take us – a real boon of being tidy.

  • L’évier vide, ça oui, j’aime beaucoup. Et le sol propre! Avec ça, même s’il y a un peu de bazar, des affaires pas rangées ou des papiers qui traînent, je me sens bien.

  • Yes, I do this, too! I make my bed every morning and I also try to clean up before I leave or simply in the morning before I start working at my home office. For me a tidy space equals a tidy mind and I can definitely concentrate better!

  • melissa lee July, 6 2016, 2:44 / Reply

    Depends on how I feel?

  • I always do. There is nothing better than crawling into a nicely made bed. Your bedroom should be an oasis and its where you go to recharge so make it pretty and relaxing

  • I agree completely.
    It is like another way of mediation. It calms and soothes my mind and nerves, both in a subtle yet obvious way. I think the reflection of our outer world inspires our internal thoughts and behaviors and visa versa.
    This photo, too, is so easy breezy…

  • I always keep my house tidy before I leave. Its kind of soothing and I like the idea also to invite a friend for a tea at home or to improvise a diner at my place. Its also very much welcoming after a long day outside. I just try to leave a plaid open om the coach or a glass on the table so it doesn’t look too uptight ;)

  • Virginie August, 11 2016, 3:18 / Reply

    My mother used to say that when you leave home in the morning you better do your bed and keep the house tidy just in case something happens to you and you are get back home by colleagues or friends…any case, the thing is that I feel really good to live in a tidy place, makes me feel comfortable and better organized, this helps serenity…

  • It’s funny…I can’t stand clutter in the kitchen or in my apartment in general but I forget to make my bed almost every day. The whole apartment is spotlessly clean but the sheets are a tumbled mess haha. Have to work on this in the future.

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