Clean & Tidy
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Clean & tidy space is a platform for a productive life. This week we’ll talk about how to best keep up with all our stuff so it doesn't get out of hand and overwhelm us. Keeping our space clean & tidy sets the stage for peacefully productive life For most of us, an important part of our life is making a home. This is true whether we live alone, with roommates or a spouse, whether we have children, whether we have a job or career outside the home. No matter our stage of life or circumstances, wherever we might be, making a home is to one degree or another part of our role in life.  One element of making a home is taking care of our space and the stuff within it. That is pretty much a never-ending task, and one that we can sometimes struggle to keep up with, when we’re fitting it into life with other roles, whether it’s raising a family, maintaining a career, or all of the above. I’ve had some conversations recently with women who’ve expressed a certain level of stress and even guilt over the condition of their homes and lamented their seeming inability to keep up--or their frustration with having to spend the better part of their weekend digging out from the mess. What’s the difference? Clean - a space or object is clean if it’s free from dirt, unsoiled and unstained. When we clean our homes, we’re eliminating dust, dirt, etc., and putting the space and the items within it in an unsoiled condition. Cleaning is about removing dirt, dust, grime, and the odors that come with them.  Tidy - a space is tidy if it’s arranged neatly and in order. When we are tidying a space, we’re bringing order to it and arranging its contents neatly. Space can be clean but not tidy, or tidy but not clean; they are two separate processes. Why does it matter? Clean * Health--As one post puts it: “Dirt and dust promote illness.” We can’t protect ourselves or our families from all illnesses, but there are things we can do to reduce the chances of getting sick. Creating a clean and healthy environment is on that list. The article’s writer points out that “dust is a very common cause for colds, coughs, asthma attacks, breathing and respiratory problems, and various types of allergies. This can be minimised and even prevented completely by reducing dust accumulation in your household.”  * We can reduce the stress we experience from carrying in the back of our mind the knowledge of the long list of chores accumulating because we’ve put them off for so long.  * The article I mentioned above points out that “a dirty home ages quickly.” When dirt and dust accumulate, things can wear out and age more quickly. Carpets and rugs come to mind: regularly vacuuming them prolongs their life. Tidy * Less stress--as we’ve discussed before, women are affected differently by clutter than men are; studies have shown that women in cluttered surroundings produce higher levels of cortisol (the stress hormone)--article linked below for more info. NOTE: This applies just as much to our workspace as it does to our homes.  * More restful and welcoming environment--for ourselves, our family, even unexpected guests  * Keeping things tidy makes it easier and less time-consuming to clean  * Less time is wasted looking for things we need when everything’s got a place to live and it is always put there when not in use. Besides making our life more peaceful and productive,
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