I think many of us struggle to stay ontop of housework. With our busy lives and our busy families, there is always something that needs picking up or tending to.
So, a few years ago when I moved into a new place, I decided to try something radical. I was going to consciously create my bedroom as my sanctuary. The dishes might not get washed and the couch might be covered in books and student work for me to tend to, but my bedroom would be a tidy sanctuary.
I don’t always keep up on this promise to myself. Sometimes my bedroom is an explosion of unfolded clothes, tsunduko (piles of unread books by the bedside, on the floor on shelves… isn’t it great that the Japanese have a word for that? I digress…), boxes from the shelves taken down to excavate an item for a project…. It’s also been easier to maintain when I am between romantic partners, either because I am home more, or because his stuff is not sharing the space as well.
Here are some advantages for me of this bedroom sanctuary:
1) I can be somewhere that does not visually trouble me as I prepare to relax for bed
2) When I awake from sleep, the first things my blurry eyes are on are things I love, and I can feel the openness around me.
3) My mind, uncluttered by clutter, is better able to pay attention to the other wisdoms I have as I wake up in the morning.
4) When I am partnered and my sanctuary is clean, time in the bedroom is more inviting and more romantic.
5) If needed, if the world is overwhelming, I have one place I can escape to where I can shut out the other mess. I think Victorian women called this “taking to their bed.”
Recently, my home has become a bit undone. Then I went traveling with family for a week, and after living out of suitcases in hotel rooms, and after feeling myself relax and expand in the sanctuary I would really love to have: a large garden, a farm, a wilderness… I have come home ready to recommit. I would love to make my whole home a sanctuary, to truly enjoy my deck abundant with greenery and to plan forward for the type of sanctuary I desire even more. But, for now, I have reclaimed my bedroom. And I wrote this from my bed.