How a Clean House Reflects a Clean Mind

We’ve all heard it before: a messy house equals a messy mind. For me, it was repeated from my parents as they offered a long list of reasons to keep my room clean. Then I remember relaying the same info in college to my roommates when we fought over the need to establish a chore wheel. You may have not thought much about it before, but the truth is that your environment reflects and affects your well being. So if a messy house means a messy mind, than a clean house could mean a clean one.

A messy house is not always intentional. As you look around your space and its varying levels of tidiness, you may start to ask yourself why and how you allowed it to get so messy in the first place. Most people do not want to live in a cluttered environment, but still they push aside their feelings and let the dishes pile up in the sink. There are various reasons for this. According to Aggie MacKenzie, a British expert on housekeeping and commentator in the blog “The Connection between a Clean Home and High Self-Esteem,” a home embodies a person’s psychological mindset. For some, letting things clutter around them could be a result of childhood deprivation, or even caused by a tragic event later in life like getting fired or losing a loved one. Internal struggles are often projected onto our surroundings. For MacKenzie, “no one is immune.” Meaning no matter your financial or social status, everyone is prone to letting their houses become a mess. For better or worse, dirty homes don’t discriminate.

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So by now you could be gaining more perspective on the issue. But what if you haven’t faced any major tragedies or you remember your childhood home being cleaner than a hospital room? Any number of reasons could be used to excuse the mess in your home. For some, it could be that they feel too busy to clean. Perhaps work and other activities come first on their list of priorities, so cleaning has been put on the back burner. Luckily, just because you do not have time to clean your house does not mean that it will have to stay in that state. There are many options, including hiring professional cleaners to help you maintain a clean environment however often you need it. What you may not realize is that a messy space may hinder your ability to stay busy and productive. When you get ready to start your day and you are unable to see the carpet underneath piles of dirty clothes, you may not feel so up to checking everything off of your to-do list. A clean space will allow you to be more productive because you will feel more comfortable. The thoughts of “I need to wash those” or “I need to vacuum now” will not be constantly running through your mind, so you will be able to focus on other things.

Just as your mind has tricked you into thinking that it is okay to live in an environment below your normal cleaning standards, it may even justify reasons for keeping the clutter out in the open. Lesya Li explains this phenomenon in her article “Here’s Why Messy House Equals Messy Mind.” Li keeps the clutter because “I think that all the things from the past somehow bring me something sentimental and meaningful,” and describes her clutter as “What Ifs and One Days.”  Basically, we keep things around because if we put them away then either we think that we’ll lose them, or we will never use them in the future. The truth is that most of the clutter stays exactly where it is. I understand this firsthand. No matter the size or condition, I always find myself collecting materials I could use for art projects and storing them in my home. For example, I kept boxes of empty mason jars in my living room in order to remind myself to use them. The reality was that I never touched them. Yes, keeping the boxes out in the open helped to remind me that they were there but knowing that I had all of these materials just became a burden and I ended up feeling bad for letting them sit for so long.

Now it could be clicking: a clean house reflects a clean mind. Okay, I feel like I have a pretty clean mind but still, I let my house be dirty. Why? If you have yet to relate to the reasons listed above, there may be one other thing to consider. Subconsciously, you may believe that you do not deserve better. One of the top motivators for me to clean my house is when I have someone staying with me. I want to impress them along with creating a space where they feel comfortable. So why don’t we want the same for ourselves all of the time? Our level of cleanliness directly reflects how we value ourselves. Even if it is not apparent, maybe we think that we do not deserve an immaculately clean place. Maybe we have made excuses to keep the mess around us, but you could really be keeping the mess around you because that is the state in which you are the most comfortable, that is how you are feeling about yourself at the moment. The truth is that we all deserve better. The first step to boosting your self-esteem is creating an environment that reflects how we want to feel inside. It is similar to the concept “we are what we eat.” The foods we eat have a direct effect on how we feel and the same goes for a clean space. So consider yourself a guest of your environment, don’t wait to impress other visitors, but strive to impress yourself. Chances are that you will notice a beneficial shift in your mood. This could be a new concept, so don’t hesitate to seek out professional cleaners that can help you achieve these goals and even give you tips on how to get started.

 

 

Create Your Opportunities: Tips and Motivation to Start Your Own Business

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I’ve heard it referred to as drinking the “Austin Kool-Aid,” one swift sip and you are hooked. It’s the taste of possibility, freedom and the unknown. It is something that Austinites love and what has made this city so popular. It’s entrepreneurship. The opportunity to start and grow your own business is not only prevalent in this city, it is almost a rite of passage to truly experience Austin. However romanticized, starting your own business does not come without hardships. Besides the obvious teeter-totter that is job stability, there are many things to consider before taking the plunge. Luckily Tiffany Lemieux, owner of Lemieux’s Cleaning Company has a few tips for anyone ready to embrace the unknown.

Surround Yourself with Support

When first starting out, Tiffany knew that it was important to surround herself with positive people. The support system that you choose to surround yourself with can make a big impact on your success. Tiffany’s circle of support, which included her friends and family, were thrilled to see her embarking on a new venture. This kind of energy also affects the energy that you have during both your best and worst days. In addition to a solid support system, Tiffany sought out a team of counselors who specialize in marketing, HR, sales and business development. They provided the initial guidance she needed to start her business out on the right foot. As Lemieux’s Cleaning Company progresses, she continues to seek guidance from these outside sources as well as conducting her own marketing and business research.

Plan Ahead

Starting a business is an adventure, and an enticing one at that. However, before you make this leap it is pertinent that you have a strategy. Before officially launching Lemieux’s Cleaning Company, Tiffany made sure that she was clear on her goals and laid out a 7-year financial plan for her business. Having solid goals gives you more motivation to work towards them because you can easily track your progress. Although setting goals that are unachievable can become more of a burden than motivation to do better. Your goals should be attainable, realistic and motivating at the same time. “My personal goals included learning the importance of being self-sufficient and creating opportunities for myself instead of depending on anyone to create opportunities for me,” claims Tiffany. You can choose to be more specific in your goals as you develop your business.

Walk in Everyone’s Shoes

No reward comes without struggle. Starting your own business is a risk at any point in your life because there are no guarantees. When making the jump from employee to business owner, Tiffany had to change her mindset. As a business owner, you are responsible for every part of your business, from the behind the scenes administrative work to the employees and customer service. “As an owner, I work alongside my staff on some assignments to learn more about the business so that I can speak to my customers intelligently about the scope of work expected for each site,” shares Tiffany. This gives her insight to her employees’ day to day experiences so that she can understand what they need. Once you do have a staff, it is your personal responsibility to keep them employed. For Tiffany, this means landing sales and always making payroll on time. The people who work for you have to trust you.

On the customer service end, Lemieux’s Cleaning Company operates with both residential and commercial clients. Therefore, every customers’ needs are different even if the scope of work is similar. As an owner, you must understand what each customer wants even if they do not directly communicate it with you. The best businesses anticipate your needs so that they can guide you and recommend services.

Embrace the Struggle

Everyone and every business is different. Ultimately it is up to you to decide how much you can take. It may make is more bearable to know that the experiences of struggle and disappointment are perfectly normal. “Sometimes, disappointments are a part of the journey, so expect to fail and embrace your failures as learning opportunities.  It’s actually a good thing,” according to Tiffany.

Of course, there are advantages and disadvantages that you will encounter along your journey. One obvious advantage is working for yourself. Knowing that you are your own boss can provide a sense of freedom and be incredibly rewarding. For Tiffany, the pride and satisfaction of generating revenue from her very own creation is the best feeling.

business-success-toolsOn the opposite side of the spectrum, you have to accept that you will experience pitfalls along the way. You may not have a stable schedule or finances for a while when getting your business started. In addition, you are likely going to be working at all hours of the day because you always have to be on call. Again, every failure and struggle is a chance to learn something new. Each one can make you stronger and more prepared for hardships in the future.

Looking back on this past year, Tiffany is filled with pride. Lemieux’s Cleaning Company has already generated a significant amount of residential and commercial customers. Tiffany says that she has even met her first year goals! She has embraced the entrepreneurial spirit of Austin and intends to spread the feeling. “I believe that every young person should know how to create a business for himself or herself and learn how to become self-sufficient.  I’m enjoying every minute of my journey as a business owner, even the challenges.”