The Unbridled Joy of (Occasionally) Letting Your Room Get Really, Really Messy

published Apr 30, 2019
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Credit: Joe Lingeman

Confession time: right now, my room is a mess. Like, a serious mess. As in, I would not let anyone but me actually step foot in there. But guess what? I don’t mind it in the least.

There’s something undeniably soothing about letting myself just ignore chores like cleaning when I’m not in the mood. Especially when it comes to my bedroom. It’s my personal space after all, it’s where I can be my truest self, and dare I say it’s almost a form of self-care to only clean it when I want to?

Now, hear me out, I’m not saying this is a regular occurrence. I usually pride myself on keeping a clean, presentable room. I’ve been known to have a mild meltdown if someone touches my bookshelves and leaves even one book slightly askew (hot tip for anyone trying to get on my last nerve).

Even so, there are some days I just can’t bring myself to tidy up, and I’m done beating myself up about it. Or pretending it’s a bad thing. It makes me happy—and I have a feeling I’m not alone.

Also, hi yes, I recognize a lot of you are probably judging hard right now, and I get that. But this is just who I am, and I’m sorry (especially to you, mom) but only a little bit.

There are different scenarios that can lead to this lapse in cleanliness, sometimes it’s a busy workweek, other times it’s because I’ve been sick, or maybe I’ve been entertaining out-of-town visitors for a few days. The one commonality is that I’m usually worn out, and just too tired to pick up yesterday’s outfit or bring those empty La Croix cans down to the recycling bin.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

This time around it’s a traveling-based tiredness. I spent a few days in Florida last week, but capped off the trip with a six-hour delay in the Atlanta airport. When I finally got home at 2:30 in the morning on Friday, the last thing I wanted to do was unpack my bags. So against the wall they went, next to an Amazon box and H&M bag from my pre-vacation shopping (yes, I bought five new bathing suits for a 72-hour trip, but that’s something to unpack another day).

When I finally woke up on Saturday, I again had zero motivation to sort through my carry-on and put the unworn clothes away and the rest in the hamper. I had a housewarming party to get to that night, and obviously needed to budget a solid five hours to sit on my bed post-shower, just staring off into space. Which only left about two hours to try on 98 percent of my wardrobe. And no hours to clean.

Sunday I woke up surprisingly well-rested but still unbothered by the clutter slowly taking over my room: the unchosen outfits forming a floordrobe next to my nightstand, the unpacked bags against the wall, the wine stained glass that held my pre-party drink, the makeup scattered around my vanity. It was all fine and just part of my room at that point. Plus, I had to meet my friend for brunch, and then read “Game of Thrones” theories for roughly seven hours.

Now some of you might be thinking: “You are lazy, disgusting, and a petulant child,” and hmm yeah, you might be right. But guess what, I’m okay with it for now! Because I know it’s temporary. If I’m being optimistic, my room will be spotless by tomorrow night, if I’m being generous, there might be two-three more days of mess. But in the end, what does that even matter? A little mess won’t hurt me. I’ll clean when I’m good and ready. And the cycle will start all over again.

In the meantime, I’ll just be here lounging next to a pile of socks waiting to be put away, with 12-ish empty seltzers in eyesight, feeling just fine.