My mother once said, “being rich won’t make you happy, but being poor can sure make you unhappy.” I don’t have much to add to this succinct truth, except that I’m discovering it’s true for a lot of things besides money. In my efforts at detachment and mental peace, I often tell myself that a clean house (or a better schedule, or a better organizing system, etc.) won’t really make me happier, and so it’s pointless to get anxious about them. But what I’m finding out is that a clean house doesn’t make me happier, but it does take away a big occasion for me to be sad. When I look around a cluttered or chaotic room, all the unfinished chores and things out of place automatically stress me out. But when I look around a clean room, all I think is “what a nice room,” and I’m free to go on to other things. Even the simple visual is important; things piled on top of each other in my house create metaphorical piles of worries in my mind, and an open and clean room clears my mind.
If you’re someone who’s prone to anxiety or depression, it’s okay to make your life easier. You’re not necessarily trying to find happiness through making more money, or buying nice things for the house, or cleaning up; you’re just taking away things that make it easier for you to be sad.