A few weeks ago, I was painfully reminded of the benefits of cleaning your room – thanks Nell. As for midterm stress, it more or less did the job; remembering what color your rug is does wonders for your mental health. Albeit a temporary fix, tidying up is certainly worth the minimal exhaustion.
This led me to somewhat manically redesign my entire bedroom; the angle of the mirror, the eyeline of my posters, the placement of every single tealight candle all meticulously scrutinized until just right. Did I do this instead of studying? Absolutely. Do I regret it? Mostly no. Yet, upon completing my ambitious renovations, I came to some understanding that it was exactly what I needed.
There’s something that differentiates a room from a space; a bedroom, linguistically, shares traits with a dining room, laundry room and so on, and gives off the same essence as these rooms — utility, oftentimes shared spaces among roommates, typically purpose-driven. When I think of spaces, I think of something more intimate. Public reading spaces come to mind, as does that quiet room in the library. The point stands: a bedroom is meant to embody a space more than it is to embody a room.
There is more to the advice of cleaning than initially anticipated. The virtues of redecorating walls and moving your bed a little bit to the right are not to be underestimated. A space should be fluid – open to change and new perspectives – and the spaces we choose to occupy should be made to feel as such.
Thus, we must strive to do more than clean our living spaces and not be so hard on ourselves when spending time arranging that collection of Redbubble posters you bought impulsively. To say that I wasn’t being productive — whatever that means anymore — when shifting around my sleeping space would be to overlook the importance of feeling comfortable and aesthetically pleased when home.
Marie Kondo makes a strong case: the objects in your closet and living space should spark joy, and she applies this to decor as well. An unwelcoming sleeping space creates a harsh environment in which rest and recovery are not prioritized. This not only impacts one’s mental health and energy throughout the day, but will lead to one spending less time overall in their space and, in turn, lead to feelings that one may not have a safe space on campus at all.
It’s important for college students to maintain a tidy living space, of course. But spending a little extra time to ensure that said space puts forth a warm and inviting aura is just as crucial. Invest in that mushroom lamp from Urban, maybe even a daybed or two — they stack wonderfully. Your mind, body and soul will thank you for it. Plus, there’s no better feeling than someone in awe of your space being cooler than theirs. Competition aside, since my room is the nicest, we must not forget the virtues of interior design and all it has to offer for our wellbeing, as design serves as both an outlet for creative freedom and a vehicle in which one may express themselves, their identity and anything that is pleasing to the eye.