Nothing beats clean. You'll never see a room in House Beautiful with dirty windows or cobwebs in the corners. On film sets there are production assistants whose sole job is to polish a single window for eight hours.
On the other hand, you can have a room full of old furniture, mismatched pieces, and no "real" art on the walls that feels like the most welcoming place in the world simply by being clean.
The best part of all? Clean is FREE!
My mind is constantly racing four steps ahead of where I should be. It's like my brain has too many tabs open. Which helps me get a lot done, but is also tiring. To enjoy life more, I've been trying to embrace mindfulness. Being at one with the moment in a mindful way is how I define zen. And to be able to do that, I engage my five senses through some activity.
Cleaning has turned out to be a pretty good activity for mindfulness. While I am washing dishes, sweeping the floor, folding laundry, or making a bed, that's all I do. I pay attention to just what's in front of me. Most jobs don't take that long and I find I'm better able to surrender myself to them when I set a time limit. So I fill the sink with hot, soapy water and submerge my hands in the bubbles. There's a rhythm to it, and it is its own reward. A gift I can give to myself over and over.
I think it's nice to have routines that become more like rituals. Could cleaning ever be sacred time for you?