Contrary to what many believe, the phrase “cleanliness is next to godliness” is not from the Bible. Many people relate this phrase to the Bible due to the fact that it is very often heard in Christian homes. In reality, the phrase is a very old proverb believed to be found in the Babylonian and Hebrew religious tracts. But the first expression or use of this phrase in the English literature was a modified version of the proverb in the writings of Sir Francis Bacon, a philosopher and a scientist in 1605.

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They say cleanliness is next to Godliness, so what happens when you don’t keep a clean home? I’ve been doing some housework this week, and it’s long past due. So long past due that I find myself working two to three times harder than usual. My kitchen counters practically had to be scraped with a putty knife. The grease on my stove was so thick I had to scrub it off and wipe it down twice. I’m wondering how we don’t have ants. We have a few cockroaches that come up through the drains, but our cat Reese usually takes care of them. Vacuuming the rug took a few passes. You don’t even want to know how thick the dust is in here. Our home is cluttered and lived in, but usually, we keep it clean and tidied up to a decent level.

I’ve heard it said that if a person’s house does not get cleaned regularly, it will attract evil spirits. I don’t know how true this is, but I can tell you that I have a relative who was a hoarder. There was a negative presence in her house, despite that the house was filthy. You could feel it looming over you when you were trying to sleep. Her roommate took a picture of it on her phone and showed it to me. I was astonished that the image portrayed a demonic-looking face. My blood runs cold thinking about it sometimes. When she remarried and moved into a new apartment that her husband helped keep clean, they pared down her possessions down to the necessities. That presence did not follow her. 

Whether or not you believe in the presence of evil spirits, or if they invade your home when you let it get dirty or in disarray, negativity occurs when you let it get this way. There are adverse psychological effects on a person. When my house is not clean, I am tired more often, and sometimes I get in a depressive funk. I don’t feel like having company over because I feel ashamed. I am uncomfortable in my own space and don’t want to be at home, yet I don’t have the energy to fix the problem because I am overwhelmed.

Why not simply clean up every day, you ask? So the home does not get out of hand? I have mental and chronic pain issues, and we both get busy. I know this may be a poor excuse, but those who experience the same conditions may understand. That said, when I can keep the house clean and the clutter to a minimum, the vibes in the home change. I have more energy, and I’m happier and more productive. How do I start when the home has gotten out of hand? One little piece at a time and many mini-breaks. When I clean, it takes almost an entire day to accomplish what an average person could do in a few hours. This method can be frustrating, but at least I get it done eventually.