This year spring cleaning has worked it’s way onto my website – finally. I’m going through a re-branding. and complete overhaul and soon I’ll no longer have website shame. I can’t wait to share the results with you. But for now, I’ll share something I learned about the process of cleaning up your mess…whether that mess is in your home, your computer, your car, your body, or your mind.
Personally, I love spring cleaning chores. They make me feel..well…clean, organized, and in control. I’ve learned early on that I just don’t like how it feels when I have too much. It’s not a judgement on consumerism, nor is it that I don’t think I deserve to have everything I want. It’s simply that I want everything I have to have a useful purpose. Maybe it’s a result of my Italian upbringing that taught me to waste nothing (I hate throwing away food) or maybe it’s because I’ve learned that overstuffed closets or purses contribute to messy thinking. Regardless of its roots, I’ve learned that disorder is invasive, so periodic cleaning, sorting and giving away what has lost its usefulness is a necessary practice if I want space in my closets, drawers, refrigerator, or yes, in my mind.
So when I can’t think straight, and nothing useful comes to mind about something I’m working on or contemplating, I know it’s time to take a break from the mental and do something physical…something I can touch, see or smell. And if I don’t feel like cooking, or can’t cook because my fridge is so packed with stuff I don’t even know what I have, I start there. When I’m done and everything is in its logical place and the shelves and drawers are sparking, it feels so good I just don’t want to stop looking at it.
I noticed I get the same feeling when I declutter anything – not just the fridge. I think its because a clean, empty space energetically attracts something wholly appropriate to fill it.
Once I know what I already have, I know what I really need and I can then go out purposefully, with a clear mind, looking for that perfect something whether its tomatoes or tee shirts and they always show up. I just organized my closet from winter to spring and 4 bags of donations later…I’m ready for some new stuff.
Just as clutter is invasive, so is decluttering.
So if you’re about to embark on an episode of spring cleaning be aware of these possible side effects:
1. You’ll have more space. The Universe hates a vacuum so prepare to receive something new and more perfect for your growing self awareness. For me the other day it was a new pair of perfect sandals – no small gift since most sandals hurt my feet no matter how comfortable they feel in the store.
2. You’ll be more mindful of whatever you purchase next. In Europe, impulse buying (which attributes to all that clutter) is far less than it is in the States and it’s not because they’re poorer. I find its because most Europeans have had a long history of sacrifice, so they’ve learned to appreciate and take care of everything they have or buy. They don’t shop as a form of therapy or entertainment – they walk and window shop and meet at the local cafe for that. Well planned shopping trips is also why they have smaller refrigerators – they mostly buy only what they’ll be eating that day or the next. Freshness at all cost and no waste.
3. You’ll feel refreshed and empty (in a good way). Before you know it, a solution that’s eluded you will suddenly come to mind or you’ll feel energized to complete a project you were working on even though you’ve been cleaning for 8 hours.
4. It’s contagious. So be prepared to feel the urge to purge whenever the symptoms of clutter begin to appear.