Can you feel Spring coming? I can. I can smell it in the air. I can smell the dampness of the soil thawing and things starting to grow. There are crocuses and daffodils starting to emerge in the garden, and I can start to envision what it will be like when all the roses start blooming in early summer.
There’s something about Spring that just makes you want to Spring clean, doesn’t it? When I was a kid my Mom always wanted to do Spring cleaning in April or so, which never made sense to me. By April I just want to go out out out out out outside. For me, the urge to declutter and clean comes right now — the end of January, through February. It just feels like a natural thing, to sweep out the house and be ready for warmer weather.
Plus, between the extra clutter created through the holidays and the accumulation of dirt from bad weather being tracked in and/or not enough time to clean, the place seems to need a good hose down, doesn’t it? And windows open to freshen all the stuffy winter air?
Everything in me is saying, “Spring is coming, Spring is coming! Make sure that your life is as simple as possible so that you can spend your time enjoying what comes instead of slogging through the mess!” I want to clear my plate of all of my unfinished tasks and projects, eliminate at least 50% of my belongings, clean the whole place top to bottom and just make it so I can breathe.
As I have said before in posts about holidays and seasonal transitions, the old European calendar which says Spring begins on February 2nd makes so much more sense to me. It’s clear if you look outside, smell the air, feel how it feels. Spring is beginning!! What joy!
Of course, actually doing it all is another thing altogether. Though I like to fantasize about living a simple life where I have nothing else to do but bake bread, tend my garden, read poetry and play with my children, my life doesn’t exactly work like that. I have to carve time from here and there to do these things.
Plus, how many of you have had this experience: you wake up full of vim and vigor (truly, vim and vigor is the only good way to describe this feeling) and just know you’re going to empty out Every Single Thing from your overburdened closets, and then, fortified with breakfast and tea, you open the doors of said scary closets and whoosh. All that vim is just right out the window, the vigor with it, as you contemplate the very, very large piles of stuff. Stuff you don’t know what to do with. Stuff that, on examination, you do really need. It’s for a project yet unfinished. It’s for the kids’ school. It’s overflow supplies.
It’s very disheartening.
A dear friend of mine is on a whirlwind clean-out and I am so inspired. She is a force of nature, clear and decisive. Twelve boxes of books, gone! 18,000 old emails, gone! It’s inspiring. And panic-inducing, too. Chuck out all my books? Delete all my emails WITHOUT EVEN LOOKING AT THEM? Glurg, blerg, cough, tilt. It kind of makes me hyperventilate just to think about it.
And yet, I want to be there. I want to stretch myself and really DO THIS THING for the first time ever. Not just shift the stuff around pack the boxes more creatively and give away a few old things and give up for the season, which is what I usually do. I want to really, truly, defiantly and definitively get rid of everything non-essential. I want to be able to breathe in my own home. I want to know that if I ignore things for a day or two, caught up in the fun of a project, either mine or my families, that the house won’t look like a junkie crash pad because there’s just not enough stuff in it to do that with.
I finally started last week on Rocket Boy’s room. Turns out that it’s very inspiring to work on a child’s room–well, anyone else’s room, actually–because it’s so easy to see what should stay and what should go. He asked me how he should decide about things, and I said that if he wasn’t sure, he should get rid of it. Because really, if you don’t know, then you clearly don’t feel strongly enough about it to make care for it and dust it and devote some of your precious shelf space to it. He took me absolutely to heart and by the end of the day, his room was, well, amazing. It was open, it was spacious, you could breathe. I mean, heck, we played darts in there today with his grandmother and sister. It’s a nice place to hang out.
I want that, too. He has said he will help me. It’s harder for me. I don’t trust me the way he trusts me.
Maybe I should.
Do you Spring clean? Does that mean de-cluttering to your or cleaning? What’s your best trick for getting over the hump and getting All Of The Things out of your home?
P.S. Photos from the archives, some new, some repeats. They include my Early Summer Mantel, my chippy pink chair makeover, a rainy day in my front garden, Baby Girl’s yo-yo pillow while still in progress, the Kwanzan Cherry tree in my neighbor’s yard, and a little spot in my workshop.