I typically hate spring cleaning and starting in March I begin to groan as I think about it. Then, as the weather warms and we slide into April, I find myself noticing winter cobwebs more and more until something snaps and I go on a cleaning binge for a week, working room by room, until everything is completely clean and fresh again. This time it took me a little longer with my gimpy leg but after two weeks of work the house feels great. The yard is raked, my flower beds are clean and sprouting and all that's left is to weed out the dead canes from my raspberries.
Happiness is a clean house. But today we're going to discuss something that might be a little personal to some of you out there. Something that might hurt a bit but that's nonetheless necessary. Today we're going to work on throwing things out.
Yes, I'm a big believer in throwing things away for three simple reasons:
- It fosters organization, order and cleanliness
- It helps you not be so attached to material possessions
- It benefits other people
You may find something that it kills you to throw out, sure that someday you'll need it or that someday it'll justify the spot you kept for it in your home all those years but trust me, just throw it out. It's just one less thing you have to keep track of, just one less thing to worry about using and one less thing to clean--and strange as it may seem when you throw out more and keep less you end up buying less because you realize you need less to be happy.
There's nothing so liberating as not needing something to survive and nothing so precious as extra closet space.
Updated to add some links my father sent after reading this post: see the New York Times "One Man's Trash . . ." and the accompanying NPR interview "When Too Much 'Stuff' Causes Grief."
Sponsored by Dimples and Dandelions for Serena and Lily baby bedding.