As much as I love the winter, even I get sick of it after a while. I’m not a fan of the sun so much, but now that the days are lengthening I’m feeling more and more energized. And I am loving the days when I can sit out on my balcony and watch the sunset (when it’s not a random spring blizzard).
Another happy consequence of this growing energy is the desire to spring clean my home. After several months of keeping windows shut, I’m pleased to be able to throw them open to the fresh air and clear out the remnants of winter’s sluggishness.
So this month’s blog posts will be dedicated to cleaning up and clearing out all that no longer serves you. Whether it’s that sweater that worked for a while, but is now too big and ratty, or negative energy and tired old thought patterns that hold you back from creating your best life, we’re going to get rid of it! And I’m starting with the physical stuff that’s everywhere in my life right now.
It’s Spring Cleaning fever! Time to come out of hibernation and prepare for the growing seasons, both physically and mentally.
Last fall, my grandmother passed away and I, being the mild hoarder I am (obviously inherited from her), brought home a lot of things from her house. Now, some of these possessions were amazing finds – such as the huge container of old family photos I’d never set eyes on before. Score! And then other things… well, let’s just say no one needs 5 different sets of measuring cups.
Usually my version of decluttering is moving abroad to Europe. Nothing helps clarify your priorities like moving across an ocean! However, I’m a little tired of that game and I’m planning on staying put in one location for a while longer. So I have to figure out how to declutter without the outside accountability of airline luggage restrictions.
Decluttering is the New Black – Tips from your mother’s aunt’s cousin’s barber on how to declutter
Around the time of my grandmother passing, a friend gifted me with the latest craze in decluttering world – The Life-changing magic of tidying up, by Marie Kondo. If you haven’t heard of this book yet, then I don’t know where you’ve been hiding. It seems to be on everyone’s lips of late.
Without getting into all the details, Kondo’s main premise is that all your possessions should bring you joy. And that’s the easiest way to clear the clutter from your life. Basically you need to look at every single object, in your home and ask “What things will bring me joy if I keep them as part of my life?” Sounds intimidating, right?
Marie goes into great detail about how to go through all your things and is very systemized about it, so I’m not going to try and summarize that. But I want to touch upon a few of the broader points that she explains are the “magic” behind tidying up.
Decluttering isn’t just about getting rid of “stuff”, but about balance and harmony
She says that, “tidying ought to be the act of restoring balance among people, their possessions, and the house they live in.” I love this idea since I’ve always had what I call the “Velvetine rabbit” syndrome. Ever since reading that famous children’s book when I was a kid, I can’t help but think all possessions have emotions and I can’t get rid of a lot of stuff because I’m afraid it’ll feel abandoned. (I also can’t watch Toy Story for this reason.)
That’s why she focuses on keeping objects that bring joy. If all your possessions make you happy and bring you joy then the space you live in will naturally be more peaceful and comfortable. So now instead of feeling sad for the objects that no longer bring me joy, I can let them go so they can find their new home and thus fulfill their purpose of being joy-bringers. Kondo has a lovely goodbye ceremony you can do for letting go of objects. 🙂
Decluttering is about choosing who you are and how you want to live
This next point is key. By keeping only things that bring you joy and letting go of the rest, you’re really choosing who you are, and how you want display that to yourself and the world.
For me, I’m a bibliophile. I LOVE books. When I went through my bookshelves, I got rid of maybe a half dozen. The rest, I’m keeping because – they all bring me immense joy! (It’s really rare when a book doesn’t bring me joy, not a really terrible problem to have though except for my overburden bookshelves.)
Sometimes letting go of things is also a way of moving on from a particular time in your life. One of Kondo’s clients said, “I realized for the first time that letting go is even more important than adding.” I hear that! Every time I moved across the Atlantic, I had to let go of a lot of things. Some I missed, some I didn’t even really notice were gone. But it was always a good way of closing that chapter of my life.
Transform your home into sacred space
This last point is one of my favorites. Any time someone visits my home, they mention how peaceful and calming it feels. That’s not because it’s clutter free or because it’s immaculately decorated. It’s because I think of my home as a sanctuary and try to keep that energy cleared at all times. (More on energetically clearing a space will come later in the month.)
Kondo calls this a “power spot.” A place that is comfortable, feels good to be in and where you can relax. Can you claim your home as a power spot right now? What’s making it feel uncomfortable or constricted? What would make you feel more relaxed and at peace?
Your home, your choices
In the end, Kondo’s advice is “only you can know what kind of environment makes you feel happy.” I have friends whose homes have barely changed for 20 years, and know others who need to change it up every 6 months. The only question you should keep in mind when decluttering is “will this bring add joy to my life and help me become the women I want to be?” All else is fluff and clutter.
What’s the best tip/advice you’ve ever received about decluttering? Bonus question: How many photos above has my cat Leo appeared in?
Looking for a way to connect to the Moon? Check out my 4 steps to New Moon and Full Moon rituals!
Need to set intentions that really end up manifesting your desires? Then use the New Moon Intention Ritual to do just that! Know you need to let go of a lot of old baggage before the good stuff has space to come in to your life. The use the straightforward and vastly uplifting Full Moon Release Ritual to make room for all the new blessings to come!