After a long winter, I’m glad Spring has arrived once again. I always enjoy the longer days and everything returning back to life after being underground for so long. I get to plan my garden and begin dreaming of summer and harvesting. Mostly, though, I’m excited that warm weather is on its way, and I get a little taste of that between the days that are still more like winter.
For the past few years, I’ve focused some of my Spring attention on getting things in order. I like to move furniture around and dig into the backs of the closets to see what is hiding there, and weed through my clothes to make room for new things, and in the process, I end up with a clean house. It’s a lot of work, and I don’t particularly enjoy it, but I love the results.
This year, I’m taking a different approach to my spring cleaning, however. This fall, I heard about a very specific project which involves going through your house (or a room of your house) and looking at every single item to decide if you actually need it. It goes like this: pick up each object in the room and take a good long look at it. You can only put it down in one of three piles: things to keep, things to donate, or things to throw out/recycle. And you do this with every single item, book, scrap of paper you can find. Here’s the best part: you actually count the things you are giving away and the things you are getting rid of and don’t stop until you’ve hit one hundred items, fifty of each!
When I heard about this, I was very resistant. One hundred things seemed like a huge stretch because I didn’t think I had that much stuff that I truly didn’t need, so I put it off for a while. I kept thinking about what in my house I didn’t need, and I kept thinking about it, and eventually I had no choice but to try it despite my reservations. The first day, I only found 11 items I couldn’t live without, and most of those were things I had already planned to give to other people. I felt a little discouraged, but I kept going, and within three weeks I hit the 100 mark.
It was at this point that I realized I was beginning to enjoy the process of de-cluttering my life. I decided to take a second pass at it, and found the next layer of things that needed sorting, and then the next. Finally, I decided that giving away one hundred things simply wasn’t enough, I needed to find one thousand things that I could live without.
Currently, I have donated, recycled, or thrown out 535 items that I no longer need. That’s means I’m just over halfway to meeting my goal. I do a little bit every day or two, and find a couple more items while I’m cleaning the counter or looking for something under the bathroom sink. I hope to complete my goal before the end of this Spring, and I invite you to do this spring clean with me. Set a goal that works for you (I’m a bit of an over-achiever, so 1000 might be setting the bar kind of high), and take the time to lessen the clutter in your life. I’d like to hear what you discover.