Celebrate Spring by Decluttering
Warmer and longer days bring inviting aromas, birds’ songs, and beautiful new flower buds as they unfold from their winter dormancy. Like nature, we humans tend to feel more alive and renewed as we come out of the winter season, especially during Covid, as many have stayed indoors to minimize exposure and to feel safe.
As spring arrives, people are also drawn to the concept of spring cleaning, a deeper kind of cleaning than is normal throughout the rest of the year. It’s an opportunity to get rid of the unnecessary clutter we have acquired over time. This idea of deep cleaning in spring is rooted in many cultures and has an impact today on our spring rituals.
So how does one tackle spring cleaning and how does it feel to rid oneself of clutter? What happens when you let go of the physical baggage that has built up in your life? And what about those personal belongings that have been hanging around for years? Does it really help to “get rid of the past” as some put it?
Sally Marchessault, a Kentlands neighbor in her 70’s, says she’s been tackling the process of decluttering since she left home for college. Back then she had to decide what was important enough to take with her 1000 miles away from her family home. But what does she do now that she’s been living in her current place for 23 years?
Recently, Sally was inspired by two books that taught her how to tidy up and organize her current home and belongings. “After hearing a Kentlands Garden Club lecture on Feng Shui, I bought Karen Kingston’s book Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui. I found her step-by-step, sensible methods very encouraging,” said Sally. “Marie Kondo’s book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up also provided good guidance and inspiration.”
Sally continued, “The hardest things to get rid of are those of great sentimental value. They are no longer useful to me but might bring someone else joy.The best tip I ever got for this is to take a photograph of the object and keep the photo where you can find it so you can look at it when the mood strikes.” Sally has a corollary to this tip. “I have a written list on my phone entitled ‘Where Did I Put It?’ If I keep things I rarely use but can’t give up, I have a way to figure out where I have salted it away.”
Getting rid of unnecessary belongings makes Sally feel organized, clutter free, generous and peaceful. Perhaps tackling your spring cleaning may bring some of these gifts to you, too.