Time for Some Early Spring Cleaning

It’s that time of year again. Out with the old and in with the new. Time for putting away the clutter, getting organized and making that fresh start at the beginning of the year. Everywhere you look there are clearance sales on the old items and prices dropping on storage necessities. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense when you think about it. The entire design is to get us to spend more, and buy more, and have more.

Well, isn’t that the point of this “fresh start”? To minimize? I mean, why exactly do I need all of these color-coordinated plastic totes in my basement? I could easily do without half of these possessions that I store year in and year out. I find it hard to believe just how fast all of this stuff accumulates!

I am entirely fed up with walking the labyrinth (aka: my basement) to get to my desk or the washing machine or the canned goods.  I’ve often told my kids to clean their rooms because you couldn’t walk a straight line to the closet if you wanted to!

Well, I’m doing it this year. I’m going to go through every cupboard, closet, cubby and storage bin in the house. There will be no article left untouched!

Parenting magazines from 1993? In the recycling!
Excess plastic food containers without matching lids? In the garbage!
Baby stroller, play pen, walker and booster seats? Garage sale, here we come!

And this is but the tip of the iceberg! A mass “stuff” exodus such as this will undoubtedly take a master plan of attack. Planning, however, should be simple with all of the available calendar templates on the family computer. I know this colossal cleansing won’t happen overnight and I do realize that I may even need to suspend a weekend or two due to unforeseen scheduling conflicts with family matters that may arise. But the important thing is that I have my target date in sight; the date when I will have achieved my goal. I already feel as though I have taken the first step. The weight is beginning to lift. I can visualize the end result. I should be at the point of completion in about five months.

Don’t laugh. I know that a lot of us are in the same place. Admit it. The disorder has gotten a teensy bit out of control. But remember: You’re not alone. Your mess is not the worst anyone has ever seen. Moms around the world are in this together. We are nestled into our own pit of disordered clutter. I use the term ‘nestled’ because we are actually quite cozy with it piled up all around us because we don’t realize how unruly things have become until they are falling down around us. We’ve gotten way too comfortable walking through the mazes and reaching over stacks in such a way that won’t make them topple over. And we have now come to the realization that, plain and simple, it’s just time for it all to go. It’s time to say “No more” and then sit down and write or draw up your plan of action. Whether your plan includes 30 minutes every day or evening, or maybe you’ll find it easier to utilize bigger blocks of time on the weekends. The exciting part of this new direction is that you’ve made the first step by envisioning the end product.

Now remember: don’t go buy the magazine that promises “50 New Ways to Help Cut the Clutter!” Or the book titled “500 Simple Solutions to Shaping up Your Space.” And please don’t fall for buying the 9 matching, stacking storage totes that allow you to get the 10th one free! You don’t need them. And you will regret it later when you start coming up with ideas of what you can buy to put in them. All you’re going to end up with is simply MORE STUFF.

Don’t forget: the goal here is to minimize, simplify.

Breathe in, breathe out. Begin.