Clarity from cleaning


daffodilsWhen you are feeling stuck emotionally or spiritually, work on your physical surroundings. The momentum will move the other aspects of your life. Make space for the good things on their way to you.

This week, I blocked out six days to take charge and do what needs to be done going forward. I made a massive investment in my future enjoyment.

With three people living in 1,000 square feet, open space is hard to come by. All winter, we practiced the dump and collapse method of life: we dumped our stuff as we walked in the door and collapsed on the couch.

Papers, clothes, hobbies, gadgets and other possessions staged a coup to take over the whole house.

The dog mistook one of the couches for a large bone and chewed off large hunks of foam. It looked like a foam confetti explosion party happened while we were at work. Doesn’t that figure? Freeloading dogs party, and we work all day to bring home the kibble.

After a hard winter, foam bits, paper piles, snaked up tangles of wires and book stacks stood accusingly, nagging us to deal with them.

In her organizing book, Making Peace with the Things in Your Life, Cindy Glovinsky calls the areas that bother you the most your Biggest Irritants, not necessarily the messiest areas. She recommends picking those to clean first for the most rewarding payoff.

With the help of many cups of espresso and strong sweet tea to get us buzzing, we took on ours.

Things I took care of

  • Emptied the living room of everything
  • Got rid of two couches
  • Tore up 16-year-old carpet
  • Fixed a hole in the floor
  • Removed a rose bush and mulched
  • Picked up a quarter-ton of hay
  • Donated 50 books to our local library
  • Donated 40 balls of yarn to a high school knitting club
  • Donated a dozen pairs of shoes to a clean water project
  • Gave away a table (amazing how quickly things disappear with a FREE sign on them, even when you live on a gravel road way out in the country. God bless you, person who took the table.)

Prepare for the future

I feel free and energized. I didn’t even know how much the clutter was draining me.

Do a spring cleaning on the things that irritate you the most. You will feel a new peace.


Lord, bless us with


Let us find our security in you,
not in what we buy or store.

Keep our hands open and
our minds at ease,
our future sheltered in your plan.

Tell me your thoughts!

What is causing you trouble right now that could use extra attention? Does your space support you? Have you had a chance to do spring cleaning?

14 thoughts on “Clarity from cleaning

  1. I’m looking forward to seeing photos of your “new” space! It takes effort to maintain a clutter free space, but it’s definitely worth it!!

  2. I clean when I get stuck creatively. It really helps get ideas flowing again. I think Bob secretly wishes I would get “stuck” a little more often πŸ™‚ We are moving in a few months so the sorting, getting rid of and packing process is just beginning. The last time we moved I couldn’t believe how much “stuff” we were hanging onto that we no longer needed or used.

    1. What a great idea! Next time I am stumped on my writing, I will give cleaning a try. It sounds like you are taking full advantage of your upcoming move to make your new space supportive. My farrier said he thought people should be required to move every five years just so we don’t collect too much junk in one place. Thanks for your comment!

  3. I feel energized just reading this! I’m very happy I’ve invested in the time to clean and clear out things recently and also invested in some snazzy ottoman storage units that look less junky than what I was using before. Huzzah for spring cleaning–and the power of caffeine as a motivational tool πŸ™‚

    1. Oh! I will have to get your ottoman recommendations. We could use one for the afghans. I am not going to say I have too many…but they could use a home for the summer when we don’t need them. Thanks so much for adding your experience here!

  4. Spring Break has inspired me to declutter as well. I love knowing I have had company! πŸ™‚ Now that we have a cleaner, more peaceful bedroom, I’m ready to make a batch or two of soap as a reward. Then I’ll tackle our bathrooms. How can bathrooms become so cluttered?! We too will be ripping up carpet and fixing our living room floor after the semester ends in May. I’m feeling more inspired just hearing you have done the same!

    1. The wonderful soap I have heard of! That is a great idea to have a treat as a reward. I will have to think of one…might be yarn-related πŸ˜‰ Thank you for adding your voice here!

  5. I’ve been struggling with my clutter for years. A real inspiration is to have people over. I had a crafternoon & Randie had a birthday party, and got rid of 10 boxes of stuff. It is nice to have a bit of breathing room!

    1. Yes, I agree! Parties are great motivators for us. In fact, our spring party is one of the reasons to get the floor fixed. Can’t have our guests falling through the floor! Thanks so much for adding your experience here. Enjoy the new breathing space!

  6. I have also been doing some “spring cleaning” including purging and donating. I feel lighter. Wonderful column. Thanks!

  7. I most definitely need a clean space to get creative and motivated. Sometimes, a cluttered house or office area can totally stunt my ability to work. Love this message!

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