Even with the possibility of snow, signs of spring are everywhere. Daffodils have sprouted in my backyard and crocuses in the front.
There’s no doubt that a Chicago spring brings tempting behaviors. Unpacking shorts, t-shirts brought to the forefront of closets and defying that winter coat. Then the cold returns, sometimes for weeks at a time and we are curtly reminded that winter is not over. However, those few tempting warm days encourage a decluttering of closets, the house and that messy garage.
This past week as I savored the days of spring break, my sister and I decluttered my house. Recommended was a book called The Minimalist Home by Joshua Becker. Like any bad habit, I reverted to judging the book by its cover. I am not a minimalist. Neither am I a hoarder, but I do like my stuff. I’m glad I began reading. The book was not what I had originally thought, which was the author urging readers to throw everything but the front door out and onto the curb. It was nothing of the sort, not even close. Instead, I learned … It’s not about getting rid of things you love; its about getting rid of things that distract you from the things you love.
By the end of the week, my sister and I had spent nearly forty hours giving away large pieces of furniture. For years I’d been hanging on to Grandma’s china cabinet because it was a keepsake. The problem was that I didn’t like keeping it. It just didn’t fit my personality. I gave it away to someone who was elated to have it. This gesture, knowing someone was enjoying their new treasure, made my grandmother’s memory come alive.
Bags and bags of blankets, clothes & shoes went to my husband’s school that has a giving-back-to-the-community collection site. Hundreds and hundreds of photos, mostly of mountain peaks, unusual birds and people whose names I couldn’t recall were thrown out with the trash. Most of my cherished books now belong to a kindergarten classroom and a very happy teacher. I kept a few—the ones that were close to my heart. Remember, it’s not about getting rid of the things you love.
More importantly, Joshua Becker declares that in decluttering your surroundings, the mind becomes decluttered. I wasn’t prepared for this until it actually happened. I am more relaxed. I’m writing more. And best, my house feels like home. Decluttering is the gift that keeps on giving …
Have you seen my new book covers? They are clean and crisp. And I’m happy to introduce them to you. Go to books and take a look.