Spring has sprung! Our trees have new leaves, our flowers have new blossoms. Every Spring, I feel like starting over and renewing my house and myself.
I start with a body detox with my acupuncturist. It is a week-long program of real suffering – no coffee, no alcohol, no sugar, very bland food and 3 sessions of acupuncture to get all the toxins out of my body. It is worth it. After a week, my skin feels amazing and my energy level is so high that I have to put it to work.
That is when I start cleaning and de-cluttering my house.
First up: closets! I go through all my clothes pulling out what I don’t wear anymore. Like detoxing, de-cluttering is freeing and revitalizing. (And I have to make room for new clothes!). I pile them into a big bag and donate everything to the American Cancer Society Discovery Shop on Wilshire and 10th St.
Once done with that, I arrange my closets according to the color. This makes it easier to find pieces to mix and match. I also just like seeing the blends of colors – a bit of artful living can even exist in my closet!
Then it’s time to clean out the bathroom cabinets. I remove everything and go through each item. I like to organize placing the items I use most closest to the front.
In the office, I get rid of all extra papers and magazines I no longer read. I organize all the books by subject. I find if I can occasionally create some organization out of the chaos, it keeps my mind at ease the rest of the time.
In the kitchen, I go through all the cabinets, empty them out one by one, clean and re-organize. My lovely maid cleans the fridge and oven.
I have all the carpets and couches steam cleaned. Sometimes I rearrange the furniture – mixing and matching pieces differently this year, moving particular pieces from one room to another and using them in completely new ways. I think moving a few pieces of furniture is the easiest way to make a room feel completely new. And it’s even faster and cleaner than a new coat of paint.
In the yard, all the outdoor furniture gets cleaned, and I start my spring garden.
Friends often ask how I motivate myself to do all this. If you can make this an annual routine, better yet, a Ritual – I think you will experience how it awakens your mood and energy. You can’t wait for the next Spring Ritual to arrive. Clutter takes space not only in our homes, but also in our heads. Have you noticed how differently you feel after you’ve finished cleaning?
Also, I think when you detox and de-clutter, you make room for new stuff, new energy, new ideas to enter your home and life. When I am planning to buy a new set of glassware, I donate my old set. And it seems soon thereafter, I find the perfect new set that my home has been waiting for. Or when I buy a new pair of shoes, I give away an old pair.
And my favorite part is donating things to people who need and will cherish them more than I do.