“It is spring again. The Earth is like a child that knows poems.”
– Rainer Maria Rilke
Spring has sprung! With the sun shining, longer days, birds singing and flowers starting to bloom, it is the time of year when we are all ready to LIVE again. Personally, I am very grateful for Spring to finally be showing her face. It was a pretty tough winter, and we seem to be past the dark, stormy days of winter – thank goodness.
It is now a time of PLANNING and preparing; of having some dreams and taking STEPS towards them.
But first, we must CLEAR the way towards our dreams. We need to shake free from the darkness of the wintertime, and literally, make SPACE for the new stuff we want in our lives. It is the natural cycle of the seasons and Spring is the season of REBIRTH, growth, and expansion.
What do you want to make room for in your life?
Love, Money, time to do a home remodel?
No matter how you answer that question, the way to get there still starts the same for us all.
There are a number of ways I recommend doing this but the very first step is in deciding what is that you want to CLEAR away. Everything in life is a process, and we must take one step forward at a time.
So, I always suggest that you take a minute now to reflect on what you would like to clean up, REMOVE and start fresh with. Setting your own personal INTENTION is a great element in this ritual.
What is the POWER of your INTENT?
Now that you have opened up yourself to the power of CLEARING out the old to make room for the NEW, I have a few SPRING rituals to help you to do your own SPRINGTIME DECLUTTERING rituals.
These are all rituals I often perform in my own life every Spring. It is a 3-step process for me, and it often can be done over one weekend or if you have limited time it can be done over 3 weeks, performing each task in your free time during the week or weekend. It is your choice and what works best for you. However, if you want great RESULTS then I suggest doing all three of these steps, in this sequence.
Step ONE: DECLUTTERING
“The things you own end up owning you. It’s only after you lose everything that you’re free to do anything.” says the guy from Fight Club (Chuck Palahniuk)
I do not wish you to lose everything you own in order to be free, so I suggest this annual ritual to help make sure the stuff-monster does not take over in your life. This is a real problem and oddly it is a much bigger issue in the states that I have seen it anywhere else in the world that I have visited or lived. For example, where I live now, in Spain, stuff is not a problem. People do not collect things, or invest in stuff. This is due to a socio-economic situation that does not allow for the expenditure on a lot of extras plus the people just simply put more value on their socializing with their friends and family thus their extra money is spent on eating, drinking, and activities. I applaud this on many levels, as they focus on the NOW and are more present than a lot of other cultures. Though be certain they too have their own demons to deal with in other areas so no one culture has it all sorted out.
How do I suggest you tackle your annual DECLUTTERING issue?
Well, that depends on your own personal situation. If you have a serious issue, you may wish to take this to the next level and really find a solution. I have some ideas and here is a great RESOURCE. Alternatively, you can reach out to my dear friend at Spacial Serenity and she can help you too.
This is the practice I adore the most. It is a simple one. You need to remove and clear out all of your closets and drawers. It is the time to review if you have used the item in the last season or not, and if not, you need to question WHY. Holding onto stuff just because you may use it one day is a recipe for a very cluttered space. In fact, it is a sure way to kill your creativity and to stunt your completion of things. These things you are holding onto will suck your energy even you think that is not the case. Everything has an energy so be sure to make sure that you only keep the things you actually use regularly. Of course, if you have not gone skiing this season due to unusual circumstances, then I would not suggest you get rid of all your ski gear, however, if, after 3-5 years of this, you may wish to reconsider.
Since I have been practicing this ritual for many moons, my Springtime decluttering ritual is not a very cumbersome process. But this is only because I stay on top of this and do not allow it to overtake me, or my spaces during the year. If you are following me, you will recall that I do a similar process in the Autumn in preparation for the long interior months of winter.
SPRINGTIME SEMI-DEEP DIVE DECLUTTERING
This is the semi-deep dive for you to get into the areas of the home that will be most useful on the coming months. You need to tackle your garage and basement, or storage areas. If you live in an apartment versus a house this is when I suggest you clean out every cabinet in the kitchen.
Cabinets and spaces such as your basement are said to reflect the subconscious. It is these hidden areas that we often toss things that do not serve us anymore but do not have the strength to deal with or to get rid of. However, as I mentioned above, everything has energy, therefore, holding onto these things will eventually be draining your energy and taking you further away from those big dreams you want to achieve this year.
Start with one area, one item at a time and complete it. For example, if you are going to do your garage, I suggest you start with the workbench or tool area first. Most households have a set of gear necessary for home repairs and maintenance. Since part of spring and summer often include the annual repairs and such, this is a very useful area to start with. Reviewing, organizing, and getting rid of anything that is either broken, damaged or no longer useful is a great idea. Often we will want to keep something that we will want to fix. If you do this, I suggest setting it aside and giving yourself a deadline to do the repairs and if they are not done, then either donate, repurpose, recycle or toss it.
To know what, where and how to DONATE or RECYCLE things in the NYC area, reach out to me directly, fill out this FORM and I will send you a copy of my recently updated NYC Recycling & Donation Guidelines for free (value $13); it is soon to be for sale on my e-commerce site, Shop Holistic Lee.
When working on your kitchen cabinets, it is a good idea to remove everything, clean the cabinet and reorganize it. And determine if you are using the item or not. Taking up space with unused appliances just takes up space and does not add value. I often witness my clients need about 1/3 less cabinet space in their new kitchens than their old ones once we do this process.
SPRINGTIME PAPERWORK DECLUTTERING
Now that you have cleared out all of your closets and junk drawers, your kitchen and or basement/garage are all reordered, decluttered and you are feeling super free of the stuff that is not serving you there is ONE MORE thing that I recommend to do in the Springtime that will serve you later on in the year.
This is the declutter your home office area. Everyone has a place to keep paperwork. Even in this day and age of paperless, and digital stuff, we still seem to have a load of paper that comes into our lives that needs to be dealt with regularly. If you keep on top of it, you will be grateful later on.
First, you need to gather all your paperwork together in one place. If you are like most people and do not have an organized system already in place or you do but it gets overwhelmed, then this is always my first step. Even for me, a very organized person, I need to do this. So go around and get all the paperwork together. Step two is simple- separate into the read/file category, read/recycle category, read/do something category. Then there is the URGENT category of things you see that you meant to do ages ago but forgot to do. Just do not get distracted and do them until after you have decluttered your paperwork.
I also suggest if you do not have a system of how to manage the paperwork you ought to invest in designing and or purchasing one. They are a lifesaver of hours and hours of your life. No more time wasted looking for that document, or tax bill or letter. If you can’t figure how to get started on this, or any of the above steps or you wish to do a much more thorough decluttering process, here is an AMAZING book that I would HIGHLY recommend you get.
NEXT WEEK: PHYSICAL SPACE CLEANING
After you have done a great decluttering process this Spring, it is the time to do a great SPRING CLEANING. I only recommend using only eco products. Next week we will share with you some recipes, and products that we recommend that will clean your home, without any of the toxic side-effects that cause harm to our bodies and to our wallets.
Lastly, I will share with you my third and final step, the ENERGETIC SPACE CLEARING that I feel is the ultimate in my spring cleaning ritual. In case you are jumping ahead and want to get started on this in advance you can get my SPACE CLEARING DIY video here.
Remember, start wherever you are and remember to enjoy the journey.