Spring cleaning usually takes place on the first warm days of the year. For those of us who live in Minnesota, that’s almost always sometime in May. We wait for the town garage sales and when people decided not to buy the junk we were hoping to get rid of we throw it out.
This year I got started a little bit earlier on Spring cleaning – February earlier. My Spring cleaning started last week when I realized I had piles of papers littering my closet to the point that I couldn’t fit anything else into the space.
The more you move the less junk you are going to want to hall around, and I’ve been moving a lot. Every eight to twelve months for the last five years I’ve moved across town or across the state to someplace new, and I’ve taken all of my boxes of papers and books with me.
So, this Spring I’m doing something that’s long overdue, I’m tossing out all of my old junk.
I’m throwing out plates I’ve been storing for no apparent reason, old elementary school basketball third place everybody-gets-these trophies, stuffed animals that I inherited from my parents house as they gave my brother, me and my sister the boot, boxes of old papers that have been graded and sitting in a file folder waiting for the day I’ll need to reference the symbolic values of the Scarlett Letter.
Really, there were some sentimental things that I’ve been holding onto that are difficult to get rid of, and some things that would cost a bit of money to replace. It feels odd throwing those things out because it’s a lot like tossing out a piece of yourself, or a whole hunk of cash. I’m hoping it will be worth it when I have an empty closet to fill with things that I actually want.
Clearing your home of things you don’t need or want isn’t a new tradition.Thoreau and the romantics believed in living with as little as possible. “Walden” is one book that will remain on my bookshelf, though I’ll be cutting back my collection. I don’t think I can bring myself to throw away a book, but I’ve already boxed up some encyclopedias and old text books (sorry, but the Internet can tell me what I need to know now Mr. encyclopedia).
The Sister’s of St. Benedict also believed in getting rid of one material possession every year, though they gave it to charity and only had something like five things to begin with. I’ll be making a large donation to Savers the next time I’m around one. As I’ve said before, I have more clothes than any one person needs. That’s not to say I bought my clothes, I maybe do that once every other year. But, I get a lot of free t-shirts.
Page 2 of 2 - So, February might be a little early to start Spring cleaning, but I prefer to think that I am ahead of the game. While you all are cleaning out your houses and spilling your stuff in the driveway for a garage sale, I’ll be basking in my clean and empty apartment – or maybe by then I’ll have already filled my closet with more books, papers and stuff that I have no idea from where it came. Good luck, and happy Spring cleaning.