Clean Sweep

January 03, 2011

I love watching cleaning/organizing shows on TV. There’s something cathartic about purging a home of what’s not needed anymore, cleaning it thoroughly, and putting back only what is useful and beautiful. I really wish someone would come to my house and do it for me, but since I don’t expect that to happen, I’ve gotten started on my own clean sweep.

I actually started a few weeks ago on our home office, which my husband and I share, because it had become what we only half-jokingly called “the pit of despair.” One wall is a built-in bookshelf with a flat surface halfway down, and more shelves and a cupboard where we keep our shredder below that. The flat surface had become stacked with piles of books, files, papers and miscellaneous stuff that I hate to admit belonged to me. So one weekend, I tackled the area. After going through everything, discarding and filing and moving things to different spots, I dusted and neatened up the whole space. Now, when I sit in my rocking chair first thing in the morning, to read, think or do morning pages, I love looking at the light shining onto many of our travel souvenirs and the spines of so many treasured books. I’m still in the process of purging my files and cleaning off my desk (the holidays forced me to take a break) but I’m almost done.

Part of the finished project

My office hasn’t been the only focus. I’ve also scrubbed out my tack trunk at the barn (it had at least an inch of dirt in the bottom of it) and all my grooming tools, and several other cleaning and organizing projects wait in the wings.

While I do all this cleaning and purging, I also have time to pull out my attitudes and beliefs, give them a shake and try them on for size. Do they still fit? Are they true and useful to me, or are they holding me back from my goals and dreams? It’s time to let go a few of them, too, I realize—especially the ones that begin with “I should” or “I can’t.”

Once I clean out the old, my next step will be to see if there are any little touches, such as fresh flowers or a pretty basket to hold art supplies, that will inexpensively warm and brighten my spaces. I also swap outdated or wrong beliefs and attitudes for new, more positive ones: “I will finish writing my book this year,” for example.

A brand new year seems like a good time to do a little purging, whether it’s of papers and clothes or of attitudes and ideas. I feel a sense of relief and lightness as I clear away the clutter of things I no longer need or want, and let go of outdated ideas and negative thoughts.

How about you? Are you cleaning out any old ideas and attitudes in this new year? What are you replacing them with?

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  1. Must be something in the air! I cleaned our master bath from top to bottom yesterday. It soooo needed it! And I too find myself thinking through ideas, beliefs and attitudes.

    Let's just say I'll be doing some more "cleaning" and "purging" in the physical and non-physical realms!

  2. Me, too! Maybe when I'm done I'll have a super clean house and a quiet, organized mind!

  3. Hi Kathy,

    It sounds like you are starting the new year off in a great way. Your bookshelves look so pretty.

    I have been doing the same thing...reorganizing and redefining spaces. My next big project will be going through everything in my creative space AGAIN. I have a set of old suitcases from my husband's Grandma that I will use for storing craft supplies and fabric.

    Wishing you a happy and productive year!


  4. Kathy--Thank you! Good luck with your own reorganization, too. I love the idea of the old suitcases for storage. I'd love to see pictures on your blog when you're done!