Sunday, January 17, 2010

Decluttering and Cleaning

I haven't taken time yet to read about The Happiness Project but I hope to have a chance sometime soon.

But one thing I picked up on as I skimmed the website was dealing with decluttering and cleaning. This is a big issue with me. I've never been the neatest or tidiest person, but the past year or so I've really tried making it a point to get rid of clutter. Now that my kids are getting older and into their teen years I have to admit that it's a bit easier to keep up with. Long gone are the tiny little Lego pieces scattered about the house. And the tiny little Barbie brushes and shoes are now sitting in a toy box unnoticed for a few years. Now we deal with big toys...XBox controllers, Ipods, Cd's and their cases, etc. These things are bigger and don't kill your feet if you happen to accidentally step on one.

But getting back to the subject at hand...getting rid of clutter is very freeing. And cleaning gives me a similar feeling. After I finish cleaning a room I sit there and look around and wonder why I don't do it more often. I feel very accomplished and good about myself.

Here's an excerpt from my favorite book 'The Alchemist' by Paulo Coelho that deals with cleaning:

"You didn't have to do any cleaning," he [the crystal merchant] said. "The Koran requires me to feed a hungry person."

"Well then, why did you let me do it?" the boy asked.

"Because the crystal was dirty. And you and I both needed to cleanse our minds of negative thoughts."

When I read that it made so much sense. Very often I'll procrastinate and let the cleaning or decluttering go for a while. I notice that when I sit around looking at all that needs to be done, I get very down on myself. I feel like a loser and wonder why I can't keep up with it.

When I read that excerpt from 'The Alchemist' a few months ago I appreciated the message and haven't forgotten it. I hope I can take this thought and carry it into this new year and make it a regular habit to declutter and do my best to keep our house neater and cleaner. I know, in turn, I'll feel better about myself. Although it's definitely going to be a struggle with 'my new normal'...taking care of my mom...I'll do the best I can.

Okay...I have to be on my way, but I'm sure I'll have more to share soon...until then,

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