Spring Cleaning

The first column I had published in a newspaper was an article on doing spring cleaning in January to beat the winter blues and blahs. It was published in 1990: the start of the new decade.

I suggested that a person clear the cobwebs from her mind as well as from her closet. That the junk piles of our minds get cluttered over the years. And it can be scary to let go of a thought or a pattern of thinking that has become ingrained.

It’s true I recommend starting the process of change in January first by clearing out the past. Rather than start in winter, I recommend making the actual changes in early Spring after a person has readied herself to do so.

By the way, there’s nine weeks to spring so it will be here sooner than we think.

I do recommend carting your cast-offs to the Salvation Army or Goodwill or other local thrift shop in January to clear the way for new things coming in in the spring.

My ethic that I’ve adhered to for the last 10 years is simple: when one new thing comes in my apartment I get rid of or donate one old thing.

This “in/out” devotion keeps your closets and drawers from becoming graveyards of unused stuff. You shouldn’t have to move around endless objects you don’t use just to get to the things you do need.

I also recommend the “ease of use” mantra: a storage item shouldn’t be more trouble than it’s worth for a person to use it. I nixed buying a storage ottoman because it would have been a hassle to open it up a certain way all the time just to reach into its cavernous inside to get everything stored there.

The Container Store sells Oskar 2-piece boxes in gray, turquoise, green and pink. They’re only $19.99 for the set and can be recycled when they get old and beat up.

Spring cleaning is also a mindset and I will talk more on Thursday about clearing the junk out of our heads.

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