A few years ago, I decided to pack up and move out of a two-bedroom apartment I rented for 2 years. Within that time, I accumulated so much stuff that the initiative turned out to be a behemoth-sized project. My marriage was done, and I busied myself with creating a new dwelling just for me. I acquired so many things that I no longer needed items one would purchase when starting out or starting over to complete a new place with furniture or kitchen, bath, bedroom, and laundry room items – my place was done. Versus stopping I continued to shop, filling closets with clothes, shoes, handbags, and those “Oh that’s so cute” items which should have been left on the store shelves. Not only was my home getting heavy with things I didn’t need, my emotional self was getting heavy as well and it helped in creating the toxic cycle that I found myself in. The moving experience was the start of my personal spring-cleaning journey.
Like many new journeys, there’s starts and stops due to learning curves, failures, and the lack of self-initiative. This being the case, the process was done in slow phases. For instance, I would bag up a lot of clothing to give away, but then kept a lot. When arriving at my new dwelling, I’d do another clothing sweep and would get rid of more, along with shoes, bags, and other items. I worked purposefully with the goal of never going back to my old self where I had so much stuff that I couldn’t remember everything I had. Thoughtful decisions were made when getting rid of old papers, books, trinkets, and mementoes, and I was mindful to keep only those items that would be used and would bring value to my life.
This trimming and pruning process also made me more mindful of the amount of money that I was spending. I started researching on how to create and use a budget to gain a level of financial freedom, and a life where I would no longer be weighed down by debt. I wanted to break the self-defeating habit of spending money that I didn’t have and also money that I did have, to make purchases of items that seemed to be a great idea at the time of transaction, but in the end was just a bad idea. This phase of my financial spring-cleaning is an ongoing work in progress, but I’m so very glad to be on this road. I can see light in the future, and it’s so very bright!
Regulating personal relationships and being honest with yourself is very important in helping to place you on a clean road emotionally. Being an easy-going person, I found that this worked to my advantage in some instances in developing relationships with great people, but this trait worked to my disadvantage. Requests would be made by certain people who received a “Yes” from me, but should instead have been receiving a “No.” In the name of peace, I would erroneously stretch myself too thin when I should have been seeing myself as a valuable. With some soul-searching coupled with a deeper connection with Christ Jesus, I turned the tide on this area of me and I now value my God-given time here – I started saying “Yes” to me! There’s a quote by Martin Luther King that I love, and it says, “A man can’t ride your back unless it’s bent.” This, I believe, is the essence of some (not all) people, who are just users who feed off the energy of others versus providing some energy or life to help uplift others.
The spring season of March brings to mind thoughts of rebirth, renewal and awakenings. I like the idea of designating a specific time of the year to go through a home to do some deep cleaning of areas normally left alone for most of it. But what I like even more is the idea of keeping that mindset all year long – specifically regarding the cleansing of self. Maintenance would become the new normal because all things revealed, whether ugly or beautiful, would help in creating a stronger and peace-filled home, thus a stronger and peace-filled you. Here’s to Spring!