More than Spring Cleaning

Despite the groundhog seeing his shadow last month, the sun is shining and the temperature feels quite pleasant outside on this first day of spring.  As the changing of the seasons is upon us, people start to transition themselves.  Spring cleaning ensues, making room for more clarity.

Over the last several months I have been exploring ways to find more value in the things I own.  This means everything from clothing to books to art to souvenirs to sporting equipment to trinkets.  I was first introduced to the word minimalism a few years ago by a friend of mine.  And more recently, I have tried to make this a larger part of my life.

Minimalism is not about having less.  It's about making room for more of what happens.

It started out with a bathroom cabinet.  Cleaning out bottles, wrappers, supplies that are no longer needed.  I then found a sturdy box and started collecting items from the kitchen cabinets, ridding of tupperware and appliances that were getting little or no use at all.  Next I raided the vases and candle holders.  Within two hours of placing this box labeled FREE on the stoop, everything was gone.

The next week I worked on one closet, nearly eliminating half of what was hanging up.  The t-shirt drawer was next.  Between the closet and t-shirt collection, three garbage bags worth of clothes were collected.  These clothes will be donated to the Big Sister program.  Last night I tackled my two bookcases.  After carefully selecting which I books I wanted to keep, 64 books will be donated to local libraries and organizations.  

There are more closets to sift through, paperwork to shred, cd's and dvd's to donate. 

And while physical items create clutter, there are other things that do too.  Such as cable television, social media, technology.  I have chosen to disconnect the cable to allow more time for reading, writing, activities I enjoy.  Spending time on social media is being carefully monitored. And I am considering a return to the flip phone.  

All of this has led me to be more mindful and less mind full.

“If one’s life is simple, contentment has to come. Simplicity is extremely important for happiness. Having few desires, feeling satisfied with what you have, is very vital: satisfaction with just enough food, clothing, and shelter to protect yourself from the elements.”- His Holiness the Dalai Lama