April 2.   The temperature floated up into the 70s in Madison Wisconsin yesterday.  Time to think about spring cleaning.  For me its time for more.  We are planning the house we will build on our land. It will be a lot smaller than our current house.

...Snow drops fighting their way through fall's leaves.

It’s time to declutter.  I started with a book shelf.  My living room is lined with books, and I love every single one of them, though some of them have not been read in 30 years, and in 15 minutes I filled a grocery bag with books for the library sale.

As I worked my way down the shelf I came across several books that have been well-thumbed but not read recently. I have pulled them out to have another go at applying their wisdom.

Sink Reflections: FlyLady’s Babystep Guide to Overcoming CHAOS by Marla Cilley has made a huge difference in my life.  Coming to adulthood during the Time of the Hippy, I felt that there were compelling reasons to avoid the confines of my very sweet, very neat mother’s world.

Eventually I came to realize that I was missing the peace and pleasure of an orderly home.  I heard Marla being interviewed on the radio, bought her book and found in it the tools to make housekeeping effective without being onerous.  I learned that it takes time to change a life style, and that routines can be freeing instead of restrictive.

She has a website too, and if you can look past the slightly garish graphics, there is a wealth of very useful material to be found there from the purgative 27 Fling Boogie to dividing your home into zones, each of which you address every month.

Sweeping Changes: Discovering the Joy of Zen in Everyday Tasks by Gary Thorp.  This is a more contemplative, and more sweeping way of looking at our daily tasks that has really brought perspective and calm into my life.

As I thumb through this small, potent volume, I find that I have underlined and annotated it more than most books.  “Storing items poorly or forgetting about them is no different than abandonment.”  “If you can bring real awareness to wherever it is you are, then the cathedral;, the fancy restaurant, the storage she and the space under your bathroom sink will reveal themselves to you as being equally important.”

“We are all haiku—

Only here for seventeen

Syllables, three lines.

It’s spring!  None of us know how many springs we will be given.  I don’t want to waste this one underneath the dead leaves of winter, old books, forgotten projects.

Right now Doug is outside scratching the yard’s back and clearing away the plant debris that are covering an intense carpet of blue-starred Scilla.  I want to sweep a metaphorical broom through my life and see how much material clutter I can clear away.

4 replies

  1. Good for you! I don’t think many things feel better than spring cleaning on a sunny day with the windows wide open for the first time in months.
    I’m cleaning today, and enjoying it.

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