The unpublicized quest to clean my house of all the clutter actually began last year. Oprah had a challenge where you could sign-up for the challenge and her cleaning guru would send you monthly instructions with the goal of having a clutter free home in 5-6 months. It sounded like a good idea, so I signed up for the monthly newsletters. But, low and behold, reading newsletters doesn't get a house clean.
I had every intention of cleaning my house and ridding us of all the clutter but about the same time, we had two car accidents in two days and my son was diagnosed with 7q11.23 duplication. My focus turned to him and to putting our lives back together after so much chaos knocked all our socks off.
This January, I took up the cause again! Actually, it was the last week of December. I made a plan to clean one room and one closet each week. I stuck to it, and am proud to say that as of Monday, I have accomplished the task of cleaning up my messy house. The clutter is still here, as I have dreams of a garage sale once all the snow melts and the weather warms. I would love a little extra cash from all that clutter. It would sure seem like it was all worth keeping.
While I am overjoyed to have clean closets and a clutter-free house, I found myself dealing with a lot of emotional baggage while discarding so much junk. I was astonished by the shear magnitude of stuff that we had collected, hung on-to, and refused to simply let go of. Letting go became the theme for the 6 weeks that it took to clean everything. There's a reason for all that junk. There's a reason for hanging onto the junk. But to see the reason, one must be willing to look beyond the mess into one's own heart and mind. And, that's exactly what I did.
I discovered a great deal about myself while looking at items that had a purpose but were never used for that purpose. I don't want to unload what I discovered, but know that I know far more about myself after having cleaned out my closets than I ever knew before.
I would challenge anyone surrounded by clutter whether it be at your office, in your closet or somewhere in your house to clean up your mess, and in the process, examine why the clutter exists, and what you can learn about yourself by clearing it out. It is an incredible process, and while painful in the moment, well worth it in the end.