Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Closet Cleanse Time

Last year, I started a something without even realizing it. I started cleaning out closets and discarding junk that I didn't need and passing on good stuff that I never used. I got such a high from liberating myself and my family of all our unwanted and unneeded stuff that I am doing it again this year. I had no idea that I was starting an annual tradition.

Julie Morgenstern actually coined the term (or I think she did), Closet Cleanse. She set up 4-steps for clearing out and cleaning out. She uses the acronym: SHED.

  • SEPARATE the treasures — identify the gems that are worth hanging on to.
  • HEAVE the trash — eliminate what's weighing you down.
  • EMBRACE your identity — connect to who you are without all your stuff.
  • DRIVE yourself forward — explore the direction that connects to your genuine self.

I discovered a great deal about myself as I cleaned out my closets. Not everything was a good revelation, but it gave me a lot of areas to work on this past year. Those Revelations have completely changed my thinking and my way of life. I believe I am a better person simply because I chose to clean out my closets.

I rediscovered space in my house, too. I have been so happy with my results that I have refused to restock my home with more "stuff." I have turned down offers of "stuff." And...I am eying larger non-closet types of items that really, really need to go. (i.e. furniture) We have so much furniture that we don't need. What we do need is more floor space for cars to drive on and kids to wrestle on.

This year, I am returning to the closets with the same rule as last year: "If I haven't touched it or used it in a year, it goes." I'm also organizing my new found space, so I can find things like batteries easier. More stuff has already been tossed out. A box of items is already packed and ready to be passed on to one friend, and I am sure I will find more as I continue through the house.

With each cleanse, I feel lighter and freer. I am not identified by my "stuff." I am identified by who I am as a person. I have no reason to hang on to anything that does not have a specific purpose in my life.


Araratacres said...

I am a cleaser too...some may even call it purging. I get such satisfaction from it, I've upped my closet cleansing to twice a year...end of summer and end of winter....if it didn't get used for an entire season, there's a pretty good chance it's headed out the door. Now, if I can only get Charlie to do his side of the closet!

Cynda Western Felini said...

Liz, I love that we are of like minds in so many things.

Getting the spouse to contribute to the closet cleanse is a mystery to me too. Maybe somewhere we'll run across the magic cure!