Monday, September 6, 2010

Cleaning House

I used the long weekend to make just a small dent in cleaning out my house.

Not dirt, mind you. I keep up fairly well with that. What I was cleaning out was the clutter.

There was the usual going through the kids rooms and getting rid of clothes that were too small and the inevitable pile of of forgotten toys etc. What I was really trying to focus on, however, was cleaning out the useless papers, objects, and the other clutter that accumulates through the years throughout the house.

I've been in this house 16 years, which is the longest I've ever lived in one place since I left my parents' house.

I used to move fairly frequently. I had the typical nomad existence of a single, unattached female from the time I was 18 until I married at 29, and even then my husband and I moved a few times until we bought this house when I was in my 30s.

I actually used to love to move. It was so cathartic to seriously evaluate everything you owned and determine whether or not it was really worth packing up and hauling along with me to the new location.

In a way it was completely freeing to hold some piece of shit, and think to myself, "do I really want to keep this?," decide it was not worth keeping and giving it away or throwing it in the trash. It sounds unsentimental, but I can seriously say, I've never missed a single thing I got rid of.

Since I haven't moved in 16 years, and it's unlikely I'll move anytime in the near future, it was inevitable that clutter just piles up.

Yes, I've made numerous attempts through the years to clean out, but without the threat of a move hanging over me, it's just too easy to hold onto "stuff."

So this weekend, I decided that in addition to cleaning out the house in general, I was really going to focus on my office. Out went several large trash bags of papers I no longer needed to the trash. Several boxes where loaded in the car of books to go to good will. More papers were filed in boxes and moved out to the barn.

Floor space was cleared in my office that I haven't seen for years. There's still a ton of work to do but, at least I got started.

I bring up house cleaning, because it got me thinking about cleaning and fasting.

Now I know there's all sorts of people, doctors, etc. out there who tell you that you don't need to fast or cleanse.

That's probably true, you certainly do not HAVE to do anything.

But cleansing or fasting, for me at least, has the same kind of cathartic effect that moving used to have. Cleansing or fasting gets me to really evaluate my normal eating patterns and say "do I really need that? Can I live without that?"

When you're living for three or four days on nothing but fresh juice, you learn that you really do not have to eat the kind of junky diet that is the norm these days.

If you make the commitment to eat nothing but raw fruits and vegetables for a week, you realize that you really don't have to be eating meat every single day.

Cleansing and fasting, like cleaning house, with no move in sight, is really just a voluntary activity. One you take to re-evaluate your normal habits, and decide whether or not they are really worth keeping, or something you can really live without.


  1. I felt fatigued this weekend, so I am envious of your productivity.

    By the way, your blog looks great.

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