Seasonal Purgery

I’ve always been a Spring Cleaner.

Partly due to the fact that winter is so much more pronounced where I live, but mostly due to the fact that I’ve never been good at cleaning regularly. This year I managed not to have the cluttered nesting problem so much, but then, I didn’t bring as much stuff to my dorm room as I had some years.

Doesn’t mean I don’t still have a lot of work to do.

My problem areas are my storage places. I come from a long line of severe hoarders, so it takes a lot of focus for me to throw things away. I’ve narrowed down specifically “nostalgia” items to a shoebox. Whoo!

I usually start with my clothes, because they have the biggest tendency to pile up. Relatives have a tendency of getting me things that are too huge (my mom especially) which I just shove in the back of my closet so as not to offend them. Then I get to the items I had hid away from Christmas that were, well, awful.

Honestly, who hasn’t gotten some horrible knick-knack given to them “out of love”?

I always leave papers and drawers for last, because a lot of that contains “useful” items. And I have the hardest time deciding whether or not to let something go. I’m big on recycling and reusing, so I rarely actually throw anything in the trash. In the recycle or donation bins? All the time. But I know I won’t reuse everything and have to at least get it out of my room.

But there’s another purpose to the Spring Cleaning other than controlling the amount of crap that builds up despite best intentions. And it’s for introspection. I read somewhere that you can tell more about a person by looking at their rooms than by asking their friends about them–and who better to know the significance of something than yourself? Likely you’re going to be the only one that will see why you kept that certain ticket stub or that cigar case.

Habits and hoarding and possessions are all a part of a person’s psychological makeup. But every now and then we could use a little dusting in our minds.

For instance, the first thing I did after a particularly traumatic year was purge. Got things associated with those memories out of my sight. Cleaned the smells out of the clothes, threw out the more potent reminders. Then I opened up a bunch of boxes I had put in storage from way before, got a glimpse at myself before I got all mixed up.

I guess what I’m advocating is keeping a box, at least. Something out of sight until you go and clean everything. You may find yourself throwing some things away, but at least they’re there for a little while. And others can get tucked back in until the next big purge.

It’s just a matter of keeping it from getting out of hand, is all. And actually throwing something away.


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