“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” ~William Morris
Shortly after moving into the house I currently live in, it became abundantly clear that I had way too much stuff (and that I had just paid to move it all!). For the first few weeks, besides unpacking, I was making piles of “stuff” that I knew I didn’t need.
Over the last decade, I’ve made a conscious effort to let go of the things I no longer use and to make conscious choices about all of the things that I bring in, including the pretty cool pen my favorite promotional marketing friend offered me. She still laughs that I declined, graciously, of course.
As my kids have grown and added to the “stuff” pile and kept the recurring cycle of taking things out of the house going. We’ve transitioned through several varieties of toys including the extra gigantic plastic Little Tikes play structures that seem to take up the entire house to toys that take up less space and come with many more tiny pieces, like Legos, which love to be underfoot while you are walking around barefoot at night. Finally, we’ve entered the phase of electronic devices; small and safer on your feet – just pricier.
Each time we took things to Goodwill, sold stuff online or gave to friends and neighbors, I felt a sense of lightness and freedom. There is a greater feeling of spaciousness in my house and a significant increase in my energy levels and creativity. And the best part.. every time I release the old, something new – something that I have wanted – shows up. Pretty cool, huh?
Spring is a natural time to lighten all that you are carrying around; whether it’s your belongings, extra weight or a belief system that no longer works with what you want to achieve. Warmer weather, longer days and spring colors popping forth from tree buds and flowers somehow invigorates the human psyche out of the long winter slumber.
Here are a few of my favorites ways to let go of anything that is weighing me down so I can make room for spaciousness and the super cool stuff I want…and you can do these any time of year.
- Go outside. Talk a walk. Disengage. When I’m speaking, I often tell the story of a woman who owns a multimillion dollar business. She spends every Friday morning taking a walk from 8-10am with her dogs. No phone, no nothing. She says that it helps her sort through work issues and come up with solutions that she wouldn’t have thought of otherwise.
- Clean out your fridge. I’m amazed at the amount of crud that builds up in my fridge each week. Spills, sticky stuff, crumbs and on occasion the nasty container that has been in the back, hidden for WAY too long. Eww. A sparkly fridge is more than just another chore to do. You are removing mold and bacteria that accumulate so that fresh foods you are putting in there last longer and in by taking care of your food and a clean place to reside, you are honoring your commitment to your wellbeing.
- Eat Seasonally. Heavier foods are warming in the winter and can leave you feeling slow and sluggish by spring. Start including spring vegetables like baby lettuces, radishes, asparagus, sprouts, and spring onions to help increase your energy, clean out your digestive system and improve allergies.
- Get rid of the stuff you aren’t using. Whether it’s the accumulation of physical stuff in your space or mental clutter that keeps you from moving forward, it’s not serving you. I find focusing on small areas give me the most successful feeling. Take 5 minutes every day or a couple times a week and pick a spot to make space… like your desk or the chair in your bedroom where the pile of half clean clothes resides. In two minutes a day, visualize what you want to bring into your life. If you had everything you wanted, really wanted, what would it look like?