Spring cleaning

From the archives.  Crocus, Spring 2009.

From the archives. Crocus, Spring 2009.

Don’t own so much clutter that you will be relieved to see your house catch fire.

~ Wendell Berry, Farming:  a hand book

Somewhere, sometime, I read something that suggested one’s outer environment is a reflection of one’s inner state of being.  If there is any truth to that, my inner state of being must have been chaotic, cluttered, disorganized, and in need of a good dusting or scrubbing.  My inner being was holding on to “fat clothes,” too.  Expansion of the inner being is no problem, but my outer being needs to let go of such things.  There is no going back.

From the archives.  Spring 2009.

From the archives. Spring 2009.

The point is, you need to distinguish between what honestly moves you and what the world is telling you should melt your heart.  If something doesn’t reach you on a personal level, let it go.  It’s hard enough dealing with everything that does.

~ Judi Culbertson, The Clutter Cure:  Three Steps to Letting Go of Stuff, Organizing Your Space & Creating the Home of Your Dreams

From the archives. March 2012.

From the archives. March 2012.

I have spent the last few weeks sorting and cleaning, followed by more sorting and cleaning.  Goodwill and our local library are going to be sick of seeing me.  They might even start turning me away to avoid a clutter-fest of their own as a result of accepting all of my donations.

It's getting crowded in here.  (From the archives.  March 2012.)

It’s crowded in here. (From the archives. March 2012.)

I’m not even close to being finished with the sorting and cleaning, sorting and cleaning, sorting and cleaning.  I never really thought of myself as a hoarder, but I’m beginning to wonder if years of accumulation might well be the same as years of hoarding.  The good news, however, is that I was never so far gone that I didn’t leave room for more.  The occasional decluttering sprees over the past few years have kept things from tipping over from cluttered to hoarding.

Creating a little space.  (From the archives.  March 2012)

Creating a little space. (From the archives. March 2012)

Give me the discipline to get rid of the stuff that’s not important, the freedom to savor the stuff that gives me joy, and the patience not to worry about the stuff that’s messy but not hurting anybody.

~ Vinita Hampton Wright, Simple Acts of Moving Forward:  A Little Book About Getting Unstuck

Even the outdoors is cluttered.  (Leaving the archives and coming back to the present, or near present.)

Even the outdoors is cluttered. (Leaving the archives and coming back to the present, or near present.)

Letting go of things, I’ve learned, creates a great sense of relief and space.  It’s an openness that cannot exist when every nook and cranny is filled with something.  It refreshes and purifies the heart, the mind, and the soul.  It’s also a lot of work!

Opening up the sky

Decluttering the sky

As long as you derive inner help and comfort from anything, you should keep it.  If you were to give it up in a mood of self-sacrifice or out of a stern sense of duty, you would continue to want it back, and that unsatisfied want would make trouble for you.  Only give up a thing when you want some other condition so much that the thing no longer has any attraction for you, or when it seems to interfere with that which is more greatly desired.

~ Mahatma Gandhi

Trees know all about simplicity and when to let go.

Trees know all about simplicity and when to let go.

Today is day 2 for me on the 2013 Whole Living Action Plan.  I’m decluttering myself as well as my surroundings.  I’ve tried out the recipes, tried out the plan for a day here and there, and now I’m ready to jump in as fully as I can.  We have family obligations and plans coming up, but I’ve come to realize that if I keep putting this off, it will be 2014 and I’ll still be trying to find the perfect time for a detox/elimination diet.

An empty nest

An empty nest

I’m not striving for perfection.  The idea is to do the best I can with what I have to work with.  The next few months look to be quite busy (starting with a visit with my granddaughters soon…yay!!).

Moon When the Trees Pop (Dakotah Sioux name for the February full moon)

Moon When the Trees Pop (Dakotah Sioux name for the February full moon)

The full moon rise last night was lovely.  I didn’t capture it very well (too lazy to haul out the tripod), but brought you a glimpse of it anyhow.  Just in case you missed it.

Colors from this morning's sunrise.  I know this is a dreadful picture.  I just wanted to show you the colors.

Colors from this morning’s sunrise. I know this is a dreadful picture. I just wanted to show you the colors.  The red was incredible.

That should do it from me and from the Bogs for today.  It’s time for me to get back to the spring cleaning.  The rains arrived around noon today, and they’re saying we could get up to an inch or more.  The prediction is for a rain/snow mix tonight and tomorrow.  After that, it’ll be snow for the next three days or so.  Lake effect, I imagine.  From the looks of things, it’s going to stay cold for a while.  Winter will have the upper hand.  I hope the budding trees and flowers hang in there throughout this cold spell.

Rainy day

Rainy day

Before I go, here is some music I very much enjoyed and thought you might enjoy, too:

To hear more music, check out World Music — the Music Journey.

Another glimpse of the moon

Another glimpse of the moon

Have a delightful day, evening, night… wherever and whenever you are on the spectrum of time.

Note:  I used photos from the archives and from last year’s Orchid Mania exhibit at the Cleveland Botanical Garden because I don’t think I’m going to make it up to Cleveland this year for Orchid Mania.  That is somewhat disappointing as all the color and warmth of the exhibit are wonderful for the eyes and spirit after the grays of February.  Oh well.  Maybe next year.

This is where some of the fat clothes used to hang out.

This is where some of the fat clothes used to hang out.


40 Comments on “Spring cleaning”

  1. I’m not a hoarder at all, but have been trying to declutter. There is a table in the hallway where my husband works. It is for give away. For the past couple of weeks I’ve been sending something to go on the table.

    • Robin says:

      I’m not sure I’m a hoarder, AThursdaysChild, but I do think I might have been slacking when it comes to making sure if something comes in, something goes out. The spring cleaning has made me feel more balanced. 🙂

  2. Gracie says:

    Gorgeous photos, Robin.
    I do need a little decluttering at home too. It is my little project intended for Spring.

  3. Deborah Lee says:

    I love to get rid of stuff. Thank goodness our church has a rummage sale each spring so I can clean out. Last summer, when we repainted our living/dining room, I took a trunk load of stuff to Goodwill. Need space for chi to flow and to make room for more!

  4. Val says:

    I don’t have the energy at the moment to comment properly, Robin, but just to say that I love your photos here.

    • Robin says:

      Thank you, Val. Looks like it was a late night for you at the time (as it is for me now) so I understand not having the energy to comment properly.

  5. Stunning photos!
    The best one was the last one. 🙂 Congratulations on cleaning out, letting go, and slimming down!!!

  6. I love this post! The quotes each seem to speak directly to me, and the photos are wonderful. Thank you!

  7. Hello Robin
    Love the photo’s, and I am enjoying the music as I type. Keep plugging along with simplifying your exterior world. I have found that the less I have, that free space creates a vortex, the Universe says “There is room on that shelf, I think I’ll fill it.” So whatever you give away, double it, because stuff just comes back all on its own.
    Good luck,

  8. Dana says:

    Like Cindy (above), I found today’s quotes to be rather poignant. Congratulations on all of the decluttering you have done so far, Robin. It’s one of those ‘good hurts’, right? 😉

  9. Good for you, Robin, doing all that spring cleaning and de-cluttering! I know that job awaits me when I return home this summer. Isn’t it amazing how much stuff we accumulate over time? I love your pictures of the moon, and that purple flower and bird’s nest are fabulous. 🙂

    • Robin says:

      Thank you, Cathy. 🙂 That was one of the good things about moving fairly frequently — it cut down on how much stuff we accumulated. Staying put this long has allowed things to build up. It feels good to let some of it go.

  10. Dawn says:

    You are talking to me aren’t you. I’ve been wondering lately if I’m a closet hoarder. And thinking I need to clean out stuff. It seems like such a big job though that I keep putting it off. Kind of like a hoarder. Oh. Scary. So you’ve worked at it for weeks? I need to just start don’t I. I have this dream of someday living in an RV full time. I can’t do that if I have all this STUFF. OK. This weekend I will clean out the spare bedroom closet. Hold me to that! 🙂

    • Robin says:

      lol, Dawn! Well, you’ve had two weekends since this comment so… how did it go? Did you get the spare bedroom closet cleaned out? 😀

  11. As lovely as all of the photos are, I think I like the empty hangers the best. Bravo!

  12. Tammy says:

    I love the freedom of decluttering! Wish I could get rid of some fat clothes but unfortunately, they’re fitting now. What type of detox are you doing?

  13. Open spaces seem to make room for all kinds of new. Love those orchids — wow!

  14. Jo Ann says:

    Thanks for the beautiful pictures – medicine for the soul. Alas, I, too, need to clean and de-clutter. I always told myself that’s what winter is for, but didn’t get around to it yet. I have three weeks until the first day of spring, so I need to get going!

    • Robin says:

      I never get around to it during the winter either, Jo Ann. Although technically it is still winter, it’s when spring starts making short appearances that I get the desire to clean and declutter.

      Thank you. 🙂

  15. penpusherpen says:

    the visit, the vivid colours, the music (playing as I type) and the company … all first class Robin. … I do so enjoy Spring Cleaning, so therapeutic… not that I’m in need of therapy. (of course, goes without saying.. 😉 ) xPenx

  16. Stacie says:

    I have been doing a lot of cleaning out and de-cluttering lately as well. It’s been an overwhelming urge I cannot ignore. I’ve made a few trips to local thrift stores, and plan to do more. It feels great!

  17. Sallyann says:

    Great pictures of the moon, thanks. 🙂
    Decorating seems to be having the same effect here as decluttering. I’ve had to completely empty the kitchen and the room on more than one occasion over the last few weeks so the extra clutter hasn’t been put back in.
    Coathangers are great too, lovely colours. 🙂

    • Robin says:

      You’re welcome, Sallyann. And thank you. 🙂

      That’s true about decorating. One of the reasons I started cleaning was to get prepared for painting. The walls around here are in need of fresh color.

  18. Susan says:

    Incredible red on that sunrise! Redder than my sunset even. I love to do spring and fall cleaning. I’m not much of a hoarder, but I’m not quite a minimalist. When I do the deep cleaning, I get to see things I’d forgotten about. Those flower pictures make me long for spring to come. Do you know we have daffodils flowering all over our neighborhood already? Mine are nearly up, too, and so are my irises. Climate change, I think.

    • Robin says:

      Thank you, Susan. 🙂 Our daffs are not flowering yet, but there are loads of them sprouting up all around the pond and in the woods.

  19. Some wonderful images here, and great quotes too. Enjoyed the post very much – and it reminds me that I should get on with some serious decluttering, myself!.

  20. Kathy says:

    Hmmmm, the computer ate my last comment. Just congratulated you on the decluttering, both external and internal. Wondering if the cleanse is still going well? I want to go back and make some of the recipes again; some of them were really good.

    • Robin says:

      lol, Kathy! I had this weird visual of the computer eating your comment, and it made me laugh. As for the cleanse… yikes. Travel due to family events upset my detox plans. I’ve decided to use some of the recipes on a regular basis for a couple of weeks in an effort to eat “clean” for at least one or two meals a day until I can do the full detox. There’s just too much going on right now for me to go all out (with anything).

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