Spring cleaning — to wit, stuff that needs to be reduced, repurposed, or recycled– is both a real life activity, as well as, a metaphorical one. This coming weekend promises an opportunity for me to do both.
And it is the very triage nature of Spring Cleaning (right) that has both appeal and dislike for me. On the one hand, the appeal of discarding/recycling now useless items such as extra plastic containers causes visions of dish cabinet shelf space to be reclaimed for future dish replacement purchases. Sighhhh! However, feeling free to discard said plastic package objects when one shares living space becomes tricky. I would have thrown out the soft margarine tubs, because you can’t see through them to know what is in there. But my hubby uses them for lunch box food storage. So they stay, for now.
However, I did score one victory last weekend in recycling our third set of metal doggy food and water bowls. That’s right, we have two dogs, but we had three sets of bowls. You see, we had a larger set of bowls for our big doggie. But then we purchased a middle sized set of bowls for him and small sized set of bowls for our younger dog. However, we hadn’t retired the biggest set of doggy bowls—until last weekend. Snap!
And streamlining my organization efforts is key to not only garnering and maintaining my interest in Spring Cleaning, but it is also vital to having a long term impact. Case in point. For years, I had been swapping my seasonal clothes back and for between our walk in bedroom closet and our laundry room closet. As you can imagine, it was quite a hassle. However when I recently purged a huge chunk of my wardrobe if its now too large clothes—about twenty items in three garbage bags—and I donated them to a local charitable clothing outlet, I decided to change my closet strategy. Now, all of my blouses/sweaters and skirts—regardless of season—hang in my side of our small walk in bedroom closet. And my long hanging dresses now permanently reside in my double wide laundry room closet. No more swapping them out back and forth. Snap!
I’m also trying to get started with some much needed old financial paperwork shredding. And actually, one doesn’t really need to keep copies of utility bills and payment notations for more than one year. But I’m a girl who never met a piece of paper that I didn’t want to file. Ha! So our/my current financial records stretch back to when we built and moved into our home fourteen years ago. Now, I always keep things related to the house or car or our dogs. And believe me, that came in handy when I had to locate an April 2015 receipt for our new water heater, because we could get a tax break since the new one was more efficient. Snap! But the rest of the old paid bills paperwork can go into the shredder. Yay!
Then there is the whole virtual reality and metaphorical Spring Cleaning that one can do. I started that last weekend when I happened to peruse my Twitter followers list and noticed that about dozen people seemed to be selling a product or themselves. Really people, keep your clothes on. So, I tidily blocked them. Snap! Conversely, I had also found a few folks following me that I wanted to follow back. So I did. I also need to update my Facebook and Twitter timeline banners to reflect some of my newer stories that I have serialized—or not. We’ll see. Ha!
Extending that notion of Spring Cleaning triage for one’s emotional and psychological closets, I’ve decided to try to do better at maintaining a more harmonious work-life balance. I too often find myself checking office email on evenings and weekends-especially during peak student course registration times—and then responding to them, even at 11pm. But it could have waited. And so I’m really trying to unplug from the office once I get home. Granted, I’ll still work overtime and arrive home later–since we have several large projects looming this Summer. But when I’m home, I’m home. My recent and continuing respiratory flu—I’m starting week three of lung congestion, coughing, and wheezing, despite various medical treatments—tells me that I need to take better care of myself, with rest and relaxation. Though once I can actually be able to breathe lying down, I might get more sleep.
And finally, there is one Spring Cleaning item that is frivolous but cheers my soul—such as planting my backyard deck railing flower boxes (pictured left on white fence, our fence/railing is unpainted red cedar wood). Our wooden deck is 12 ft x 24 ft. So I have two 3 ft long flower boxes on the north side and three 3 ft long flower boxes on the East side. Unfortunately, I have been thwarted in planting them yet this year due to the weather alternating between rain and heat/humidity—and with the whole lungs congestion issue. But it is cool and not too humid out now as I write this post at 10pm Wednesday night. Hmmm. Gardening by moonlight—with none but june bugs and a few feral critters (possum, rabbits, etc.) to keep me company in our edge of town subdivision. Maybe I could start a trend? And a definite necessity would be glow in the dark gardening tools—so if you drop them, you can still find them. Snap! I wonder if there is a 24 hour garden center store open late, as in really late? *wink*