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Does Spring Cleaning Have To Wait Until Spring?

Updated on February 1, 2010


I know it’s traditional to wait until the seasons change to take what you’ve not been wearing in your closet and get it out of your life. But as February begins and I have a hankering to begin to sort through, sort out and sort of get rid of those things in my life that wear me down (the list includes clothing, tsochkes and mental crap), I have to wonder, “Does spring cleaning have to wait until spring?” – Don’t Get Me Started!

A marathon watching of Celebrity Rehab the other day got me to thinking about the fact that I think we’re all addicted to something. Some of us have addictions that are detrimental to our health and those around us and some are addicted to being so healthy they end up working out every minute of every day and/or only drinking organic juices from berries that were never mistreated until they’re so anemic looking that all you want to do is spray tan them or buy them their fangs for the vampire lifestyle they seem to be so ghoulishly suited for with their so-called healthy appearance. I get that being addicted to something like eating healthy and exercise is better than being an alcoholic but no matter what your addiction, I think it’s all about mental stuff that we’re not dealing with instead of the actual craving of martinis and 5k runs. I think the hoarders of the world definitely have had some sort of mental stress that causes them to save everything from bologna sandwiches from last fall to their own fingernail clippings but what about us functioning hoarders? My house doesn’t look anything like those scary hoarder homes (I can’t even sleep if there are dishes in the sink) but there are shirts and pants that I’ll never get in again that are hanging in my closet. There are books that I’ve never read or only read the first three pages of and then decided that I could not self-help myself by reading instead of living and there are the zillion pieces of paper that I have accumulated that seem to have no relevance anymore and yet they stay where they are until I lift them once more to dust under and over them.

So as I look over my life’s accumulation of crap I can’t help but start to feel as though I’m my father. My father’s idea of cleaning is basically taking the house (closet, bed, whatever it is) and just dumping it on its side watching everything fall into the garbage like a waterfall. And while I have these tendencies, I resist them. You see, invariably when my father would do one of his “heave ho’s” it would only take an hour before we realized that he had thrown away the instructions to the VCR, the special cable that went to the camera or the only picture of my grandmother when she came over to this country for the first time as a child. I use the above as a great reason to not “heave ho” but every fiber of my being is twitching like someone with restless life syndrome who wants to see garbage bags filled with Goodwill goods and garbage goods.

I have few fantasies in my life. When I was traveling all the time for business, one of my fantasies was that I would travel someplace with no carry on or checked bags. I would buy everything I needed once I got to where I was going and then leave everything there, returning the way I went, with just me. The same can be said of my home. I long to live in a place that has furniture and only tables with a few smart coffee table books in their appropriate place but alas the mail I need to deal with is on the dining room table, the New York Times Magazine from four weeks ago is laying around as there was something in there I really wanted to read but can’t remember what it was but don’t want to throw it away yet because I might remember it and actually read that article on reorganizing your life. Hey, that was it!

But while right now the whole process seems daunting I know in my heart that I’ll feel lighter once I get in there and start sorting, heaving and hoing. So while some may wait until spring, I’m sure I have a book somewhere that talks about “daring to be different” and it’s time for it to go. So while I’ve done it before it’s time to do it again. So say a little prayer for me. Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more. Does spring cleaning have to wait until spring? – Don’t Get Me Started!

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