This book is changing my life. I always thought I was just a slob, but after reading this book I realized I just wasn’t tidying up right.
Cleaning was always an all day painful chore. The piles of homework, mail, books, toys, art supplies, etc would grow, slowly taking over the counters, the couches, the floors until I couldn’t stand it and would go into a cleaning frenzy.
After reading this book I realized I was going about it all wrong. Why am I keeping these magazines of recipes that I have never looked through in the last 6 years in my kitchen? Why is this stack of Christmas cards sitting on my counter, a constant reminder that I am an epic procrastinator who has still not sent them out (yes…I know it’s March. Friends and family, expect a two-fer next December!)
If something I own does not bring me joy or is of no use to me or my family, why am I wasting my energy picking it up, organizing it, shuffling it around? I picked up each item, thinking about it; the thoughts it evoked. The magazine that I was saving to read someday (now covered in 3 months’ worth of dust) was just taking up space on my counter and contributing to a sense of chaos in my mind. As I threw it in the trash I felt a strange sense of exhilaration. I was actually happy to be cleaning. It felt like I was clearing the cobwebs from my soul as I opened the windows and peeled away the layers of clutter to reveal my home.
The garbage bags and boxes filled up and somehow I felt lighter.
Then I looked at my cluttered windowsill over my kitchen sink. Children’s Tylenol, children’s ibuprofen, two hand me down knick knacks I didn’t really care for, a Pampered Chef brown scraper…ugh. The view of the Highwood Mountains should have made me happy but instead I felt a tightening in my shoulders when I saw the all this…stuff. So I cleaned off the windowsill, put the children’s ibuprofen and Tylenol in the bathroom medicine cabinet, and put the scraper in the fold out drawer under the sink. Then I noticed the little birdhouse my son had just painted in bright colors at school. This made me happy. It reminded me spring is coming after a brutal winter, it reminded me of his innocence and playfulness. It brings me a sense of joy. And so I set the bird house in the corner where I can look it at every morning and give thanks for my beautiful son and the happiness he brings me.
Dillon’s sweet birdhouse and dish he made at school.
The view from the kitchen window of Montana’s Highwood mountains during a late spring storm.
Clearing out my house suddenly made it feel like home. It felt like zen.