Though not a fan of spring cleaning (why would I deliberately stay inside when the weather is getting nice again?) I am a fan of cleaning out in the fall. This isn’t anything I’ve planned or long-pondered. It’s intuitive. I seem to do it every year and it certainly makes sense that I do. I’m spending more time inside. Our house is small. (We often refer to it as the cabin of our boat. Though Lilliputian by house standards, it is generously proportioned by boat standards.)
This type of living has advantages. We’re smooshed into this house, with very little room for escape or avoidance. Personal and relationship issues must be confronted. Sooner rather than later. Or they’ll demand to be — sooner rather than later. There’s also an economy required when it comes to “stuff” and “things”. Minimalism works better than decadence. Hence the fall clean out.
I love and loathe the clean out. I love it because it makes living in this cozy space easier and more enjoyable. (And since I not only live here, I work here, it is doubly important.) I loathe it because, inevitably, I hyperventilate.
Well, I don’t actually hyperventilate. It’s more of a whole-body tightness and unease as I confront the old, worn-out, or grown-beyond. Weighing the decisions of the past and measuring usefulness in the future. Begging the questions: Who was I? Who am I now? Who am I becoming? And how does this particular bit of stuff — fit? The end result is great. The process kinda sucks.
I tend to be irritable and snappish. I will take it to a point and then get stuck or overwhelmed and walk away — regardless of the mess I’ve created in my sorting through and out. Though I look forward to the eventual results, I don’t envy anyone my company during this wonky process. Cleaning out and hyperventilating.