Spring – A Time to Clean, Appreciate What We Have and What shall be Given Up
It’s been a long cold winter, and if you’re like me, you’ve been sheltering in place warm and safe yet going a little stir crazy. This stirring applies not only to cocktails but stirring and rooting around in “drawers of doom” and crammed closets. A life of artifacts and photos, books and clothes, treasures once held dear are now unearthed.
If you could see my office right now, you would think a “relic bomb” had gone off, strewing precious clutter everywhere.
Spring is now upon us, and this muddle of things looks me straight in the face and begs me to clean and consider what I’ve found and what I need to give up.
Decluttering may lead to things that bug you.
While picking up one of our Turkish rugs during cleaning, I found great evidence of termite invasions in the oak floors. This me led underneath the house to dredge up the stored detritus in which they thrive.
I found wonderful boxes of pictures documenting a life well lived. I also found a haven of scoundrels – mice, rascals rouges and rat scat – vermin also enjoying the high life.
Eliminating clutter and the chaos of beastly visitors doesn’t only apply to your basement – those rapscallions may also reside inside.
Rooms that have clutter are likely to attract unwanted pests and bugs like roaches, flies, mice, rats, and ants.
While I believe every being has a right to live, I would prefer some of them not to be in my home. Nontoxic pest controls, like orange and neem oils, safer soap along with cleaning up the clutter goes a long way to keep the pests at bay.
Mold mildew and such fungal wonders
During our winter rains, I have been fascinated with mushrooms, fungi and all sorts hyphal curiosities – I ate Chantarelles and Boletes. Then I learned about the wonders of slime molds. These super cool beings – neither plant nor animal – are capable of learning and making intelligent choices – yet they have no brain or nervous system.
While reading about these beguiling organisms is fun, I don’t want them oozing around me.
Mold and mildew in the home can cause serious health hazards, and they attract termites and other pests. These fungal intruders love moist, dark, places especially those filled with clutter.
With my beloved dogs and cats about, it’s important to keep these intruders at bay with nontoxic treatments – and by decluttering their habitat.
One of the best ways to get rid of pests that are attracted to mold, and mildew is by getting professional help from a professional pest control company like https://naturesgatepest.com/.
Don’t forget to go outside
As the weather warms and I clean and declutter my house, I also venture outdoors. Picking up abandoned garden instruments, setting out the deck furniture and opening up the umbrella makes me feel peaceful and hopeful about the spring.
Also remember to prepare your outdoor space by trimming bushes and branches near your home. But don’t go too far because natural habitat like woods and natural grasslands support beneficial insects and wildlife biodiversity.
The Organic Center features a study published in the journal Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems that provides evidence that natural habitats near farms and gardens actually reduce damage to crops by insects and birds.
Let the birds and insects sing and procreate – where they belong – not in my garden.
Out with the old and in with new appreciation
I’ve been fortunate to have lived in the same place for 34 years, and I’ve spirited away many artifacts during that time. One would think I wouldn’t have a hard time letting go of things – but I do. That tattered Grateful Dead T-shirt, the ceramic cow that pours cream from its mouth, my dad’s favorite John Wayne DVD’s – a seed pod from Peru. How can I part from such treasures?
Here is what I came up with:
- I will rid myself of duplicate items – why do I need 3 food processors?
- I will donate anything I haven’t used in a year – The high-heeled leather boots worn once in Manhattan should go to another sprarkie soul.
- I plan to digitize and prioritize photos and other nostalgic items – How many pictures of my bantam roosters does it take to make me crow?
- I will not keep something out of a sense of guilt – the special corn cobber Aunt Minnie gave me from Iowa.
- I will put things back where they belong – this is a hard one for me and requires remembering where I got it!
- I promise to find a good home for the things I no longer need. I shall donate, regift, upcycle, or recycle them to their rightful place.
- I shall not keep items I wouldn’t buy today – video cassette player, polaroid camera, pet rock – Get thee to the museum.
- Cultivating gratitude for all the prosperity I have had in order to buy this stuff helps me realize how blessed I am. And I don’t need so many things. I crave health, family, nature, curiosity, creativity and joy.
When you realize the important things in life aren’t things at all – letting go of them becomes so much easier.
Give it a try!
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