Monday, March 19, 2012

Spring Cleaning

I tackled my closets this weekend and began the process of a serious spring cleaning mission. I have been thinking about all the areas of the house that so quickly get disorganized, stuffed and just messy. So this was the weekend to get down to business. I began in the guest room by beginning to go through my spring clothes and packing away the winter clothes. Very quickly I realized how big this job was going to be and that this wasn’t really going to be a relaxing Saturday. I was amazed at how much stuff I was hanging onto that I hadn’t even used or frankly knew was there. So I know the rules about if you haven’t used it in a year get rid of it! But what was keeping me from letting go? Is there really the chance that all my clothes will be dirty someday and I just may need another t-shirt? Is there really the chance that clothes from ten years ago will be in style? How many towels does one home need? So regretfully I began the toss pile and once I got started it felt good! How nice to be able to close a closet without shoving in falling shoes. How nice to hope a guest doesn’t happen to look in that drawer. So on a very simple level I am loving the result of my hard work. Clean closets, more space, less clutter. The thing that’s funny is that I truly am a clean person. Everything to the eye looks shiny, picked up and clean. Just don’t open my closet or drawers! It got me thinking about the many areas of our lives that we allow to get stuffed, cluttered and just plain messy. What keeps us hanging onto what we don’t need? What gets in the way of living with more simplicity? What does it mean to not give enough attention to the hall closets and pantry shelves of our lives? Obviously the spring cleaning got me thinking a bit deeper than making room in my tiny Chicago closets. It made me think about how many times we get stuck in life in not giving certain areas of life and ourselves the attention we deserve and require. How often we are nagged by certain areas of our lives that are filled with chaos or clutter yet we shove the door shut and pretend the mess isn’t there. What a relief to take stock, sort through the disaster, make decisions and have nothing hiding or needing to be covered. It was such a joy to look at my closet this morning and have no mess in sight! I made a resolution to keep it this way and continue sorting. I still have more areas to conquer and maintain but that clean closet gives me motivation. So I hope this notion of spring cleaning inspires you to also roll up your sleeves and perhaps tackle whatever needs to be tidied up a bit. Likewise it may be a good reminder to check in with ourselves and think about what emotional clutter may be getting in the way of us living with more simplicity, freedom and peace of mind. What a nice treat to come back home to a place that invites us in and has nothing to hide.

Jennifer Schurman,

Jennifer Schurman MA, LCPC sees clients for individual therapy at The Awakening Center. She is a marriage and family therapist who also sees couples and families. She runs the Women's Eating Disorder Therapy Group on Monday evenings. For more information call, (773) 929-6262 x20.


  1. How easy it is to allow our lives to become cluttered with stuff that is not important or bring us pleasure and fulfillment! I mean that physically, mentally, emotionally, socially, and spiritually. It reminds me of the 80/20 rule - 80% of our time will be consumed by 20% of our tasks - and when I look at how I use my time - that 20% often is not the most rewarding. Maybe it's time for me to do a "spring cleaning" of the mind, body and soul as well as my home!
    Thanks Jen for an inspiring article
    Namaste, Amy

  2. I love what you said about viewing spring cleaning as a time to also evaluate our emotional clutter. I feel this is often overlooked because our closets and drawers are much more visible but in many ways the emotional clutter can be much more disruptive and suffocating. Time to reflect on the clutter corners of whats inside me instead of my home!