Goodness Guru

When Spring Break and spring cleaning intersect, there can be a lot of distractions.

Oh my, it has been Spring Break and I didn’t plan a trip anywhere to visit grandkids.

They don’t have the same Spring Break that I have this year, so I’ve had to visit on different dates. Do you know what that means? I’ve had to begin spring cleaning my house.

Why do I dread this chore? I was raised by a mother who loved cleaning. At least, she always had a spotless home … white carpet and all. In fact, when she decided to sell her homes, she didn’t have to do any de-cluttering or polishing or even straightening out of the cupboards!

So it has been a week that I didn’t really look forward to, particularly because we’ve now lived in our home for a few years and we are in need of a major de-junking.

Early in our marriage, I made a friend/mentor who taught me to pretend I am moving every two years when I spring clean. That is the way she kept her household of eight people organized and running smoothly. So I guess it’s past time. Last time I started a cleaning of this magnitude, it led to new carpet, new kitchen counter tops and then a move as well. This time I plan for space enough to breathe.

So I started my week with a full day of shopping with a daughter for an upcoming trip. (Not a single minute to clean that day.) The next day started with a 10:20 a.m. movie. (That’s how desperate I was to get out of my self-appointed chore). The next day I went to another movie. (It was my birthday after all.) Then I got myself a new kefir start and I had to research the new recipes I want to make with this wonderful probiotic. Then I planned a summer family vacation. Then I finally got around to beginning, for real, my spring clean.

I decided to start with my bedroom because that room seems endless. But wait, I had to grocery shop first. OK, I actually got started cleaning that afternoon. Oh my, where did all this stuff come from? You mean I actually have clothes with the tags still on them? The last few closet cleanings were good to get a few things out, but this time had to be for real. If I haven’t worn these items in the last year, what are they doing in my closet?

I pause here to mention that I also chose to do a full body detox this week. Also not my most favorite, but a helpful way to keep my body healthy. So maybe by Day 4 of Spring Break I felt ready to release things I’ve been holding onto. Time to get rid of things I no longer need or things I don’t really love. Otherwise those things are just taking up space.

One thing I notice when I detox ... a room, my mind through meditation or prayer, my body through a juice fast, my work space or computer, or lesson plans, my emotional side gets a little tug to let go as well. Yes, I got a little emotional going through my closet, but then I had a great idea. Call somebody on the phone!

My kids had tried to connect with me on my birthday, but I actually taught my night class that night, so I didn’t get a chance to talk to all of them. So this day I decided to return a call to a daughter-in-law. Boy, did that do the trick. All of a sudden I had ideas of what to do with my good, but not my favorite, stuff! This talk actually helped me let go of beautiful and expensive things because I knew they would find a good home! What a joyous way to de-clutter!

The last day of Spring Break brought me anther adventure, a really fun exercise class with my mom. But I actually did get a start de-cluttering the kitchen. Can you believe I threw out four grocery bags of junk from the fridge? Who needs four open bottles of Caesar salad dressing?

This appears to be a really good start to a very thorough scouring of my home, body, mind, spirit and my heart. In the end, this spring clean will provide space for new friends, adventures, projects and ideas. It’s worth it.

Jennifer Sant is a Utah high school teacher, energy wellness coach mother of five and currently grandmother of nine. Contact her at jennifersant801@gmail.com.

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