Finding calm amongst the clutter

I’m not a neat freak, but I’ve been on a rampage. It’s been building since I got home from our yoga and ski retreat. I can accept that things won’t be the way I usually have them after I’ve been gone for a week, and I give myself a few days to regain control (because while I may not be a total neat freak, I confess to being a bit of a control freak). Our high-maintenance dogs have been sick since they were picked up from doggie care, so there’s been a lot of cleaning up going on there; the laundry piles are as high as my waist; and my daughter’s on spring break, so toys are strewn everywhere. I’m not one to stifle her creativity, but damn those craft supplies are a mess! After coercing her into helping me clean up, I heard the sound of breaking glass from the other room. How and why was there a light bulb within a young child’s reach?? Who put that there? I reached for a glass of milk in the fridge and ended up pouring it all over myself. A lot of time is being spent cleaning, and I can think of quite a few other things I’d rather do. I’m thinking that I’d trade the stress of cleaning for a day in corporate America right about now. Stuff is stressing me out. Why do we have so much STUFF?! I want to throw everything away, including the dogs.

Time out. Breathe. Or rather, go outside and yell (it works). There’s got to be a calmer way to find order amongst the clutter. If you google “declutter”, you’d be amazed at how many people are making a living at streamlining people’s stuff. It’s the sort of thing that makes me feel ashamed of myself; am I truly incapable of managing material things?! In April’s issue of Cooking Light, an article called The feel-good guide to letting go of all that stuff! states the facts: most people only regularly use about 20% of their stuff. For me, it’s less about the letting go, and more about contributing to trash landfills. I’m all about recycling and finding new homes for things we no longer use. It sure would be a lot easier to dump clutter in the trash, but I’m all too aware of the future price to pay for that action.

Got any good, eco-friendly spring cleaning tips? Post them in the comments.