I don’t like clutter. It drives me batty. Regardless of the context – home, office, retail stores, classrooms, churches or anywhere – I vote for order and neatness. It would suit me completely to pull up a big truck in front of my house today and empty half of what fills every room into it, never to be seen again except by the people who take it off my grateful hands. I would wish them well and send them on their way as I strolled back into a simpler lifestyle.
In anticipation of moving at work to a different desk in a different building at the end of this week, I started cleaning out my desk today. I know that what I box up on Thursday and move to the new desk Friday will likely stay with me for years, so now is my time to pitch things. I look forward to filling many trash cans between now and then, leaving binders and odds and ends behind on Friday for anyone who wishes to scavenge them.
As I was cleaning out my desk today, it wasn’t just the satisfaction of having less stuff that made me happy. It was the mental and emotional closing of a chapter and moving to a new, exciting one that pleased me the most. Sure, there are some things with sentimental value that I will hang on to. But other items that I haven’t used, needed or touched in a very long time had to go. More will get pitched tomorrow.
It’s easy to settle in to what we know, to hold on to the past and to surround ourselves with the trappings of that past. It can make us comfortable. But I’d rather live for what is yet to come. I’d rather spend time making new and exciting things happen in the future than trying to recreate or live in the past.
What do you need to let go of? What needs to be tossed into that physical, emotional or mental wastebasket to make room for the future? Consider leap year lesson #30 – It may be time for a house (or office) cleaning.