Last week marked the official beginning of spring. I’ve always thought of spring as a time of new beginnings. It’s a great time for clearing. It’s a time to clear the litter and leaves from the planting beds and discover the summer perennials that are sprouting. It’s also a good time to clear the clutter and spruce up the inside of our homes.
I tackled my long neglected foyer last month. It was a project that had been put off because of the enormity of it. It is a small space with very high ceilings. There was nothing in the space but it was still cluttered. It was cluttered with shabby mauve and blue flowered wall paper circa 1980.
I did not take on this project alone. I am uncomfortable with heights. My wonderful sister-in-law Cindy volunteered to climb the twelve foot ladder and I worked on the shorter step ladder. It took us a few weekends but the project is finished and I have beautiful smooth tan walls and a new light fixture. Click on the “before” picture to see the final results. This project was completed because my sister in law cleared the issue of the neglected foyer from my subconscious and brought it into the present.
Let the Clearing Begin!
After we finished the foyer project I was reminded of a book that I read back in the eighty’s. It was called The Happiness File and was written by Pam Young and Peggy Jones. Pam in her chapter on new beginnings described an exercise that she called clearing.
She instructed us, her readers to take a notebook and go through each room making notes about things that we like, things that we dislike, and things that need to be repaired.
I worked on the exercise this week. I spent about thirty minutes with my notebook and cleared three spaces: the foyer, the living room and the hallway. I filled one sheet of paper with to do’s, future projects and observations.
When You Want Something Write it Down
While clearing the foyer, I wrote “I love the new light fixture” and “I need some decor for the walls”. I could visualize a decorative iron piece and a mirror. These two items have been listed in the I want section in my to-do book. The action of writing them down will help me remember to look for the pieces when I’m out.
Make an Appointment on the Calendar
I want to paint the hallway the same color as the foyer. I have enough paint left to complete the job so all I need to do is block some time on the calendar to do the work.
Once the painting is done, I want to create a gallery of family photos on a wall in the hallway. This is a project that requires multiple steps. First I need to gather the photos that I want to use, next I need to have the prints made and finally I need buy the frames. Once these three action steps are completed I will design an arrangement on the wall and hang the photos.
Make a Project List or Notebook
The gallery project will get done if it becomes an entry on my to-do list. Since it is a project it will go in the Project section of my to-do book. Each action step will be a separate entry. Once I begin working on the first step, which is gathering photographs, I will create a project folder so that I have a place to keep the photos until they are ready to be framed.
The living room portion of the list filled most of the sheet of paper. Let’s just say that I have enough to keep me busy until next spring. If I had cleared any more rooms I would have been overwhelmed.
What Will be on Your Clearing List?
My challenge to you is to take some time this week and do a clearing. You might find like I did that just clearing two or three spaces is enough to get you started. Once you cross off the more important and the easy to complete items on your list, add another space or two.
This exercise is called a clearing because it clears the nagging thoughts that formerly cluttered your mind. Getting all these to-dos on a list increases your confidence and decreases stress because you know that you have addressed or cleared the issue and it’s in your plan to be taken care of.
I would love to know what you put on your list. Leave a comment in the box below.