I love cleaning. Not toilets or ovens, but my closet, yes. Usually when I tell my friends I’m about to embark on this endeavor, they get nervous. Because my closet (and yours) is the physical manifestation of what’s going on in my head and heart. But it’s Spring, so I’m playing the ‘I’m-Not-A-Headcase-Card’ and going with the ‘Case-of-Too-Much-Clutter-Card.’ And then I got into my closet.
Seriously, why do I still have the New Jersey Devils hockey jersey that my ex-husband got me when I was 16? Tossed. Why did I keep the box of my SonicCare toothbrush long after I threw out the device? Tossed. But those vintage boots I bought in Indianapolis 14 years ago still look fabulous, they stay.
This exercise is cathartic, productive and I think it’s fun. Old jeans move to the front of the rack, pilled sweaters get tossed, and I ask myself, “Have I worn this in the last year?” I try on, organize, and reminisce about my clothes, where I bought them and if I got a good deal. I end up with three piles. Garbage, donations, and consignment. For a second, looking at my pared down closet, I try to believe less really is more… who am I kidding, there’s just more room for me to go shopping.
Before the old purse I found on the bottom of my closet and I tackle the mall, I needed to do one more cleaning. My financial house. This is akin to cleaning toilets… a necessary evil. This was the first year in the past 16, I had to file taxes alone, and single. I also refinanced my house, my accounts went from joint to solo, and so did my bills. I paid off debts, set up online bill pay, and even created a vacation fund (still sparse). This was much less fun than finding a 20 in some old jeans, but nonetheless, just as satisfying. I did find an old 401K from a previous job I rolled over into an IRA (it was more than $20). And the fund that my former brother-in-law-managed (yes, my ex’s bro was our financial planner… don’t judge) is now in the hands of another company. I know exactly how much comes, in, goes out, and where it’s sitting.
This was even more gratifying than color coding my sweaters. Money, like shoes, is something you can never have too much of, but understanding how to manage it and make it work in my life, was like finding a pristine pair of Gucci loafers in my size at a thrift shop. Score!
During my physical, and financial spring cleaning, the spiritual one just happened. My spirit is feeling less burdened, more aligned, and empowered, like it took a deep cleansing breath. A beneficial yet momentary side effect. I gave up the facade of having ‘control’ over anything a long time ago, because I realize the closet only stays organized for a few days, and the bills are only paid off for a few hours. But the process was the real medicine. And that process continues, I mess stuff up, I clean it up, and like the search for those size-six-thrift-shop-pristine-Gucci-loafers, I hope I acquire something valuable along the way.
Tonight I’ll have organization, financial and spiritual cleansing experts on the show. Join me for some deep breaths and belly laughs at 8.