Does anyone else have the spring cleaning bug? I certainly do.
There's just something about this time of year that makes me want to clean and organize ALL THE THINGS.
The other day I cleaned out the closet in my office. It was quite the undertaking.
In that closet I had three large boxes of things that I had packed up when I moved out of my parents house - basically the first nineteen years of my life. I had always meant to go through them, but somehow I never did.
I tend to do that with things I'm not particularly looking forward to.
This was definitely one of those things that I was not looking forward to, though I knew it needed to be dealt with.
When I packed those boxes, my heart had been a wild sea of emotions. I was nineteen years old. I was leaving the only home I had ever known to build a new one with my husband. I was leaving behind my childhood, somewhat timidly, to become a wife. My mind simply couldn't deal with physically letting go of all the little things I thought I needed.
The next time I touched those boxes, we packed them up in a trailer and moved to Idaho. Again, I was full to the brim with excitement, fear, sorrow, and so many other things. My heart had no room for one more goodbye, even if it was to that random keychain from a friend that I hadn't seen in eight years.
Anyway, a few days ago I finally mustered up the motivation to tackle those boxes, and I am so glad I did.
I had thought it was going to be just another thing to check off my spring cleaning list, but I was wrong.
As I opened each box, went through their contents, laughed at the crazy pictures we took with the cousins, and cried over all the precious letters from people that I love, I realized something.
Spring cleaning isn't really just about cleaning out closets. It's not even about dusting all those places you hate to dust, or washing storm-stained windows.
It's actually about opening those doors that you've been afraid to open.
It's about reaching those hard-to-reach places and pushing out all those old thoughts and emotions that have settled there.
It's about taking a step back, giving your perspective a good, hard scrub, and looking at life with fresh eyes.
Spring cleaning is about your home, yes, but it's also about your heart.
So how exactly do you go about tidying things up?
Well, I like to use these simple guidelines.
Get rid of everything you don't absolutely need or love. That includes all the clutter, heart and home. Don't hang on to possessions, commitments, or relationships that distract you from the real, important things in your life and in your home.
Shake out the linens and rugs and let them hang on a line in the sun. This will get rid of that stale smell from a dreary, cooped-up winter. Shake out your mind too, and soak up some Scripture to renew it. This will offer a breath of fresh air to your soul.
Those things in your life and home that you decided to keep? Enjoy them to their fullest potential. Nurture those relationships. Rejoice in the beauty and significance of that love-worn quilt. Be thankful for the hand your crock pot lends you with dinner. Be present in the moments. Be humbled by the grace.
As you can see, these guidelines are a bit vague, but that's the beauty of them.
They are as applicable to the physical act of cleansing your house as they are to the mental act of cleansing your mind and heart.
After cleaning out that closet in my office, I am convinced that there is little to no separation between the two.
Each are equally needed, and each are equally beneficial.
I could give you a list, room by room, of all the steps to spring clean your home, but would that really and truly accomplish such a deep, meaningful refreshment?
I don't believe so.
How do you go about spring cleaning in your heart and home, friend? Do you have any tips to share?