I’ve been watching the neighbors out pruning their shrubbery and perennial stumps left over from last season. It’s actually a little late, I want to tell them, because new growth is already showing up on my hydrangas, monkey grass and day lilies.
But pruning is a necessary step to produce a tidy garden later. The activity easily translates into other parts of our lives.
Cheryl Richardson, a life coach who always hits me with some harsh realities and simple suggestions, says now is the perfect time to streamline our homes by getting rid of all the “stuff.”
“Old structures, systems, and ways of being are no longer working,” she says. She offers are four ideas to get you started:
1. Recycle – Go through old magazines, books, or catalogs, and get rid of them. Bring the magazines to a doctor’s office, hair salon, or health club. Donate books to your local library or place of worship for an upcoming sale. The Starkville Public Library offers a great service. There is a table at the back entrance where people can leave their old magazines for others to take, read and return. I hardly ever purchase a magazine any more.
2. Trade Treasures – Years ago my girlfriends and I would gather for a give-away party where we’d bring clothes, jewelry, household items, etc., to trade with one another. Each of us would always find a treasure in someone else’s lot and we made it a fun social gathering to boot! Get together with moms and dads from the neighborhood, coworkers, or use your Life Makeover Group to organize a “Trade Treasures” party. I love this idea and will suggest it around Christmas time.
3. Donate – This is a great time to go through clothes or household items with an eye for sharing the wealth with those in need. We all have things that we no longer use that could be life-changing for someone else. Your old suits or dresses could give someone a new outfit for a job interview. Or, your used washing machine may be a blessing in a family’s life.
4. Release Old Energy – Go through the files in your office, your contact list, or on your computer, and let go of outdated resources, emails, information, or old ideas that need to be released for good. I’ve used this strategy for years to remove the old energy tied to plans that fell through, goals that lost steam, or dreams that fizzled out because they needed to. Make the space for new business, great opportunities, or more creative ideas that make sense for who you are now.
At a time when so many people are feeling anxious about the future, it’s a great time to clean house and let go of the old. A little spring cleaning goes a long way in making space for something great to enter your life. Consider this week’s “Take Action Challenge” and enjoy a renewed sense of spaciousness and mental freedom!