I have been steeped in the process of decluttering. It seems to be the perfect fall activity. While Spring Cleaning is useful for getting rid of the cobwebs and caked on mud, fixing broken shingles and shaking out rugs, the Fall Purge is for me an even more crucial process, one that allows me to beautify my space before the long winter sets in.
During the all too brief summer of adventure and expansion, decisions have been deferred and knick-knacks have collected. Beach bags and suitcases hide long lost sweatshirts and piles of new paperwork from school start collecting in drifts. Beach balls and flipflops, no longer useful in the cooling weather, continue to be hazards in the entryway. It’s time to return the house to square one.
So I purge and scrub and rearrange and reduce. Something happens to me as I transform my space. I feel happier, calmer and I get to remember all the fun days that resulted in an accumulation of this mess.
Once my space is clean and clear, I discover the objects of beauty that have been obscured by the clutter. I wake them up, clean them off and a world of enjoyment opens back up.
Now my hand-carved, Bali wood Buddha sits dust and spider free in its happy place on the mantle. A colorful sarong is draped over my ugly, scribbled-upon coffee table, providing a pop of color. My Indian bedspread is smooth on my bed and completely visible because the clothes have been put away. The bamboo windchimes on my front stoop are dusted and detangled, singing their melodic thump thump thump when the fall winds blow.
I realize that having these objects of beauty helps me make my space sacred. That moment when I can’t enjoy (or find) my favorite decorative items is when I definitely need to clean! And giving them their special places, caring for them, polishing them up, dusting them off, pulling them out and giving them a shake – imbues them with energy and joy.
A well-cared for house, filled with love and accented with objects of beauty and function – this is my goal. Minimalism is alluring but only as far as it provides a gallery for my favorite things. And these are a few of my favorite things – those in my newly, momentarily clean house!