“If you want to change your life, move 27 things,” goes an ancient Chinese proverb. My life is pretty darn awesome, so I don’t want to change it so much as I want to keep the flow moving through it. I’m a big believer in unburdening myself of “stuff.” So I’m doing a Big Spring Clean.
The challenge: get rid of 27 things every day for 27 days. That means that by April 15th I’ll have 729 things less than I do now. (That’s just me and my love of extremes. I’ve seen more sensible people suggest getting rid of 9 things for 9 days. I just like to go big). It’s a testament to the excess of Western culture that after said 729 things are gone, barely anything will look different. But hopefully I’ll feel different.
I first heard about the “move your stuff, change your life” movement during my Feng Shui phase of the late 90s. It was my first foray away from the atheism I’d professed in my teens, although I didn’t know it at the time. Believing that “stuff” had energy and that excess creates drag was my gateway drug into other spirituality. Since then, I’ve burned incense, meditated and rung bells, but decluttering remains my oldest spiritual practice. I strive to only keep things that are beautiful and uplift me or have real use. My surroundings have become much more nurturing since I began this practice.
This morning, before beginning work, I looked around for things to get rid of. It wasn’t hard. I’ve moved all my knickknacks from the living room into the kitchen for a living room painting party that never quite happens. The kitchen is a mess. Out of its element, the living room stuff looks a lot less important in the kitchen. I started there. After that, I moved to the junk closet where I was able to throw 27 things in a garbage bag (old, crusty lotion, stretched-out hair bands, etc.) in under 5 minutes.
Enthused, I heard my bedroom closet calling me. I piled 27 garments into a “to-donate” pile with ease. (Why-oh-why did I ever think I’d ever be bold enough to wear that bright red monokini?). I scheduled a pick up with the local veterans’ group that hauls away stuff. I fought the urge to start purging the guest room. Total haul the first day: way more than 27 things. Must pace myself. A girl’s gotta leave something to do on Day 2.
Feeling awesome already. Stay tuned!