In Writing

I shan’t bore you with the details of my day-to-day attempt to unburden myself of 27 things a day for 27 days (total: 729!) but I will check in with you about it periodically.

I am feeling particularly stoked about it this Monday morning because I kept it up this weekend despite it being the most hectic weekend in recent memory.  (Hectic for the best possible reason, since it was NYC Teen Author Festival and I’ve been in Manhattan 3 days out of the last 5).

Day 1 saw my closet purged of garments I’ll never wear.  Day 2 took me to the sink under my bathroom.  Day 3 helped me clear a path in the guest room.  This morning, Day 4, I sort of “cheated” and asked my kids to fork over a combined 27 outgrown items of clothing.

Every day, starting is slow.  I wonder how I’ll come up with 27 items.  But then I gather steam.  By the time I get to 27, I’m on a roll and I go over my allotted amount.  In fact, I have to stop myself lest I not pace evenly over the 27-day stretch and run out of things to purge (unlikely).  I think I have found my new preferred method of spring cleaning.  Because of my contrarian nature, knowing I “have” to stop at 27 means I “break the rules” and get rid of more.  (Yes, I rebel against authority even when that authority is me).  But knowing I’m only supposed to get rid of 27 things makes starting much easier.  I find it almost impossible to motivate myself to “clean out a closet,” (pantry/vanity/drawer/etc.) because that feels like an open-ended hellscape of chore-y boredom.  But getting rid of 27 things, at once significant but achievable, makes me feel like a rock star while only taking up about 10 minutes of my time.

My challenge now is to keep things moving out the door.  Because of trash collection schedules, I now have a growing pile of garbage bags by my driveway, making us look like a hoarder house in training.  The stuff I’m donating instead of throwing away is in a box in my upstairs hallway, purged but unable to go to its new home until the veterans’ organization comes to pick it up this coming Friday.

So, is it working?  The Chinese proverb which inspired this Big Spring Clean, “If you want to change your life, move 27 things,” is unclear in its promise.  Change your life how?  And what if your life is already pretty cool?  I will say that I’ve written more this weekend than I have in a while.  Was that the inspiration of hanging out with a bunch of great authors?  A very cool conversation I had about a possible writing career move which I’ll share more about as soon as I can?  Or is my slowly lightening load opening up the psychic space for creativity?  I don’t know.  All I do know is that I love setting goals and achieving them.  And I love having only things that uplift me in my living space.  Let’s see where it leads me.

Day 4: 108 (+) purged, 621 to go.  Stay tuned.

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