I’ve spent the past two days cleaning. Due to a busy schedule I missed “spring cleaning,” so I decided to catch up. I am always amazed at how much “stuff” you can accumulate. I mostly tossed out old or broken items, and clothes that I haven’t worn in more than five years. My biggest problem is lack of storage space. Our place does not have a basement and you really can’t store any items in the loft space that run the risk of being damaged by temperature changes or insects. So, it is always a challenge to find designated places for things. Not to mention that besides our own stuff, my husband and I each brought into our home numerous boxes of items cleared out from our respective parents’ houses once they passed away. And being a genealogist and writer with tons of files and research material doesn’t help.
Whenever I go through this cathartic exercise of cleaning away the dirt and grime and organizing all of the clutter, I can’t help but think of my ancestors and how they basically left home with the clothes on their backs and one sack or trunk, traveled across the ocean and settled in unfamiliar places. They didn’t have much in the way of possessions, but they had the “stuff” that really counts: courage, determination, faith, strength. I always say that I don’t believe I could have lived during my ancestors’ time because I like all of the conveniences I enjoy in our 21st century world, but I think there is a lot to be send for simplifying–cutting down on the material things and building up the inner qualities.
By cleaning my living space and putting things in more orderly fashion, I feel renewed, better organized, and ready to tackle my research and writing projects. Yes, cleaning is good for one’s physical living space, but perhaps even better for one’s soul.