The butterfly effect of cleaning

My husband and I are looking forward to buying a house in the near-ish future. We talk about all the adulty things around such a purchase, like credit scores and budgets, as much as we discuss our dream house’s features. One thought took root in my mind and refused to wither away, which was: Are you really going to move again and haul all that crap in your closet with you?

So I googled “how to clean out your closet,” and came across a blog post on bemorewithless.com. Although I’m not quite ready to commit to owning only 33 items every three months, as is the gist of the site, I did take the advice of one post about how to go about purging my crap:

cleanoutcloset

 

I spent about six and a half hours going through all my clothes and shoes. I took the closet in three sections, and then tackled the dresser. The entire process yielded seven loads of laundry, several bags of trash, two over-filled bags of clean clothes and linens that I donated to a shelter, dozens of unmatched socks that got trashed or recycled, and one giant pile of hardly worn brand name items I’m going to sell on Swap.com.

Years ago, I got a deep desire to purge all the physical things I owned. I mentioned this to a friend, somewhat fearfully because saying it out loud (or rather via AIM) would commit me to letting go of things. She said that she had read a book weeks prior, which inspired her to purge closets, too. She said that the book warned that even when you don’t tell people what you’re doing, other people in your life will catch the cleaning-out bug, too.

I shared my purging process and the blog link on facebook, and since then two people have called me out for spreading the clean-out bug. And no, they were not grateful comments. One friend said to me, “I don’t know whether to love you or loathe you,” and the other simply said she blamed me for her purging project. (In my defense, both those ladies had a lot to purge.) Several other people have commented on our various posts about their plans to follow suit or the results of their clean-out.

This weekend my husband and I had a few friends and family members over to celebrate his birthday. He mentioned how my purging project really helped us clean the rest of the house to host people and lots of food. The things we needed out of the way were easily stashed in the closet for the day because there is now so much room in it! A deep clean really does have a butterfly effect!

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