March Madness – To Purge or Not To Purge

“I have sporadic OCD cleaning moments around the house. But then I get lazy and I’m cured. It’s a very inconsistent personality trait.” ~ Chris Hemsworth

Spring Clean

Ahh, it’s finally March!  Spring is around the corner.  Time to purge all the clutter, toxins, burdens, excesses and negativity from your life!

When I used to think of the phrase “Spring Cleaning,” I considered it to mean cleaning my home…only.  You know, moving and vacuuming under heavy furniture, cleaning the ceiling fans, heat and air conditioner vents, wiping out the inside of the refrigerator, freezer and oven, washing windows, etc.  I missed A LOT back then.

Spring cleaning is not only about the items in your home that you don’t either need to or want to clean daily or weekly.  It’s a perfect time to clean out all the things in your LIFE that seem to be “unclean” (for lack of a more appropriate word).  I’ll be going into greater detail with additional blog posts as we get closer to March 20th – the First Day of Spring (in the USA).

I began thinking of several areas in my life that I’d like to begin with, the most obvious being my home.  Take the bathroom for example.  Having a touch of OCD, I tend to keep the bathroom organized without too much on the vanity with the exception of a box of tissues, soap, toothbrush & cup holder and a small decorative basket with daily used items (hairbrush, hand cream, nail file, lip balm, etc.)  Makeup1

I like to keep my make-up, toiletry, hair product drawers and under the sink fairly organized but it’s definitely time to check for expiration dates or unused products here.Makeup2

Toiletries

Products such as suntan lotions, OTC medications and first aid supplies should be checked for expiry dates and condition.  This is also a great time to clean/soak/sanitize your hair and makeup brushes and get a new toothbrush.  The same tip applies to cosmetics. 

Discard worn brushes or sponges, clumpy mascara, old lotions, creams, gels and lipsticks.  Replace as and if necessary.

Next area is my bedroom.  NightTable RWhile my clothes drawers and closets are fairly neat and tidy (thanks to sock, lingerie and jewelry organizers), the 3 drawers on each side of my bed contain items I either rarely use or don’t even know they’re there.  Now is the perfect time to sift through and purge these drawers.  Many of the items are nomads – migrating into the drawers from their original location.

Nighttable L

It was in these drawers some time ago I came across my childhood diary!  Wonder what other goodies lurk inside…

Ooh, I see an old Pacman TV game controller, a halloween wig, manilla envelope with Christmas receipts from 2010…

Onto the kitchen.  I’ll only begin with the pantry that houses my cooking and baking supplies.  Yikes – I’m sure some of these boxes, jars, cans and bottles were purchased way back when for some reason!  Maybe I was in the mood to bake something using Marzipan?  I know it wasn’t this past holiday season…hmmmm…Pantry

Well, at least my spices are pretty fresh and neatly stacked, most in alphabetical order (for convenience).  I’m sure there’s other products lurking in this closet and in the adjoining one (with regular food items) that need to be checked for expiration dates. 

I remember finding some canned goods a  couple of months ago that were bursting at the seams.  Not a good sign! 

Some flour or grain products are stored in the refrigerator for freshness but I’ve seen (on rare occasions) little black “things” in and around an old box of pancake mix or flour.  Time to take everything off the shelves, toss old, expired or otherwise spoiled food items and give the pantry a good scrubbing.  Bet my food will look and taste better afterward!

Over the next few days and weeks, I’ll be tackling other “Spring Cleaning” aspects, not only within my home but concerning LIFE in general.  Purging clutter is good for the mind, body and spirit and is extremely liberating.  Here I go kids … ’till next time…

“When you have cleared all of your clutter, you can be of greater service to those around you.” ~ Michael B. Kitson

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A Task Without Vision is the Ultimate Drudgery

I just spent a significant part of my day collecting voluminous lists of website addresses I’ve accumulated since I first went online in the mid-nineties, which were hastily tucked into several folders.  It’s amazing I’m not in a strait-jacket right now. 

 The thought of having to sift through every one of them is terrifying; there must be well over 200 sites on the list.  I’m hoping a good portion of them are obsolete.  But now I have the painstaking task of verifying each site with the email address and password originally assigned.

 This will be a lengthy task but it has to be done. Can I possibly be the only one who has subscribed to countless education, business, marketing, health, cooking, decorating, fitness, craft, holiday, family, parenting, travel, gardening, fashion, social media and entrepreneurship websites?  Once my edited list is complete and neatly tabulated into a form I can pin up in front of my computer screen for easy access (or written in a book), I can FINALLY, after all these years, sit back in my cozy leather chair and r-e-l-a-x; another dreaded chore involving paperwork is complete!

 My other mission is to determine just how many personal e-mail addresses I have.  When reviewing the address list, I noticed countless e-mail addresses in AOL, Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo and Optonline.  I can’t wait to eliminate and condense this list which brings me to the ultimate question,

 how did this incredible mess get so out of control?

 Like a tiny little blemish that festers and mushrooms into a huge, massive cyst (OMG, the thought…UGH!), subscribing to websites became a horribly insidious addiction.  Do you think there are any 12-Step programs for internet or texting addicts?  If not, maybe there should be.

Actually, I don’t think I’m that bad…haha, famous last words.  

Seriously, I did not freak out when we lost power, landline and cellphone service during the recent storms but I know people who did.  Strange yet not unusual that most of them were teenagers or young adults.  Business people, on the other hand, always know where to go to get their website/e-mail fix.  After all, it’s their livelihood at stake.

 Soon, it will be time for me to do another happy dance.  Two major feats soon to be accomplished; another 50 or so to go!  Rome wasn’t built in a day and my assignments won’t be finished today either, however I’m pleased I’m making a huge dent.  I like the feeling of “aaahhhh” – it’s very satisfying.

 “The best angle from which to approach any problem is the try-angle.” ~ Author Unknown

“There is no rest for the weary .” Prov

Another of my father’s favorite quotes…

It’s November; the weather was unusually mild and Thanksgiving is only 11 days away.  What happened to August?  It seems as though yesterday we were driving our daughter to college and now I’m scheduling her trip home for the winter holidays.  Did the days always fly by this quickly or am I only beginning to notice it as I grow older?

The phrase “grow older” doesn’t agree with me.  As far as I’m concerned, I’m still in my early thirties raring to go.  Actually, when I was about 42, I was in the best shape of my life; lean and mean.  I am trying to stay on the right path as far as nutrition and physical exercise are concerned but now it seems like such a chore.  What happened to all the fun I used to have raking leaves, shoveling show, trimming shrubs and bushes, painting, decorating and cleaning?  I suppose I’m in a new life cycle, or so I’ve heard.

Today was a busy one for me, which is always a good thing.  While my husband was cleaning up debris from the yard and blowing leaves, I helped by clearing out our pond, trimming bushes and cleaning up the flower beds.  When I paused to prepare lunch, I decided I’d bring all the Halloween storage bins that had yet to be put away, back up into the attic by myself.  It wasn’t that I minded so much, lifting all the boxes up the narrow stairs to the attic, what concerned me was I felt I had no arm strength.  This was the first time I ever felt weak and I didn’t like it.

I can still lift the 42 lb. package of cat litter fairly easily.  I carried the heavy Halloween props in and out of the house and onto the lawn by myself.  Yet I had trouble lifting the boxes up into the attic.  It occurred to me that I need to incorporate a lot more strength training in my workout routine.

After the boxes were stacked in the attic, I figured, since I was already up there, I may as well bring down some Christmas lighting.  The weather was calm and my Christmas decorating usually begins in a couple of weeks anyway, so what the heck.  I managed to put up several strands of lights around our garage and a couple of trees as well as assemble our outdoor music light show.  All the lights worked however I won’t be turning any of them on until the weekend after Thanksgiving.  It felt good to get some of them up before the colder weather sets in.

Between doing yard work, decorating and cleaning, I feel I got a lot accomplished today.  The first day of my Low Cholesterol meal plan is going well:  ½ Grapefruit, ½ English muffin with lowfat spread and tea for breakfast, lowfat yogurt, banana and walnuts for lunch and a large salad with 2 hardboiled egg whites and lowfat dressing for dinner was pretty satisfying.  My husband had somewhat more substantial meals today: Oatmeal w/skim milk, yogurt, melon, turkey sandwich, baked flounder with LF/LC dressing, brown rice and green beans were on his menu.  Not too bad for the first day. 

The box-lifting incident motivated me and I think I’ll change up my exercise routine tomorrow.  I still can’t believe Thanksgiving is around the corner and Christmas right on its tail.  There is still so much work I would like to finish before mid-December including the traditional decorating, baking, shopping, gift wrapping and writing cards.  I’d really like to have the foyer painted before my daughter comes home to make it more welcoming.  I just wish sometimes, there were more than 24 hours in a day. 

I have to say that I am satisfied with what I accomplished today.  It’s now time to relax for the remainder of the evening.  Fuzzy slippers, green tea and two soft furballs on my lap sounds like a plan.  I am surely blessed.

“Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop.” ~ Ovid