Jul 3, 2014

Do You Need an Emotional House Cleaning?

I was having dinner with friends last night when one of our friends declared that she needed to move. Her house was in a mess, she was alone and she needed to move to something smaller. She is very reluctant to move because it will mean not only giving up space and possession, it will also means giving up a way of life and so many memories.

Even moving the furniture and
cleaning out the dust
might help!
It was at that point that someone mentioned that she needed to pretend she was moving just so she could clear out and move on with her life. It occurred to me that the concept could be a wonderful move for a person's emotional life as well. In fact, pretend moving is an idea that I could apply to my life in general.

I know keeping what I don't need is selfish. But there are a whole lot more going on here under the surface. Here are a few things that came to mind as I was sitting listening to that dinner conversation:
  • What does hanging onto possessions say about our ability to give up the past?
  • Are there non-tangible things that need to be cleaned out and moved?
  • What happened to a person emotionally when they move things or even put things out of sight?
  • Could it be that visiting the idea of moving frees our mind and allows us to reimagine our lives in a new setting?
Moving house is one of the hardest things we have ever done and I really don't want to do that again very soon. But, using the idea as a starting point for looking at my life in a new way could be valuable. It seems that the spring cleaning that my mother and grandmother were so devoted to was their way of dusting off their lives all those years ago. I still like the idea a lot.



  1. Wow. You read my mind on this one. Even though I plan to stay in this house for another 10 years, decluttering was a lifesaver. I keep what I want to enjoy and get rid of all the old stuff that only clogs the view. I still have "stuff" to go through, but not overwhelming. I too was in the same spot years ago when my parents died leaving all the accumulated junk of years past. There was very little the 5 of us kept. Just a few memories. Although I still have one sister who has boxes from the old house. She's a "collector". So is her hubby. There place is jammed with stuff. Clear the stuff and clear the mind. Such a good post to remind us to do this.

    1. I know what you mean Sandy. After all these years I still find myself wishing that I could let more go. The past is hard to part with and hard to carry. Thank you for your comment.

  2. I would love to clean out our house. My husband, however, wants everything to stay just as it is. So it seems, anyway.

  3. What a great idea! I also get inspired to clean out the clutter- but in small batches. Thinking about it in a different way may help me lighten the load a bit more!

  4. Barb: Let's clean house! I can always tell when my emotional stuff is on overload because I get stuck and there are piles of things all over the place. I can't seem to whittle the piles down not matter what I do. When that happens, it's time to see what's been swept under the rug.

    Free mind, free heart and open acceptance to life as it is have been the wonderful lessons I keep learning over and over since my husband passed about 12 years ago.

    I am a fairly new blogger (about 3 plus months) and I am glad I finally took the time to explore my blog community. I would like to add your blog to my blogroll, with your permission.

    Thanks for your post.

    1. Anyone that wants to add me to their blog list makes me very happy! Welcome to our community Carol. I agree lets clean house...it is a wonderful thing for the mind and soul.

  5. We did a lot more than "emotional house cleaning" in the past 4 months! We got rid of about 1/4 of everything we owned, and then moved to a small town to build an almost off-the-grid home in southern CO. Go learn more about the process of serious down-sizing before you try this at home: http://www.midlifecrisisqueen.com/2014/06/14/important-lesson-moving-experience/

    1. Now you have me very curious Laiura. I willl be visiting your blog post soon...off the grid, WOW!!! Good luck.

  6. I just moved into my new retirement home - the process was excruciating and liberating at the same time. Keeping only what gives pleasure or provides the necessities we sold, gave away and discarded a lot. I wrote a post on Guiltless Giving that captured some of the angst of letting go of the old! Enjoy your blog. http://boomerspotofgold.blogspot.ca/2014/03/guiltless-giving.html

    1. Eileen, I loved the phrase "guiltless giving". It almost seems like an oxymoron but it isn't. I assuaged much of my guilt by passing my most treasured things to children. In fact, as the years go by we seem to be passing those things back and forth. It is very interesting.

  7. Wow, nice idea, I really enthused by reading your blog. I will most use your idea in my daily life.


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