How a Dreaded Day of Cleaning Surprised Me in the Best Way
I've lived in the same apartment for three years, so, as you can imagine, things have piled up over time.
I'm blessed to have a job that gives me access to a ton of new products I wouldn't have at my fingertips otherwise—and I'm equally blessed to have massive closets that store these wonderful items. That said, these storage spaces have been in major need of some deep cleaning for some time.
I'm a spiritual person, and I think that when you get rid of stuff, you're not just getting rid of the tangible items, but also the heaps of piled up energy over time. Your own energy (for better or worse) that's accumulated over phases in your life, the energy of people in your life (past and present), and just general vibes in the air (gosh, that sounds deep). But given all that, I can't go through one of these energetic detoxes at just any old time. So that whole "spring cleaning" thing—yeah, not gonna happen.
I'm the biggest fall person and always have been, and there's no better time of year for recharge and rebirth than those three months of the year. I told myself for months leading up to September that I'd finally buckle down and do this deep cleaning and purging that I've been meaning to do for what feels like forever. So I finally set a date and that was it. It was all happening. I was a little stressed because taking on a huge cleaning, declutter project usually means things only get worse before they get better. But ultimately, I knew the end result would be satisfying, so I got myself into the right mindset.
(Clueless via Paramount Pictures)
I started my Saturday morning with a workout, and then a very quick breakfast with a friend, followed by swooping up some celery juice and then a jolly walk back home to get down and dirty (literally). I felt empowered and ready to take on whatever the day brought my way—or so I thought…
On my walk home, I ran into a couple of brunch-bound friends. It was slightly uncomfortable because they were off to meet a handful of people and they didn't include me in the original invite. "We heard you were doing stuff around the house all weekend," one of them said. "But, umm, you should come!" Awkward. Perks of living in an area where everyone knows everyone, amirite? I faked a smile and did the whole, "Oh, gosh, so much to do! Have fun though!" While it wasn't the end of the world, it totally threw off my equilibrium.
I got inside my apartment and sat on my bed, contemplating my next move. I can either nap, wake up bummed-out and continue procrastinating, or I can shower, brew some coffee and just dive on into the task at hand. I chose the latter and got down to business.
Not gonna sugarcoat it—it sucked. I immediately pulled out a slew of unused throw pillows that needed to be tossed. Then there were stacks and stacks of papers, and an endless array of tote bags that once carried swag. There were boxes upon boxes of who knows what! It was a disaster, to put things mildly. And in the back of my head, I was thinking about this stupid brunch and wondering who was there. Added bonus? It was 93 degrees outside, my least-liked weather conditions.
Finally, as more lost items began to reveal themselves, I decided to post a few findings on Instagram Story for kicks. Everything showed up, from my old Season 1 DVD set of The Hills to a ton of photos memorializing my really, really bad hair and style days to CDs that people made for me back in the day (#RIP) to a calendar I made as a joke for a friend's 25th birthday to a huge bag filled with La Croix merch and pretty much anything else you can think of. You may as well have called me Mary Poppins. It was wild, and my Story posts began to get engagement.
The more I uncovered, the more I posted. Some of the posts were especially nostalgic—others were simply silly. Either way, they got a rise out of people. I posted polls, I posted freebie giveaways, I posted my progress and asked people how they thought I was doing. And, suddenly, slowly but surely, I didn't feel alone or unmotivated at all! It was, honestly—dare I say it?—fun! And people were having fun right there with me.
Before I knew it, it was midnight, and I'd started around 1 p.m. (with obvious internet breaks). And while I had an entirely new closet to dive into the next day (see below), I felt really good about all my progress, and know that I never would have been able to get through it without my interactive experience. The whole thing made me completely forget about my earlier run-in, and I went to bed feeling light and positive.
Lesson learned: This is how a day of cleaning should be done!
Remember what I said about cleansing my apartment's energy? Well, HERE's the best way for you to do it, based on your zodiac sign!