Most people do spring cleaning in the spring. Not me. I nest in the fall. When the leaves start to change colors, something inside triggers my need to declutter, clean, and make things simple again. Living in the midwest, our winters are long and cold. I tidy and clean my home to accommodate my cozy desires for the winter is what’s needed to keep my life simple and sane for the season.
Watching the colorful leaves dance across the yard reflecting glimmers of sunshine, reminds me that in the process of letting go, beautiful beginnings are planted. This releasing process is not always logical. Sometimes, we have to let go of some good, amazing things. Sometimes, it’s an easy thing to set free when we know the growth is coming. Other times, it takes a little more time and intention to process the things we need to relinquish.
These trees drop their leaves to go dormant for a time only to sprout new growth in the spring. I’ve learned to adapt and step into my own cadence of change inline with the seasons. This year, the color changes came late as we enjoyed many warm days well into the fall. I savored the prolonged summer and didn’t give much thought to the pending season of releasing until almost November.
Clean out the Physical Clutter
I prefer to clean closets, the basement, drawers, and bookshelves in the fall. The kids’ closets are sifted through and then stocked with warm clothing. The pantry is cleared out to make room for winter staples. The basement is dusted and cleaned and keepsakes in the crawlspace are interrogated as another season passes without use. Books, my precious treasures, are carefully curated and then given away or sold. (Or tucked away for my children to read someday.)
Clear out the Mental and Emotional Clutter
The decluttering process carries over to other aspects of my life as well. Refocus on what matters this season. I am grateful for this one magnificent life I’ve been given.
By intentionally evaluating the mental and emotional clutter, I can make space for what is important during this season. This is the season of shorter daylight, cozy nights under blankets, more tea, more books, and always more family time. Contemple what needs to be laid dormant in order to flourish into something beautiful in the spring season of life.
By letting go of…
- physical clutter, I clear space for a calm place to create.
- the stress, I can breathe deep and slow my mind for time with God.
- bad relationships, I allow time to invest in those around me who are healthy for me.
- unrealistic expectations of people, I invite opportunity for real connection void of the pressure of performance.
- other’s expectations of me, I can take care of me without guilt.
- what “should be” to allow grace for “what is”, peace will prevail.
In the letting go, we experience a freedom – a hope. Quiet anticipation of what is to come enables us to loosen our grasp and watch God make it beautiful. In the waiting, we can slow down and watch the unhurried process of what growth looks like. Perhaps, if we focus on the deliberate detaching process, we can see the beauty of letting go.