Apr 242013
One Cupboard : Before and After

One Cupboard : Before and After

Organize your closet and dust out your mind

This week I’m rearranging and cleaning kitchen cupboards. It’s got me thinking about habit, change, accomplishment, and creativity.

I’m not exactly sure what motivated me to tackle the cupboards now. Perhaps it’s a spring cleaning bug. Although spring is slow in coming in this part of the world and I don’t really do the spring cleaning thing.

Perhaps it’s a result of having spent the last four months away from my home at a vacation rental. We adjusted to things being stored in different places. Some storage locations didn’t make sense. Then I came home and decided some of the storage locations in my own house didn’t make sense either.

Whatever the motivation, I’m now in the midst of it. I’ve discarded things I no longer use or need and, I’m embarrassed to admit, food that should have been thrown out months, if not years, ago. It is freeing to dispose of that which is no longer useful. I’m also re-discovering things I’d like to use but never do because they are too far hidden away. It is exciting to think about making a cup of cappuccino again, once I find the instructions.

I feel a sense of accomplishment looking at the order on the shelves. Many things we work on in life take months or years to come to fruition and even then the outcome may not be obvious. It is satisfying to have a visible proof of success in such a short time. And know there is a small piece of our world we can control.

With cupboards more orderly and logical I think more clearly. When I was in university I often cleaned closets at exam time. I’ve always thought it was an avoidance technique. But maybe there was more to it than that. Maybe there is a connection between getting rid of the clutter in your closet and clearing the cobwebs in your mind. In between cleaning bouts I am working on a story. This particular story, which started out well, had stalled and proved difficult to move forward. Now the writing is flowing.

An adjustment period lies ahead. It’s been years since I moved the cutlery and sometimes we still reach for the wrong drawer. It may take time but we will adapt. And change, however simple, however small, can lead to new ways of thinking and doing.

If you are feeling restless, down, stuck, afraid of taking the next step or powerless, maybe you should organize a closet, cupboard or drawer. You may be re-energized and have a new idea or two. At the very least you’ll have restored order to some small part of your life.

As always, I welcome your thoughts and comments.

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