I have to give my friend Leyla credit for inspiring me to start Spring cleaning a little early. We were chatting over coffee about the book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up I had heard of the book but hadn't really spoken to anyone that had read it or used the method. I was intrigued. During the colder moments of January and February, I worked on purging things I no longer needed around the apartment. To be quite honest the best way to read this book is to "listen" to it. Hear me out. There is a lot of repetition in the book the method is simple but it's getting the idea in your head to take action. I bought the book on audible and listened to it as I cleaned. This way I could put the method right into action. Here is how I did. I may not be her best student but..
For years I lived as a nomad. I moved back and forth from Paris to Chicago/Miami for three years. I had two main suitcases. One my sister likes to call "big red" it is larger than any other suitcase I have used and you can fit so much inside. The times that I moved places for months at a time this was essential. The part of being a nomad that I enjoyed is that you could never collect "things" there would always be something stopping me thinking that it wouldn't fit in my suitcase or how could I possibly get that "home" When I finally made the big move back to Chicago I brought two suitcases big red and another one filled with clothes and other items. I traveled light.
I moved back to Chicago with those same two suitcases. I had a storage space full of furniture from my last apartment. The plan was to move for three months but it turned into three years. I came home a very different person. I took the bed/mattress out of storage and I donated the rest. I threw away the key the very same day I moved. My apartment was two suitcases, a bed, and a yoga mat. I loved those first couples of weeks. I slowly gave in and bought a couch and other furniture to fill the space.
My Paris apartments were lucky to have one closet, my current apartment has four! It was one of the reasons why I chose this apartment. You can imagine fitting two suitcases into four closets was easy. Another thing that is easy is collecting "things" when you actually have space for it. Running a print business and a blog from the same space has really taken over. I could easily move and expand my space but for right now I prefer to keep everything in one small space.
My way of living that fewer was better that I learned while my time in Paris quickly slipped away. I had way more "things" that I wanted. After my talk with Leyla and talking about the book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing I came and starting making piles of things I didn't need or use. The didn't use pile was much bigger than the need pile. The strategy in the book is to do everything at once which I didn't exactly follow. But I still think I got the job done.
Over the last month, I have gotten rid of things I didn't like or need in my space. This has really made me much happier at home and allows me to be more creative. When I am not on the road traveling I work from home. While some enjoy coffee shops I actually can't focus in noisy settings so I write in complete silence.
This past weekend my friend Jess and I met for coffee but we were able to make a quick stop to donate some items which was a huge help since I don't have a car. I took the two suitcases that I moved back to Chicago with and filled them with clothes that I didn't wear anymore. That big red suitcase was in the middle of the room until I took it for donation so I wouldn't put it back in the closet. If you have seen my apartment you would know the big red suitcase clashed with the rest of the decor. It was so nice to have it removed. I came back to my apartment yesterday to a much cleaner space with less clutter. I still have ways to go on cutting back even more of what I own but it's a start. Fewer things mean a clearer space to think and create.
There are a few reasons why I am telling you this. I highly recommend Spring cleaning before the weather turns. I have had a few people ask me how I stay motivated and creative, one of the ways is having a clean and clear environment to work and live. Also, it's not always "things" that need to be thrown out. Toxic friendships and relationships can hold you back from succeeding or accomplishing goals.
If you end of Spring cleaning I would love to know what you tackle first and if this helped you at all. My wish is that I continue to inspire you and motivate to do something good for yourself. You deserve it!
*This post is not sponsored but does include affiliate links that help buy me coffee and croissants in Paris and you all know how much I love my coffee! Merci! xo