31 days of soulful cleansing

by rebecca on October 2, 2012

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31 days. Of Soulful Cleansing.

31 small bites dedicated to less clutter. More soul.

To read the reason for my 31-day adventure, scroll down. Otherwise, click on a topic that interests you and follow along as I deepen my soulful understanding while clearing out the clutter.

day 2:  what cleaning out my silverware drawer has to do with saving my marriage.

day 3: how a crumpled poem taught me I don’t have to save everything to keep it.

day 4: find someone who needs what you have and it is easy to let go.

day 5: is your clutter waking you up at night?

day 6: the soulful cleanse of simple pleasures.

day 7: how to keep your kitchen clean.

day 8: how finding what I really wanted made cleaning and connecting come together.

day 9: how having multiple bags helps me stayed organized and get out the door faster.

day 10: 43 folders and the perfect, pretty inbox bring sanity to a plethora of post-it notes.

day 11: why rewarding yourself is good for momentum.

day 12: how brain clutter keeps me distracted from those I love and how taking a walk fixes it.

day 13: Cleaning, connecting and grief.

day 14: rest: why a lifestyle is more important than a checklist.

day 15: lower your expectations and get more done.

day 16: how lip balm helps me relax into cleaning.

day 17: become a detective of your patterns so you know where to be effective.

day 18: identify the people who can help you, grow stronger and more soulful.

day 19: why tiny rewards will put fuel in your tank to get things done.

day 20: my plan * do * review philosophy and why it helps me decipher what’s most important each week.

day 21: what Gandhi has to do with cleaning toilets.

day 22: why falling apart will help you keep a consistently clean home.

day 23: how to reduce clutter 15 minutes at a time.

day 24: waking up at 3am, dealing with my controlling nature finding a way to handle oil changes and other invisible cluttery things that clog my brain.

day 25:  do you do chores once a week or a little each day?

day 26: why embracing your true nature will help you clear your clutter faster.

day 27:  how and when to let go of sentimental treasures.

day 28:  do you have 17 bottles of salad dressing in your pantry? You can do more with less.

day 29:  get outside to help clear your indoor clutter.

day 30: celebrate your success to improve momentum.

day 31: I want both: clean counters and the ability to go to bed when I’m tired; Oreos and green smoothies.

Why more soul?

I have had multiple surges in my life when the house got spiffed up. These were inevitably followed by a slow degradation to mess. The same papers piled up. The same stack of dishes littered the counter of my kitchen.

Each time I surged forward into a clean space I vowed to stay above water with my new tidy ways.  Each time, as I slipped back into piles of clutter, I slunk deeper into a pit of despair, certain I was the worst kind of loser.

I have discovered that lasting change comes not in warring with my inner nature, but in befriending it. When I can become a detective of my innermost soul and connect to the reason for my mess, something shifts and lasting change is not far behind.

Do you clean the closet only to find yourself buried in hangers and heaps of clothes a year later? Are you better at setting up systems or tending them? Does a walk at the beach refresh your soul like it does mine?

 I leaned in when my blogging friend Shannon told me about this project The Nester was putting together. Last year more than 700 people got ideas focused for 31 days.


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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

dottie October 2, 2012 at 8:46 pm

I am so on this same track right now. I have a house full of collectibles, from depression glass to scrapbooking supllies to jewelry making supplies. It’s all very neatly stored and labled, so not really clutter, but I feel a real need to simplify my life now. I have dreams of getting in my car and just driving away from all of it, starting over with just the clothes on my back. I won’t do it of course, too much love and family around me, but I am determined to clean, clear and simplify.


BigLittleWolf October 26, 2012 at 11:39 pm

I love the idea of less clutter, more soul.

But I flunk.

I have tried for years. Years. I make small in-roads, then very quickly slip back because of my unrelenting work schedule and subsequent (lack of) energy.

Everything is poured into each day’s writing / buck-generating / loving tasks. There’s nothing left over.

(Where’s Hazel???)



rebecca October 27, 2012 at 4:49 pm

Sigh. Oh do I get this, BLW. This is precisely how I felt when all I could do each day was put away my reading glasses. My brain kept saying, “Are you CRAZY???! We have GIANT messes here! We need to do MAJOR things!!!” But the only thing I could manage was to put my reading glasses away. My clutter was a signal to me that the single person I WASN’T loving was me. I wasn’t keeping promises to myself. I’d surge one day, but become so exhausted, I’d fall apart the next 8.

So, I put away my glasses. It was the only promise I could manage to keep each day. Check out day 15. By having this LOW expectation, loving myself and keeping an insanely easy promise to myself I managed to reduce clutter over 2 years.

My house is by no means perfect. I don’t aim for that. It would drive me crazy. I ask myself each day what is the gentle way? This has changed so much for me, because I used to DRIVE myself.

BLW, you who give so generously to the world, I hope you will give generously to yourself.


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