Sunday Detox: Imperfect Spring Cleaning

I tend to have an all or nothing approach to the world.  There are many things that I don’t do, but if I choose to take something on, I work as hard as I can to do it really well.  Most times, this serves me really well – both professionally and personally.  I’m selective in what I say yes to and then bring my best to whatever I’m doing.  There is a shadow side to this go big or go home trait, though.  It pops up every once in a while (read: every other day or so) and makes activities or opportunities that come my way all-consuming when they don’t have to be.

Spring cleaning is one of those activities.  I tend to wait until I have a full weekend to just stay home and overturn every nook and cranny, clean every corner of every shelf and fill multiple garbage bags with clothes to be donated.  Once I dive in, I have a hard time coming up for air or settling for any part of that task that’s partially done.

But for a few weeks, this has been staring at me:

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We’re hurting for closet space in our condo (along with the other 2.6 Million people that live in Brooklyn), and my bedroom closet tends to get cluttered pretty quickly.  This disaster has slowly been building up, and I’ve been waiting for my annual spring cleaning event (nightmare) to really tackle it.

But this morning, with an hour to spare between getting home from the gym and heading out to Manhattan to catch a show, I decided to do it – half way.  I knew I wouldn’t have the time to do it exactly in the way I wanted, but I was sick of having the first thing I saw in the morning be a messy closet.  I threw myself into the closet and started flinging out shoes, hair dryers, broken hangers (32…seriously), and clothes that I haven’t worn in a year.  Since I only had an hour, I made quick decisions about what I was keeping and tossing (R.I.P. teal heels that never quite fit and my old 5K jersey).  I repurposed my suitcases for extra storage to hide eye sores like hiking boots and travel toiletries.

What didn’t I do?  I didn’t dust the shelves.  I didn’t mop the floor.  I didn’t take the scuff marks off of the wall.  I didn’t neatly refold the sheets on the top shelf.  I didn’t go through the box of winter hats, gloves and scarves and throw away mismatches.  I didn’t organize the toilettries (there are SO many half bottles and THEY NEED TO BE COMBINED).


But in an hour, I got the closet to something that I’ll be excited to see in the morning, something manageable and clean.  And not perfect.  All of those things that I didn’t do will be there for me when I have another quick hour.  And, if I keep this up, I might be able to reclaim that spring cleaning weekend for something much more fun.


It was so refreshing to tackle this in a way that I would usually consider half-assing it and end up with a result that felt just as good.

Well, almost just as good.  I’m still thinking about those toiletries.

I’m getting there.



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