Keep or Toss

When I was a kid I learned this great way of cleaning my room. I mean the heavy-duty overhaul known as Spring Cleaning, although it could happen at any time of year whenever the mood struck. My mom would participate when I was young, and as I got older I learned to go through this process on my own.

Image from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, via

To start, we’d get two grocery bags (wow, they were paper then!), something special to drink (Coke for me, coffee for Mom), and fun music that we both liked (couldn’t go wrong with John Denver). Then we would go through ALL of my belongings with an eye for Keep or Toss.

Nothing was spared–my bookshelves, stuffed animals, desk, closet, bulletin board, boxes of treasures under the bed. I would pick up an item and decide if it would be kept or tossed. If I decided to Keep it, it went back where it came from. if I was finished with it, it went into one of two Toss bags–Give Away or Garbage. My things, my process, my choice; Mom was neutral moral support who kept me in motion. She was also the one who taught me to Keep if I was conflicted, setting it aside and allowing myself time. As I got older I would go through my things myself, and Mom would check in and encourage.

The whole point was to be aware of what “things” we carry, and to choose what we surround ourselves with. If we have items that no longer serve us, perhaps they might serve another and we can move them along that path. If we have habits we no longer want, we can change them and still remain true to ourselves. And if we find our beliefs no longer serve our highest self, we can let them go knowing we will not lose who we are in the outcome. We are safe to let go as we become; we will be supported and held in loving arms of the universe.

Mom would say she was just trying to get rid of clutter. That’s the Twitter version.

If you find you have clutter, either physical or emotional, I encourage you to examine what you are carrying with an eye for Keep or Toss. If you’re conflicted, set it aside and allow yourself time. You are safe.  There’s really no wrong answer, either.  And I have to say I felt great at the end of the day!

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