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Rightsizing and Renewal

Barbara Z. Perman, Ph.D.

The sap has run its course, crocuses and daffodils are bursting into bloom, and we are bursting out of our houses to enjoy the outdoor world! At the same time our homes are bursting with all the stuff we have accumulated over the long hard winter. Boots, hats, scarves, salt, sand, indoor entertainment stuff and the like are all piled up. It's time to actively clean up and clean out. Some things no longer fit and others are worn out. I have a purple winter coat that I have worn for 15 winters and is full of cozy memories. It has been repaired over and over and finally, it is time to get rid of it. Parting with things is easier if we realize a hidden principle: new things come our way when we part with old ones. "Clearing out makes room for new life" is a universal principle that I have discovered through our work at Moving Mentor.

It's also true that giving everyday things a new look helps us see them in a new way. I can remember my grandmother moving the furniture in her house each spring to clean underneath and behind each piece! She would then put slipcovers on the furniture for the summer. Everything had a new, fresh look.

If spring cleaning doesn't have the appeal it once had, perhaps using the word rightsizing is more engaging. Rightsizing is about taking stock of where you are in life right here and now, and determining how your possessions and patterns contribute to that present state. It is about paying attention to the things that are around you at this moment, to the things you use and don't use and keeping the things that really serve you physically and/or emotionally.

(Of course there's also giving yourself permission to put away some precious things to be enjoyed by family members and friends later on in time.)

As we go through the rest of April with its rainy days, let's use the indoor time to rightsize. That way we're adding to our own lives the sense of renewal that comes with this spring season.