Life gets busy, and cleaning and organizing gets pushed aside. Motivation can easily go down in the winter because, when it’s 10 degrees and windy outside, doing anything but sitting under a blanket reading or watching TV just seems like a stupid idea. Between work, family & other relationships, exercising, making dinner, sleeping, and every other responsibility that we have, it’s easy to push cleaning aside, isn’t it?

The hard thing for me, and most people if we’re being honest with ourselves, is that the state of cleanliness and organization we live in tends to have an impact on our mental health. Of course that doesn’t mean you need a perfectly clean and organized house to be healthy. Honestly that’d probably create more stress instead of less stress. However, to some extent we need organization and things not stacked high around us. After an exciting day of watching the Olympic Trials, yesterday was spent attacking some cabinets that haven’t been touched in awhile.

The result? Let’s check out Exhibit A:

I found all of these in my containers cabinet. Jammed in the back. Never used. Yet I continue to collect each old butter container because “i might need it store something.” YIKES! Saving some of them is fine, but EVERY. SINGLE. ONE? Ridiculous. I cleared all of these out and can now open my container cabinet without fearing that something will fall on my head the moment I open it!

Alright, now let’s check out Exhibit B:

Yes, that’s right. That’s 7 bags of trash that I threw out. Some of it was old food (we all have those things that get jammed in the back of the cupboard and are past its expiration date), some were old magazines (does anyone else have a difficult time parting with old mags?), and some of it was a very large stack of junk mail and receipts that have been accumulating on a table. Again, yikes!

While my kitchen feels a bit lighter and more organized, and I don’t have to panic when I open my cupboard anymore, I was also reminded of an important fact- cleaning doesn’t have to be all or nothing. We can attack a cupboard, a drawer, or a room at a time. This makes it more manageable and much more do-able given most individuals’ schedules.

Now it’s your turn: Do you enjoy cleaning, or is it the last thing on your daily or weekly “to do” list? Do you tend to save old containers?