Winter cleaning

Maybe it's my small apartment; maybe it's the way baby items have overtaken my living room, my nightstand, my office...whatever it is, I've become ruthless about getting rid of Stuff.

Most of 2015's bloodletting has been focused on clothes. I had a lot to get rid of or store away, post-baby. But something else happened too: my style changed when my body changed. I went back to work in the late winter and every day I hated my outfit, even if it had been a staple the year before. Bags of clothes piled up. Every weekend felt like a trunk show. I didn't know how I was supposed to dress anymore. Working mom? Brooklynite? Woman-displeased-with-her-body? (How original, I know.)

So I shopped, and returned things, and cleaned things, and shopped some more. I tried on old things and new things and have been working on figuring out what feels like me, now. I just did my final ("final," ha) sorting last week, though that was just of my closet--not my dresser--which generated three more bags of clothes. A friend came over and picked through, took what she wanted.

Now, with the new year here, I'm thinking even more about what to clean, to parse through, to consider. I scan my shelves and realize even some of the books I wouldn't imagine getting rid of just two years ago have lost their importance. This week alone I've decided to sort through my overflowing jewelry box and the mess under the bathroom sink. (Do I need three hair straighteners, considering I don't straighten my hair anymore?)

After I had the baby, I started to feel like the walls of my apartment were closing in on me. We have a homey, love-filled place but when there's more than three people in it it can feel stifling. I want clean lines, the perception of space. I want to come home from a weekend away and not discover all the empty jewelry boxes I keep next to my earrings (why? Why do I keep empty boxes?) have fallen to the floor in a gust of winter wind from the window I left open because the heat in our building is always too high.

Tomorrow is the last day of 2015, a strange year if there ever was one, and I will eat a delicious crab feast with my husband and pop open some champagne but I'll also be thinking of consolidation, of things I don't need anymore. Of how I can focus all of my apartment cleaning into mental clarity, into goal setting, into continuing to build a life I'm proud of. 

Further reading, if you want it: I like this Refinery 29 slideshow (uh, I know, sorry) on a New Year's Pagan Cleansing Ritual.

Happy 2016!