Relieving Cabin Fever and Clutter
During the winter, clutter accumulates in the disguise of puzzles,
games and books, hats, boots and gloves, seen-too-many-times videos
and sentry-like golf clubs standing by the garage door. With spring
on our heels and the outdoors beckoning, it is time to conquer
the clutter that has expanded exponentially since the nights grew
the world people are planning their attack on the annual insidious
wintertime fever that brings on claustrophobia, depression and
boredom. In Fairbanks, Alaska, where temperatures dip to minus
50 degrees, children are gleeful when snow sledding is followed
by snorkeling in the swimming pool and blizzards are so powerful
that Grandma's stove blows sideways. Here by the Bay, these thoughts
make memories of the 1999 blizzard seem as soothing as the fluffy
marshmallow foam oozing over a cup of steamy hot chocolate.
we leave those thoughts in the past and focus on the excitement
of spring, there is a hum of expectation about seeing the first
crocus shoot through the earth or hearing the song of a robin
perched on the low limb of a lilac.
Spring is the season of new beginnings and a time to make room
for opportunities that arrive when the weather warms. Before you
become edgy and irritable about the clutter in your cabin, make
an action plan with your kids, grandkids and neighbors.
To overcome some of the dis-ease, toss out the stacks of yellowed
magazines, dust-coated collectibles and dated clothes in your
wardrobe that remind you of another lifetime. The unsightliness
of clutter undermines your positive thoughts and emotions---and
it costs a lot. It robs you of your energy and takes an enormous
amount of physical time and emotional energy to sort through.
To bring about harmony and balance in your cabin, try using the
ancient Chinese principle of Feng Shui. Feng Shui's rule #1, "Clear
your clutter" is easier said than done. Getting started sometimes
resembles the effort it takes to push a boulder up hill. Here's
a tip. Make two lists. One list contains chores that can be accomplished
in 15 minutes, such as cleaning and repairing the winter sports
equipment before you return it to storage or alphabetizing your
spices, if you must.
A weekend list is filled with projects that require a few hours
of your time and energy. More ambitious chores include organizing
the basement or garage and sorting through your child's unused
toys, deciding together how to put them back in service by giving
them away. Even though the best cabin-fever and clutter-clearing
cures are to stay busy and keep on top of tasks, if you have had
enough of this "activity stuff," you can kick back, listen to
the river and watch the deer go by. Or more to the point, look
across the Bay and wait for a sighting of a lone sailboat. Thoughts
of sunnier climes and times can be had when you crank up some
Buffett, wiggle into your flip flops and mix a frozen concoction---a
sure way to mobilize your thoughts about getting started on clearing
Yarrow is a certified Feng Shui practitioner, consultant, professional speaker, teacher and author who lives in Eastport.