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The Big Purge

Tue Sep 19 2017 | Author: Carol Olmstead
What the feng am I going to do with all this shui?
The Big Purge starts every September when I clear out my red client folders. When I started practicing almost 20 years ago, I "opened" a red folder for each client. Red is the powerful Fire Element that represents wealth, passion, and power, and it felt good to wish these attributes for my clients even before I met them. I long ago began tracking client information electronically, but I continue to create folders for new clients. I do purge older folders annually, wishing each client continued happiness.

This year after clearing my files, I moved on to my two office closets, and that's where the purge became really BIG. my husband and I had been talking about downsizing, so with the cleared-out file drawer and office closets as role models, we started clearing everywhere. Even the dreaded garage. We tackled the inner recesses of the closets, we cleaned the corners of drawers, we attacked the cabinet above the fridge and below the microwave where we stashed all the "stuff" we long ago stopped using. I bought those slim line hangers and organized my closets. Yes, I actually bought hangers. 
We held a yard sale, the first in 14 years (and the last if I have anything to say about it). We were in a constant state of exhaustion from all the bags we took to Goodwill and the consignment shop, and the heavy recycling cans we dragged out to the trash. 
In the midst of our purge we were overwhelmed with the news reports of all the natural disasters throughout the country. It's hard to watch the upheaval of families caused by wildfires, hurricanes, tornadoes, and floods without thinking about what you would take if you had to evacuate.
Our Santa Fe home is surrounded by mountains, so when we first moved here I put together a Wildfire Evacuation List. I hadn't thought about it in years but found it during the big purge. Some things on it were good reminders, like safe deposit key and laptop chargers, but some were so frivolous I was embarrassed they were on the list, particularly one specific brown suede purse. Some were bigger than I would ever bother to take in an emergency, especially a blue glass vase we bought in Seattle, and some were outdated, like "files on the futon in guest room." Huh? The futon has been gone for years, and was it ever a permanent storage place for our most critical files? Then, there was the mysterious "white disk in bedroom." OK, not a clue what that ever was. I threw out the list, with a vow that the new one will be more realistic and practical. 
Some members of our family did have to evacuate during the Florida hurricane. We're grateful they and their homes are all safe. Once things settle down it will be interesting to talk with them about what essentials - and what treasurers - they packed into their cars before they left home, not knowing whether they would ever see their houses again.
I always tell my clients to surround themselves with things that they love, and to get rid of things that they don't like, don't need, or don't use. For me, the timing of the monstrous hurricanes in the middle of my big purge was a wake-up call. How much stuff do we really need to achieve happiness and joy? Email your thoughts and I'll share them in a future post.

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