I am responsible for a lot at my job. Because I have worked for the same company for 11 years I have a lot of knowledge about the different departments, their processes and how they have evolved over time. Because of this knowledge a lot of people lean on me to move a significant amount of paperwork through a highly detailed system. It’s great job security, but it sort of stinks when I try to take vacations – everyone starts to panic.
One of the things that I credit for allowing me to do so much work are my organizational and cleaning skills. It sounds counter intuitive, but if you spend regular amounts of time to keep your desk clean and orderly and have a good organization in place, you will spend more time doing actual work and less time trying to find things you need in order to do that work.
Let me be clear though. I’m not talking about just keeping my area straightened up and throwing all of your pens and pencils in a cup. There is a little more to it than that. Cleaning and organization go hand and hand. I first organize my space by putting things I use the most closer to where I sit and put things that I don’t use as much further way. I have a created a color folder system for different projects I am a part of. I have multiple ‘cheat sheets’ on my wall with the most recent information that I need to remember listed. And I regularly schedule cleanings of my office in order that everything stays in its proper spot. (For more information about my strategy, check out the 5S process – this was something I was trained to teach years ago and it has been a HUGE benefit.)
So while doing my scheduled cleaning of my work area this morning, I was struck by a couple of realizations. First, I didn’t realize that when you spill coffee on your desk, it really gets EVERYWHERE and you will end up finding stains weeks later. Second, eating paczkis at your desk creates a bigger mess than you will ever expect (for those of you who don’t know what a paczki is, I’m sorry. Here is some information about them. I highly recommend finding one post haste.)
And finally, I realized that the same principles I am using here could to my spiritual work.
I have already posted about how 2016 is going to be the year of work. And if January is any indication, there is going to be a lot of energy moving through things this year. That means a lot of intense spell work, a lot of intense rituals and ceremonies and a lot of opportunity for growth. But in order to grow, we need to be able to get rid of things that don’t work for us.
And that’s where the cleaning can be a big benefit.
You don’t have to be trained in 5S to make a difference in your spiritual work. Any little bit of cleaning can go a long way to helping you move forward. Here are some tips to get you started:
- Make up a special cleaner to clean your altars and areas where your magical items are stored. I like to use a more natural cleaner for this task. Another option is making one of your own with vinegar, water and essential oils to your liking.
- If you are like me, your altars slowly gain items over time. However, some of those items may not be needed anymore and can be taken off. Now is the time to speak with whom the altar is for and see if things should be removed.
- Go through your stones, jewelry and anything else that holds any magical energy for you. While you are cleaning, ‘check in’ with each item. Is it still of value to you? Does it need physical or spiritual maintenance? Is it time to allow the item to move on? If you are like me, you may find one or two items that you forgot you had!
- Go through the religious books you have. Is the pagan prayer book you have still beneficial? What about the books on a specific type of magic? Are they worth having around for reference, or do you feel compelled to step out of that specific area the book speaks of? If you have books you no longer need, consider donating them to a local group or pagan shop. Our local pagan shop has a book loaning library, perhaps the books could be put to good use at something like that?
- Look through your journals, books of shadow and spiritual writings. Are there things there that need work? Is there a topic you want more information about? Are there things that don’t fit anymore and should be thrown away (or perhaps more properly – burned)? Perhaps now is the time to start thinking about scheduling time to do some more research, or start a new endeavor.
One of the biggest tenants of 5S is “sustain”. You really don’t want to do all of this work and let it go back to being unorganized, do you? After you do a big cleaning, consider scheduling time every month for a good dusting in your Magical areas. It really helps keep the energy of the house flowing, and allows you to see things that may need more attention. I find the house spirits also greatly appreciate it.
Let me know how your spring cleaning goes!
Photo above from Deviant Art