Making Room (January Theme)

by Naomi Kinsman

I spent all day on Sunday emptying each drawer and cabinet in the kitchen, cleaning, recycling what I could, donating what wasn't needed, and putting only the essentials back.

Across the room, my husband was watching football, wondering what in the heck I was doing. Which got me to wondering: What was I doing? Somehow, I'd spontaneously decided that organizing the kitchen was the top item on my to-do list, more important even than kicking up my feet and taking a break. Our kitchen wasn't a disaster or anything. Why the urgency?

About halfway through, I noticed my mind settling. I hadn't even realized it was out of sorts. I have a million things on my plate, old projects, in-process projects, and with the start of the new year, a number of new projects. Thoughts and ideas and inspiration were all rattling around in my brain needing to be sorted, decided on, and reordered. I was physically doing in my kitchen what I had no ability to do in my own head.

On Monday morning, I woke up refreshed, ready to tackle my life again. As adults, we don't have the hard start beginnings that we had as kids. Even the start of the school year or start of the calendar year doesn't bring the kind of brand new start that they used to. We aren't in a new class with a new teacher and a new set of assignments, having finished everything before we left on summer break. We have to find the way to open the doorway to new beginnings that happen in rolling waves, and usually without having completely finished all that came before. No wonder we have a million thoughts rattling around in our brains.

What we need is something tangible that we can do to establish order. Cleaning the kitchen, or the closet or our desk is not just procrastination. In a way, we're cajoling our subconscious, encouraging our minds to take note and follow suit. Clear the clutter, in whatever way you can, and make room for some new beginnings! Take it from me, it's such a relief and a huge breath of fresh air.


  1. I completely relate to this, Naomi. I find that I clean EVERYTHING as I get ready to copyedit (clean) one of my manuscripts.

  2. I go on major cleaning sprees when facing a big deadline, when beginning a new book, or a bringing a final revision to an end. I had never quite put my finger on WHY, but I think you're right — it's about clearing the clutter in my mind, too. Thanks!

  3. Just one more closet, and then on to the manuscript!


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