Spring for me is always the same. Come March, the flowers are blossoming, the birds are chirping, and the grumpy New Yorkers around me are glaring with slightly less menace. Everything is a little brighter and a little warmer. With the feeling of newness wafting in the air, I finally drudge up enough courage to look around at the mess I’ve made all winter long and clean.

Spring cleaning! It always starts so well. But in an hour I’m quite like the Mole in the first page of Kenneth Grahame’s book The Wind in the Willows:

The Mole had been working very hard all the morning, spring cleaning his little home. First with brooms, then with dusters; then on ladders and steps and chairs, with a brush and a pail of whitewash; till he had dust in his throat and eyes, and splashes of whitewash all over his black fur, and an aching back and weary arms. Spring was moving in the air above and in the earth below and around him, penetrating even his dark and lowly little house with its spirit of divine discontent and longing. It was small wonder, then, that he suddenly flung down his brush on the floor, said ‘Bother!’ and ‘O blow!’ and also ‘Hang spring-cleaning!’ and bolted out of the house without even waiting to put on his coat.

Something tells me I’m not alone in this. There’s something about cleaning that’s so dreary, so difficult, so bothersome. Which is why Tricycle has decided to call in the experts on this one: Andrew Mellen, a professional organizer and author of the book UnStuff Your Life. You might recognize his name from our Spring 2012 issue, which featured an article by him about how we can use Buddhist ideas to clear out our physical clutter. 

But sometimes even the most Buddhist of Buddhists needs a little help cleaning, which is why Mellen came to my apartment last week to show me just how the “most organized man in America” gets his organization on. Best part is, we filmed the whole thing—the video will be here on the Tricycle blog next week—so check back to watch what happens after Mellen works his magic on a desk this tragically messy…

In the meantime, enjoy our Tricycle Talk with Mellen, available below!

Get Daily Dharma in your email

Start your day with a fresh perspective

a photo of a Buddhist meditating
Explore timeless teachings through modern methods.

With Stephen Batchelor, Sharon Salzberg, Andrew Olendzki, and more

See Our Courses

Thank you for subscribing to Tricycle! As a nonprofit, to keep Buddhist teachings and practices widely available.

This article is only for Subscribers!

Subscribe now to read this article and get immediate access to everything else.

Subscribe Now

Already a subscriber? Log in.