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Spring Fling

Decluttering your life for a refreshed you



Illustration by Carole Hénaff

If you’re like me, along with the stirring of springtime comes the urge to open up the windows and clear out the clutter that’s accumulated over the winter. Make that over the past year—or over the course of many winters, many years. 

Wandering into my home office, I get an instant headache as I survey the bursting bookshelves, overstuffed file cabinets, and piles of folders and papers on every available surface. I’ll deal with it another day.

But that day would never come without the compassionate guidance of master organizer Carole Cline, who looked at my office recently. Her first comment immediately makes me feel better about its sorry, cluttered state. “It’s not so much that your office is messy,” she says. “It’s that your life is bigger than that. You’ve got more creative energy than the space can hold.”

So you mean it’s not my fault that I can’t stay organized? I can stop beating myself up about that?

Yes, Cline assures me. The trick is to clear out old stuff so that you can make room for what’s “hot”—what’s alive and growing right now. 

“First of all, start with the trash, the stuff you’re not attached to. Put that in a pile for the dump. Then look at what you have that might go into recycling, or be taken to Goodwill for someone else to use. Make another pile of that stuff. And then you get into the stuff that you have some attachment to. That’s harder, but I go by the ten-percent philosophy,” she says. “Everyone can give up ten percent, or one in ten, of any category of stuff they have.”

De-cluttering is really about making decisions, Cline says, which can be especially hard when you’re stressed (on deadline to vacate a home, for instance) or going through an emotional transition (after a divorce, say, or going through the accumulated possessions of a deceased parent). “Making decisions is like exercising a muscle,” she says. “The more decisions you make, the more actions you take, the more you start to get into a flow and it becomes less painful, less emotional.”

“The letting go is the hard part,” says Lori Plager. Plager hired Cline to help her pare down the belongings in her four-bedroom house, including two attics, a basement, and a shed filled with all the “stuff” of her now-grown three children. “We worked for two hours once a week for three or four months,” Plager says. “Carole was so good at helping me prioritize what I really needed without getting overwhelmed. Like who really needs ten pairs of black pants when you probably only wear three of them? I was able to give things away to people who could really use them. And when it was all done, I felt so much better.”

It turns out that de-cluttering one’s physical space has a very positive effect on one’s mental space, too. Cline applies her background in the healing arts to her role as an organizer. “After I work with someone—never more than two hours at a time—I have them lie down with an eye pillow, put their feet up, relax, and energetically let go of whatever stuff we’ve begun to purge,” she says. “When we let go of things that are not working for us, our environments will start to nurture us and make vibrant, new creative energy available to us.” 

Sudha Carolyn Lundeen, a wellness coach and yoga teacher who offers workshops at Kripalu in the Berkshires and around the country, agrees. “Carole came in, not judging me but supporting me in sorting through years’ worth of stuff that I had accumulated, in order to make space to create the mental clarity that I needed to work with clients here at home,” she says. “It was miraculous. Once we had cleared up the clutter, it gave me a new sense of grounded spaciousness that allowed me to be more effective in my work.”

Cline was in the process of packing up her own life to move from here to the West Coast. She and her new husband are thinking of joining the tiny-house movement, where her talent for keeping clutter to a minimum will surely come in handy. 

Staying organized is a never-ending project, so I ask Cline: How do you keep stuff from accumulating again?

“Once you start to have more space, you develop a different attitude toward stuff,” she says. “You realize what’s important to you. It doesn’t matter if things are beautiful or full of sentimental value or even if they’re made of gold, they still take up space and prevent us from trying something different, something new.” 


Tips to Stay Organized

  • The 10% rule: Eliminate one item in ten.
  • Start with a half-hour a week of decluttering one small area, like a closet shelf. 
  • Start by getting rid of trash—broken things, stained clothing, old receipts. As you exercise your decision-making muscle, it will become easier to purge stuff.
  • Think altruistically: What might someone else enjoy? 

As you continue to purge in small increments, notice the resulting mental clarity and energetic boost that decluttering gives you. It’s not just about a clearer home, but a clearer mind as well.

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July 2017

Singin' in the Rain is considered the "Greatest Movie Musical of All Time" by many musical theatre critics. This stage version is faithfully and lovingly adapted...

Cost: $45-$60, Group Pricing Available

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Waveny Park
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This is a new children musical in the making. You will be the very first to see it performed.    Dancing Princesses begins with an enchanting mystery for the kingdom to solve - why...

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Robin Hood, with his band of brothers are seeking to rid the land of evil and return hope to the mistreated. It’s a tale that’s been told a thousand...

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Waveny Park
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Who knew? Silvermine Arts Center, in our own backyard, is one of the oldest artist communities in the United States. This summer, Whitney Museum’s David Kiehl curates the 2017...

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There’s a new theatre in the neighborhood, committed to producing ambitious, thought provoking plays and readings. Thrown Stone, the brain child of  co-artistic directors Jason Peck...

Cost: $29-$49

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Each year Stamford Downtown hosts a distinguished outdoor sculpture exhibit designed to attract both local and regional audiences. Art in Public Places Outdoor Sculpture exhibit features sculptures...

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Experience the joy of setting sail and shutting off the engine as we sail through Long Island Sound. Sit back and relax or take a turn at the helm, the choice is yours. Sails depart from...

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Singin' in the Rain is considered the "Greatest Movie Musical of All Time" by many musical theatre critics. This stage version is faithfully and lovingly adapted...

Cost: $45-$60, Group Pricing Available

Where:
Waveny Park
11 Farm Road
New Canaan, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

This is a new children musical in the making. You will be the very first to see it performed.    Dancing Princesses begins with an enchanting mystery for the kingdom to solve - why...

Cost: $22.00 - $150.00

Where:
Waveny Park
11 Farm Road
New Canaan, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Robin Hood, with his band of brothers are seeking to rid the land of evil and return hope to the mistreated. It’s a tale that’s been told a thousand...

Cost: $22.00 - $150.00

Where:
Waveny Park
11 Farm Road
New Canaan, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Who knew? Silvermine Arts Center, in our own backyard, is one of the oldest artist communities in the United States. This summer, Whitney Museum’s David Kiehl curates the 2017...

Where:
Silvermine Arts Center
1037 Silvermine Road
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Website »

More information

There’s a new theatre in the neighborhood, committed to producing ambitious, thought provoking plays and readings. Thrown Stone, the brain child of  co-artistic directors Jason Peck...

Cost: $29-$49

Where:
Ridgefield Conservatory of Dance
440 Main Street
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Website »

More information

Each year Stamford Downtown hosts a distinguished outdoor sculpture exhibit designed to attract both local and regional audiences. Art in Public Places Outdoor Sculpture exhibit features sculptures...

Cost: Free

Where:
Stamford Downtown
, CT


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“From A Student Perspective” presents selected art from about 20 students from NCC’s Studio Arts, Graphic Design and Architecture Department. The work is in a variety of media...

Cost: free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Maritime Garage Gallery
Website »

More information

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Show Less...

Singin' in the Rain is considered the "Greatest Movie Musical of All Time" by many musical theatre critics. This stage version is faithfully and lovingly adapted...

Cost: $45-$60, Group Pricing Available

Where:
Waveny Park
11 Farm Road
New Canaan, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

This is a new children musical in the making. You will be the very first to see it performed.    Dancing Princesses begins with an enchanting mystery for the kingdom to solve - why...

Cost: $22.00 - $150.00

Where:
Waveny Park
11 Farm Road
New Canaan, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Robin Hood, with his band of brothers are seeking to rid the land of evil and return hope to the mistreated. It’s a tale that’s been told a thousand...

Cost: $22.00 - $150.00

Where:
Waveny Park
11 Farm Road
New Canaan, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Who knew? Silvermine Arts Center, in our own backyard, is one of the oldest artist communities in the United States. This summer, Whitney Museum’s David Kiehl curates the 2017...

Where:
Silvermine Arts Center
1037 Silvermine Road
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Website »

More information

There’s a new theatre in the neighborhood, committed to producing ambitious, thought provoking plays and readings. Thrown Stone, the brain child of  co-artistic directors Jason Peck...

Cost: $29-$49

Where:
Ridgefield Conservatory of Dance
440 Main Street
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Website »

More information

Each year Stamford Downtown hosts a distinguished outdoor sculpture exhibit designed to attract both local and regional audiences. Art in Public Places Outdoor Sculpture exhibit features sculptures...

Cost: Free

Where:
Stamford Downtown
, CT


Website »

More information

“From A Student Perspective” presents selected art from about 20 students from NCC’s Studio Arts, Graphic Design and Architecture Department. The work is in a variety of media...

Cost: free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Maritime Garage Gallery
Website »

More information

New Yorker Shorts Back by popular demand! Professional book discussion leader Susan Boyar will discuss five short stories published in The New Yorker magazine over five...

Cost: Free

Where:
Rimer Room at Wilton Library
137 Old Ridgefield Rd
Wilton, CT  06897
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Telephone: 203-762-6334
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Hailed by the New York Times as “terrific”, The Calpulli Mexican Dance Company celebrates the rich diversity of Mexican and Mexican-American cultural heritage. With an evening...

Cost: Adult $10, Child $5

Where:
Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts
149 Girdle Ridge Road
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »


Website »

More information

Singin' in the Rain is considered the "Greatest Movie Musical of All Time" by many musical theatre critics. This stage version is faithfully and lovingly adapted...

Cost: $45-$60, Group Pricing Available

Where:
Waveny Park
11 Farm Road
New Canaan, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

This is a new children musical in the making. You will be the very first to see it performed.    Dancing Princesses begins with an enchanting mystery for the kingdom to solve - why...

Cost: $22.00 - $150.00

Where:
Waveny Park
11 Farm Road
New Canaan, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Robin Hood, with his band of brothers are seeking to rid the land of evil and return hope to the mistreated. It’s a tale that’s been told a thousand...

Cost: $22.00 - $150.00

Where:
Waveny Park
11 Farm Road
New Canaan, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Who knew? Silvermine Arts Center, in our own backyard, is one of the oldest artist communities in the United States. This summer, Whitney Museum’s David Kiehl curates the 2017...

Where:
Silvermine Arts Center
1037 Silvermine Road
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Website »

More information

There’s a new theatre in the neighborhood, committed to producing ambitious, thought provoking plays and readings. Thrown Stone, the brain child of  co-artistic directors Jason Peck...

Cost: $29-$49

Where:
Ridgefield Conservatory of Dance
440 Main Street
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Website »

More information

Each year Stamford Downtown hosts a distinguished outdoor sculpture exhibit designed to attract both local and regional audiences. Art in Public Places Outdoor Sculpture exhibit features sculptures...

Cost: Free

Where:
Stamford Downtown
, CT


Website »

More information

“From A Student Perspective” presents selected art from about 20 students from NCC’s Studio Arts, Graphic Design and Architecture Department. The work is in a variety of media...

Cost: free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Maritime Garage Gallery
Website »

More information

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Thursday, July 20 Summer Music & More Concert Series: Billy and the Showmen, 5 – 6:30 p.m. Billy and the Showmen is a ’60s/’70s R&B group with lots of energy performing in...

Cost: free

Where:
Wilton Library
137 Old Ridgefield Road, Wilton
Wilton, CT  06897
View map »


Telephone: 203-762-3950
Website »

More information

A recent top prizewinner in the George Enescu International Cello Competition and Beverly Hills National Auditions, Evnin Rising Star alumna cellist Sarah Rommel is indeed a star on the...

Cost: $15, $24, $32, $40 / Free tickets for students 18 and under!

Where:
Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts
149 Girdle Ridge Road
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »


Website »

More information

Harvey Granat, singer and music historian will present four outstanding American songwriters in song and story. Robert Kelly of Berkshire Sings will once again be accompanying. Cole Porter ...

Cost: Members $16 Guests $20

Where:
Berkshire South Regional Community Center
15 Crissey Road
Great Barrington, MA  01230
View map »


Website »

More information

Singin' in the Rain is considered the "Greatest Movie Musical of All Time" by many musical theatre critics. This stage version is faithfully and lovingly adapted...

Cost: $45-$60, Group Pricing Available

Where:
Waveny Park
11 Farm Road
New Canaan, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

This is a new children musical in the making. You will be the very first to see it performed.    Dancing Princesses begins with an enchanting mystery for the kingdom to solve - why...

Cost: $22.00 - $150.00

Where:
Waveny Park
11 Farm Road
New Canaan, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Robin Hood, with his band of brothers are seeking to rid the land of evil and return hope to the mistreated. It’s a tale that’s been told a thousand...

Cost: $22.00 - $150.00

Where:
Waveny Park
11 Farm Road
New Canaan, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Who knew? Silvermine Arts Center, in our own backyard, is one of the oldest artist communities in the United States. This summer, Whitney Museum’s David Kiehl curates the 2017...

Where:
Silvermine Arts Center
1037 Silvermine Road
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Website »

More information

There’s a new theatre in the neighborhood, committed to producing ambitious, thought provoking plays and readings. Thrown Stone, the brain child of  co-artistic directors Jason Peck...

Cost: $29-$49

Where:
Ridgefield Conservatory of Dance
440 Main Street
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Website »

More information

Each year Stamford Downtown hosts a distinguished outdoor sculpture exhibit designed to attract both local and regional audiences. Art in Public Places Outdoor Sculpture exhibit features sculptures...

Cost: Free

Where:
Stamford Downtown
, CT


Website »

More information

“From A Student Perspective” presents selected art from about 20 students from NCC’s Studio Arts, Graphic Design and Architecture Department. The work is in a variety of media...

Cost: free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Maritime Garage Gallery
Website »

More information

Experience the joy of setting sail and shutting off the engine as we sail through Long Island Sound. Sit back and relax or take a turn at the helm, the choice is yours. Sails depart from...

Cost: $40/adults, $20 for children ages 5-12

Where:
Cove Island Park
1281 Cove Rd
Stamford, CT  06902
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Harvey Granat, singer and music historian will present four outstanding American songwriters in song and story. Robert Kelly of Berkshire Sings will once again be accompanying. Cole Porter ...

Cost: Members $16 Guests $20

Where:
Berkshire South Regional Community Center
15 Crissey Road
Great Barrington, MA  01230
View map »


Website »

More information

Race & American Memory programs at Grace Farms examine the ways in which Americans comprehend and recall national history, and seeks to revisit instances, ideas, and lives which have suffered...

Cost: Free

Where:
Grace Farms, Sanctuary
365 Lukes Wood Road
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Grace Farms Foundation
Telephone: (203) 920-1702
Website »

More information

Fan favorite John Fullbright returns with an evening featuring the Oklahoma singer/songwriter’s pungent lyrical imagery. Winner of the ASCAP Harold Adamson Lyric Award, the Los Angeles...

Cost: $40, $45, $55, $65, $75

Where:
Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts
149 Girdle Ridge Road
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »


Website »

More information

An ensemble-based show with beloved music, heartfelt writing, and a story that takes a village to tell.   IN THE SPOTLIGHT is a not-for-profit summer theater program for area youth...

Cost: TICKETS: $12 or $15 at the door

Where:
THE KLEIN
910 FAIRFIELD AVE
Bridgeport, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Singin' in the Rain is considered the "Greatest Movie Musical of All Time" by many musical theatre critics. This stage version is faithfully and lovingly adapted...

Cost: $45-$60, Group Pricing Available

Where:
Waveny Park
11 Farm Road
New Canaan, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

This is a new children musical in the making. You will be the very first to see it performed.    Dancing Princesses begins with an enchanting mystery for the kingdom to solve - why...

Cost: $22.00 - $150.00

Where:
Waveny Park
11 Farm Road
New Canaan, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Robin Hood, with his band of brothers are seeking to rid the land of evil and return hope to the mistreated. It’s a tale that’s been told a thousand...

Cost: $22.00 - $150.00

Where:
Waveny Park
11 Farm Road
New Canaan, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Who knew? Silvermine Arts Center, in our own backyard, is one of the oldest artist communities in the United States. This summer, Whitney Museum’s David Kiehl curates the 2017...

Where:
Silvermine Arts Center
1037 Silvermine Road
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Website »

More information

There’s a new theatre in the neighborhood, committed to producing ambitious, thought provoking plays and readings. Thrown Stone, the brain child of  co-artistic directors Jason Peck...

Cost: $29-$49

Where:
Ridgefield Conservatory of Dance
440 Main Street
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Website »

More information

Each year Stamford Downtown hosts a distinguished outdoor sculpture exhibit designed to attract both local and regional audiences. Art in Public Places Outdoor Sculpture exhibit features sculptures...

Cost: Free

Where:
Stamford Downtown
, CT


Website »

More information

“From A Student Perspective” presents selected art from about 20 students from NCC’s Studio Arts, Graphic Design and Architecture Department. The work is in a variety of media...

Cost: free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Maritime Garage Gallery
Website »

More information

Experience the joy of setting sail and shutting off the engine as we sail through Long Island Sound. Sit back and relax or take a turn at the helm, the choice is yours. Sails depart from...

Cost: $40/adults, $20 for children ages 5-12

Where:
Cove Island Park
1281 Cove Rd
Stamford, CT  06902
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

The Safe Sitter® Babysitting course is open to teens, ages 11 and up. The course is a medically accurate babysitting program that teaches life and safety skills, including nurturing child care...

Cost: $75.oo

Where:
Stamford Emergency Medical Services, Inc.
684 Long Ridge Road
Stamford, CT  06902
View map »


Sponsor: Stamford EMS
Telephone: 203-968-1118
Contact Name: Jessica Anderson
Website »

More information

Explore the River, a meandering glass building, designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architects SANAA, and five site-specific installations commissioned specifically for Grace Farms by Thomas...

Cost: $25

Where:
Grace Farms
365 Lukes Wood Rd
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Website »

More information

Harvey Granat, singer and music historian will present four outstanding American songwriters in song and story. Robert Kelly of Berkshire Sings will once again be accompanying. Cole Porter ...

Cost: Members $16 Guests $20

Where:
Berkshire South Regional Community Center
15 Crissey Road
Great Barrington, MA  01230
View map »


Website »

More information

A true music legend, 13-time Grammy Award-winner Emmylou Harris returns to Caramoor with her unique blend of folk, country, and roots music. Whether singing the songs of Seeger, Dylan, Baez, or a...

Cost: $30, $45, $60, $70, $80, $90, $100, $110

Where:
Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts
149 Girdle Ridge Road
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »


Website »

More information

An ensemble-based show with beloved music, heartfelt writing, and a story that takes a village to tell.   IN THE SPOTLIGHT is a not-for-profit summer theater program for area youth...

Cost: TICKETS: $12 or $15 at the door

Where:
THE KLEIN
910 FAIRFIELD AVE
Bridgeport, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Music Theatre of Connecticut MainStage, Fairfield County’s professional award-winning theatre company, presents MTC’s Hot Summer Nights series beginning with David Maiocco: “An...

Cost: $25-$35 for single tickets. Reservations suggested.

Where:
Music Theatre of Connecticut
509 Westport Ave.
Norwalk, CT  06851
View map »


Website »

More information

Singin' in the Rain is considered the "Greatest Movie Musical of All Time" by many musical theatre critics. This stage version is faithfully and lovingly adapted...

Cost: $45-$60, Group Pricing Available

Where:
Waveny Park
11 Farm Road
New Canaan, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

This is a new children musical in the making. You will be the very first to see it performed.    Dancing Princesses begins with an enchanting mystery for the kingdom to solve - why...

Cost: $22.00 - $150.00

Where:
Waveny Park
11 Farm Road
New Canaan, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Robin Hood, with his band of brothers are seeking to rid the land of evil and return hope to the mistreated. It’s a tale that’s been told a thousand...

Cost: $22.00 - $150.00

Where:
Waveny Park
11 Farm Road
New Canaan, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Who knew? Silvermine Arts Center, in our own backyard, is one of the oldest artist communities in the United States. This summer, Whitney Museum’s David Kiehl curates the 2017...

Where:
Silvermine Arts Center
1037 Silvermine Road
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Website »

More information

There’s a new theatre in the neighborhood, committed to producing ambitious, thought provoking plays and readings. Thrown Stone, the brain child of  co-artistic directors Jason Peck...

Cost: $29-$49

Where:
Ridgefield Conservatory of Dance
440 Main Street
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Website »

More information

Each year Stamford Downtown hosts a distinguished outdoor sculpture exhibit designed to attract both local and regional audiences. Art in Public Places Outdoor Sculpture exhibit features sculptures...

Cost: Free

Where:
Stamford Downtown
, CT


Website »

More information

Experience the joy of setting sail and shutting off the engine as we sail through Long Island Sound. Sit back and relax or take a turn at the helm, the choice is yours. Sails depart from...

Cost: $40/adults, $20 for children ages 5-12

Where:
Cove Island Park
1281 Cove Rd
Stamford, CT  06902
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
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