clutterThis morning I headed to the kitchen, grabbed a big garbage bag and filled it with all the clutter in my cupboards that I was tired of having to reach around in crazy Cirque de Soleil-like maneuvers just to get to the stuff I really wanted.

I’ve been feeling this urge to purge for a couple of weeks now. It happens every year as spring approaches and an instinctual desire to clean and get rid of useless junk kicks in.

I mention this today because, whether you’re also a northern hemispherian and are now getting the urge to spring clean or you reside in the southern hemisphere and are simply tired of having to rely on your double-jointedness to reach items you need in your overflowing cupboards and closets, there’s an optimal time in your monthly cycle to de-clutter: the first two weeks.

Here’s why: In the first two weeks of your cycle (which starts with the first day of your period), rising estrogen boosts your physical and mental energy. This gives you the strength and stamina to sort through all your mountains of junk and the mental oomph to make the many decisions  needed about what to keep and how best to dispose of the rest.

Plus, even more importantly, during your Week 1 and Week 2, rising estrogen is making you more practical and less sentimental than you are during your Week 3 and Week 4.

As a result, it’s easier to part with items you have some kind of emotional connection to, but that you don’t need or use, like a broken teapot your sister gave you when you moved into your new apartment that stopped whistling after its first use. And you’re less likely to convince yourself that you can get more use out of a long-neglected item if only you fix it/paint it/de-rust it/find the manual/change your entire lifestyle to accommodate its use.

As for me, once I’m through with the kitchen, I’m on to the closets. Oy, those closets! And since I’m in my Week 1, I know I have this week and next week to get them de-cluttered before lower levels of estrogen and rising progesterone convince me to keep and find a way to repurpose all those leggings I was 100% certain would play a critical role in my next fashion makeover–until I actually looked at them on in a mirror….