How to Spring Clean for Your Mind, Body and Soul
By Cynthia Brace
I don’t know about you but every spring I get excited to do a major clean. I mean closets, drawers, kitchen cupboards, pantry, fridge and some years even the washing down the walls.
Sounds like a lot of work and it can be, but it actually does make me happy when it’s done and makes my life easier.
Take this weekend for example. It’s getting warmer, so it’s time to put away the comforter and switch around the sheets in my too-small linen closet.
I mean really, I love that I have a linen closet but it needs to be twice the size. Winter blankets and sheets take up a lot of space and I had to convert two of the shelves to bathroom storage stuff.
If I thought my linen closet needed to be twice the size, I’d love for my main bathroom to be triple the size, so I had room to put extra hair products, sunscreen, Band-Aids and all the other bathroom “stuff”.
Needless to say, over the course of 6 months or so my linen closet becomes a mess. I have to move a bunch of things out of the way to get to the stuff that I need. Things are tipping over and falling on the floor. Ugh! It takes up time and instantly goes on my mental to-do list to fix.
The problem is it can stay on my mental to-do list for a while, nagging at me and taking up valuable headspace.
So, I spent an hour and a half going through the things in the closet, tossed out things I’ve had for years and never used. Why the heck was I keeping that stuff? Giving everything a wipe down and putting things back.
This is where the happiness comes in.
The end product of that hour and a half still makes me happy. Seriously, I actually opened the closet door a few times just to see how great everything fits now. I know, weird, but next time I’m looking for a new toothbrush it won’t take me 10 minutes to find, and that makes my life easier.
So how do you Spring Clean for your Mind, Body and Soul?
If you’ve never actually done anything like this it can be a daunting task, so don’t try and do it all at once. The best way to do it is in bite-size pieces. Fridge one week, pantry the next, office drawers another weekend or weeknight, it feels so great to purge the old and organize for a fresh start.
If you need help, there’s a great book by Marie Kondo called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. My mother gave it to me as a gift one Christmas because she loved it so much. Although I don’t use all of the advice in the book, it was a great gift and has a lot of interesting ideas.
Get Rid of Things You Don’t Need.
And I don’t mean just clothes, which you may need your bestie to help you get rid of some of it, after a while, we get so attached to things that we’ll never wear or shouldn’t wear. I mean get rid of outdated canned or packaged food, old birthday cards, the CD player that you’ll never use again.
When I was cleaning out my pantry, I came across two bags of buckwheat flour. It took me a while to remember why I was buying this stuff, and when I did, I realized I didn’t make that recipe any longer. The expiry dates were looming close, so I gave the packages to my mother. She made healthy muffins, cookies you name it. The bags didn’t last long.
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Open the Windows and Let the Fresh Air In.
Even though I have the furnace fan running, over the winter it can start to feel stuffy in the house. The first sunny warm day I’m running to open the windows and get the breeze blowing through. I love how it feels and smells.
Take Away Most of Your Chachka’s, Trinkets, Doodads.
We have a lot of knick-knack “stuff” that can invade our spaces. Say you find (or are given) a nice ornament, a cat (yup, I’ve got those), a decorative vase, dried flowers, you name it. You put it on your shelf, and that’s where it stays, for YEARS. In the same place.
You can be so used to just seeing it there that it doesn’t even occur to you that you can move it, remove it (store it for a bit and then take it out again to enjoy), or donate/gift it to someone else.
When I did a major clean last year, I took a bunch of little ornaments that I was done with and gave them to my neighbour’s granddaughters. They loved them and were instant new toys.
It can be so refreshing to see your shelves/walls almost empty. Just a few cherished things that you can now see better. And as an added bonus it’s easier to clean without so many little trinkets around.
This year I took everything off my fridge except my calendar and six fridge magnets, three were of the trees of life and three little ladybugs. I loved it. It looked so uncluttered, different and fresh.
Give it a try. You never know how much lighter you feel.
For Me Spring Cleaning:
⇒ Clears my mind clutter (and the literal clutter around my house)
⇒ Reduces my stress because I’m more efficient
⇒ Helps me move my body more (aka exercise) because I know where my workout gear is and have made a spot to work out.
⇒ Brings joy to my soul because I’m saving time, have cleared the mental and physical clutter, and am so happy to see everything so organized.
Do you spring clean? What does it do for your mind, body and soul?
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