Yes it’s that time of the year again. For the whole of the Northern Hemisphere the weather is warming and green buds are appearing on the trees. The stale air of winter is still pervading the house and chances are, we haven’t got out that much for the last few months. Spring is here. It’s time to shake things up a little…
They don’t call it “Spring Fever” for nothing. In fact, Wikipedia quotes it as being “a term applied to several sets of physical and psychological symptoms associated with the arrival of spring. In general it refers to an increase in energy and vitality”. And it’s this burst of energy and vitality that you need to capitalize on and clean the rest of your life out.
We all know the old idea of Spring Cleaning where on the first sunny warm day you open all the doors and windows in the house and wash the curtains (or something like that). Well I’m here to challenge you to take that one step further. I encourage you to do a complete Spring Clean of your life. It’s time to change up more that your sheets – it’s time to change up your life.
And how do you do this? You simply take Spring Cleaning that one step further. Instead of looking at it as cleaning, look at it as cleaning out. Don’t stop with just vacuuming under the bed, get down on your hands and knees and pull out those drawers and boxes under the bed and sort through them. Apart from special occasion items, get rid of anything that you haven’t used or worn in the last two years.
Personally, I have gotten so strict on myself that if I haven’t used it in the last year, I get rid of it. I’m talking handbags, gloves, hats and shoes (except that glittery diamond clutch from my grandma and those killer red heels that I KNOW I’ll wear one of these days).
I go through every item of clothing I own. If it’s torn, stained, too small, too big, it’s gone. If I just HAD to have it because it was on sale but have never worn it and that color really doesn’t suit me in the light of day, it’s gone. I don’t throw the wearable stuff though. Just because it doesn’t suit me or fit me, doesn’t mean that it won’t be good for someone. A friend of mine gets together with her friends and does a “clothes swap” where they sort through each other’s unwanted items and come away with a whole new wardrobe. I like to find a clothing bin or charity that is looking for items and give my unwanted items away.
I even go through my underwear drawer and get rid of those undies that sag (come on, you know the ones). Though of course I don’t give them away. They aren’t good for anyone anymore. I take all the single socks that I have left after the washing machine elves are done with them and turf them out too.
And I don’t stop with clothes. I go through my vanity drawers. I can never believe how much stuff can gather in the bathroom in only a year. I usually throw away at least a garbage bag of stuff from the bathroom alone.
And no cupboard is safe. I go through the kitchen cupboards. So much food has gathered and expired since the last time I got in there. Pills, vitamins, ketchup, all expire. Any chipped glasses or crockery that just look tired are gone too. And so on and so forth, you get the idea.
This isn’t just about getting rid of stuff that stacks up. This can change the whole energy of your house. I threw out 4 garbage bags of stuff from my basement and I felt lighter, the house felt lighter. I had no idea how much that stuff was weighing me down.
Of course there is things I don’t use that I keep. I have two Rubbermaid containers for my “memories”. It was also nice to revisit them. To see the birthday cards and letters from loved ones over the years. To see mementos of places I’ve visited and get inspired to head out again.
And then clean, let the fresh air in and buy your self some flowers. You won’t believe how something so simple can change your whole outlook on life. Check out those New Year’s resolutions you made. I am willing to bet that even if you have let them slide, you will have the energy to make them happen now. This is the beginning of the rest of your year and this is the start you want. Clean, light and fresh in house and in spirit.
P.S. For those in the Southern Hemisphere, give it a go too. This way you can enter your winter months in a way that will help the rainy days fly by. You will have made room in your house and mind for all those indoor projects you really want to do in your spare time.
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