How To Spring Clean Your Life For More Mental Clarity & Productivity
The beautiful spring came; and when Nature resumes her loveliness, the human soul is apt to revive also.
—Harriet Ann Jacobs
Spring is here, and with it comes the opportunity to revive ourselves and start fresh. As the cold weather and grey skies dissipate, so too should the clutter and unnecessary “stuff” that has accumulated around your house. In one of my most recent blogs, I shared ways to lift your mood when short days and cold weather were inevitable. Now that you have survived those winter blues – congrats! – it’s time to embrace the start of spring by following in her footsteps and bringing “new life” to your personal home environment. While cleaning rarely ever sounds “fun,” spring cleaning brings along many benefits that can help you build and maintain a positive mood as the year goes on.
Spring Cleaning = Productivity
Not only does cleaning the house and ridding it of unnecessary items make your living space more pleasing to the eye, it allows you to save time in a variety of ways. No more rushing to clean up for last-minute guests, searching for the piece of mail you need to send out, or losing your keys under the pile of junk accumulating on your counter. A clean house is a space where you can be productive and also FEEL GOOD about that productivity! Looking at your clean space will give you a sense of accomplishment and pride, and have you feeling a sense of rebirth.
Improvements to Physical Health
With the change of seasons comes a not-so-exciting visitor: allergies. Doing a full spring cleanse of your house helps you gets rid of dirt, dust, and pet dander that can impact your seasonal allergies. As the weather changes, pets usually experience the shedding of their coats, so a good spring cleaning will help prevent sneezing, itchy eyes, and numerous open Kleenex boxes.
Burn Those Calories!
Not only does a good spring cleaning help you avoid annoying allergies, it also improves your physical health by getting in workout time. Cleaning burns calories, and often you don’t even realize how much of a workout you completed just by vacuuming, packing up items that you no longer need, and carrying things out to the garbage. And, as you probably already know, getting in a good workout creates endorphins, which lead to feelings of happiness and satisfaction!
No mess = less stress! Are your Christmas boxes still piled up under your bed or in the corner of your living room? Is your closet overflowing and you find yourself running out of hangers? These are situations that can cause you to feel annoyed or hassled, so a good spring cleaning is essential for managing your daily stress. Throw away things you don’t need. A friend of mine once told me, “If you haven’t seen it in a year, you probably don’t need it anymore!” This is an exceptionally good rule for getting rid of clothes, shoes, accessories, or household items you just do not need! When you can easily find what you’re looking for, when there is nothing lying on the floor to trip you, and when it’s easy to put clothes away instead of having to shove them into the tiniest open spot, there are more opportunities to feel relaxed and enjoy being at home!
While you might find yourself throwing away garbage and junk, a good spring cleaning has you getting rid of items that are unnecessary or taking up space in your home, but that others may find useful. Put these items together pass on to a younger sibling or family member. Your “old” is their “new”! Another option is to gather your unwanted items and donate to a community shelter or someone less fortunate. Not only will your spring cleaning help you maintain a positive mood, it will help you impact others in a positive way as well!
By Kristen Okrzesik, MSW | Therapist - RIVER NORTH