Spring equinox is here. A marked time for renewal and for life to take form. In preparation, cleaning is full swing in this household. Full on every crevice scrubbed and “this no longer reside here” pitching type of cleaning. No, I haven’t been bitten by the Kondo- Joy bug. The spring cleaning habit comes from a deep belief in the connection of clutter and mental health. That belief extends to mental health affecting physical health. Mental space reflects environmental space. Environmental space feeds into mental space. How you set up and care your environment impacts your over all health. Take this change of season as an opportunity. An opportunity remove what no longer helps, to clean out the cobwebs in and out, and create a space for newness in your life.
When weather allows, begin with your outer most space of your home. Simply wiping down an apartment door makes a difference. Your outer home reflect your outer you. It’s the first vision a person has of you. Take pride in its cleanliness and expression. You may not be able to control your home curb appeal or door appeal. The next space to clean and create is your entry way. It doesn’t need to be extravagant and simple creative expressions are valuable. Love your outer you in all physical spaces. This may be a time to reflect, as you work, on your outer you. What is so amazingly unique about how you express yourself? This is clothes, hair, talk, walk, and more. It’s not a time to compare, this time is to find the value in the details of your personal physical expressions of self.
The next area to tackle in cleaning are common living areas. Living room, shared bathrooms, and kitchens are a few common rooms. Any shared space needs an uplifted. Physically wipe down top to bottom. Time or ability may limit this task being done at once. Break it up through the day or by days. Spring cleaning is once year, don’t allow it to consume you. Sweep, mop, vacuum floors. Wipe or clean all furniture lovingly as it has supported you through every other season. As you clean, reflect on what connections and relationships you have. What negative relationships need to be cut? What kind of relationships or people do you want to know more of? Who could you invest more kindness in or provide kindness for? How can I share my common space to create more joy in my life?
Last major areas of your home are bedrooms and closets. There may be small closets, laundry rooms, or side rooms in your home you can spruce up along the way. Once you are to the bedrooms and those closets, it’s time to make it personal. Begin top to bottom. Wipe down walls. Cleaning hack? I used a mop with a washable cloth (no string mops). Made my life easier. Re arrange furniture, dust, and wipe down all furniture. While working in these personal spaces, consider the inner most you. What habits do you have right now that work? Celebrate you. What are some habits and self believing thoughts that need to go? How can you invest in a better you? Mentally? Physically? In Spirit?
While moving through each of these phases of your home and you, de clutter could be necessary. You can try the joy method. See quote below! Often it’s simply looking at how an object has been used. Haven’t used or worn it in a year or year and a half? Toss it. Better yet, donate. Taxes and other important paper forms should be in a clearly marked box or file. Limit and value sentimental items. I really. I mean REALLY need to do a lot of self talk to keep my kids saved art work to a reasonable amount. Two to three pieces a year of their growing is saved. Clothes and shoes no longer fitting or worn can be donated. The year to year and a half rule applies here. Holiday gifts shoved in the back of the closet? Time to go. Toys out grown? Donate or sell. Got a long over due and dusty hobby shoved somewhere? Truly consider its value to you and whether it’s time to let go. De clutter signals your brain and space its time to make room. Room for new joys and memories.
After the cleaning and de cluttering has happened, organize your space. Group like objects together in the kitchen, then put them in spaces that make sense to your flow of every day life. Example, cutting boards are below where the knives are on the counter. Pots, skillets, and baking ware are stored next to the stove. In storage coordinate important papers and momentos together in labeled boxes. Holidays are stored with each other. Clothes and shoes in the closet can be grouped by season, color, and type (i.e. pants with pants, shirts with shirts). This act of organizing space may surprise you as thoughts begin to process. It may be an act of organizing thoughts and memories.
It’s important to decorate your space that is most you and for those who live with you. From outer space to inner space, consider: using colors, displaying sentimental items, functionality of furniture/objects, creating artwork, and more. Make it you. That tangible reflection of you goes right back into supporting you. Clean spaces are renewal. Organize spaces promote growth. Personal physical expressions inspire more you. Love and value your home space, no matter what it is. It’s yours to make unique and gorgeously you.