"Tidying your physical space allows you to tend to your psychological space". - Marie Kondo.
The tradition of spring cleaning can be tied to multiple different cultures and histories. Every year, people all over the world take advantage of this tradition as an occasion to clean, declutter, and start fresh. We believe this doesn't have to be limited to your home â€“ use that same energy to "spring clean" all the areas of your life that need it!
In this article, we're going to mix up a special blend of mental and physical decluttering ideas for you to try. If you follow some (or all!) of these tips, you're sure to start Spring feeling fresh, rejuvenated, and ready for anything.
Get ready to spring clean your life!
- Spring Clean Your Closet
First of all, this is the perfect time to get rid of clothing items that no longer serve your purposes. The unironically ugly sweater you've worn only once, the dress that's 2 sizes too small, the gym shirt from middle school that you keep around "just in case" - clear out everything that doesn't reflect your current style.
Most donation centers will take gently used clothes and, if your items are worn out, you can drop them off in a clothes recycling bin! Check Google to see if these resources are available near you. Furthermore, you can sell your clothes online or swap with friends! However, no matter what you do, don't trash "em" old clothes usually end up in landfills, where they take 25-40 years to biodegrade.
Sometimes it's hard to let go, but you can reward yourself by getting new pieces that match your style! Be sure to replace your old pieces with high-quality garments that are durable and comfortable.
- Declutter Your Mind
It's hard to shut off your internal monologue, but mindfulness meditation can help you get there. Plus, it's surprisingly easy to do.
Step 1: Find a quiet place, free of clutter and distractions.
Step 2: Spend some time in a seated position on a comfortable surface.
Step 3: Cross your legs or make sure your feet are touching the floor.
Step 4: Comfortably straighten out your upper body and rest your hands on your legs.
Step 5: Let your eyes float downwards, and breathe deeply.
Step 6: Concentrate on your breathing.
Step 7: When you inevitably notice your attention wandering, gently bring it back to your breathing. Let any thoughts (even negative thoughts!) come and go without judgement.
Step 8: Sit in this meditative state for as long as you can.
Step 9: Ease yourself out of your meditation when you're ready to do so.
While it may be awkward at first, mindfulness meditation can give us peace of mind by clearing out the mental clutter we accumulate throughout our lives. As a result, once you get used to meditating, it'll feel good!
- Unplug and Disconnect
According to a study by techjury.net, 66% of smartphone users are addicted to their phones. (Source)
If you find yourself looking at your phone all day, you're not alone, but that doesn't mean this obsession is healthy! Constant cell phone use can cause eye strain, neck problems, and increased illness due to exposure to germs.
Furthermore, many of us use our cell phones to check social media accounts, which can negatively affect our mental health. Researchers have found that people who use social media less are less depressed and lonely. You don't even have to completely eliminate your social media usage - just use it less often and you'll feel the positive effects! (Source)
To improve your mental and physical health, consider "unplugging". Turn off your phone, television, computer, and other electronic devices. For added effect, lock your devices away (or at least put them in a box or in a drawer.) Try to at least unplug after work and on the weekends because this will help you wind down from a busy day or week.
Studies have repeatedly shown that unplugging and disconnecting can help you get more sleep, improve your relationships with the people in your life, and feel better in general. Unplug as often as you can, and enjoy the benefits!
- Go Deep with Your Cleaning
Above all, spring cleaning season is the time for, well, cleaning. You might think of sweeping and wiping off counters, but here are some areas of your house you might not have thought of:
Clean your windows for a better view of the outside world.
Clean under your bed - you never know what you'll find under there.
Dust off the corners of your walls, the crown molding, and the top of the ceiling fan.
Clear any old food out of your refrigerator and make sure it's squeaky-clean from the inside out.
Now that you're covered these oft-neglected areas, you're ready to deep clean the rest of the house however you please. As a result of all this cleaning, your space will be more chill and comfy. There's nothing like relaxing in a nice, clean house!
- Clear Out Your Friends List
When you're not unplugging, try to make your social media accounts a more peaceful place. Sometimes it's hard to unfriend people, but a good way to start is by unfriending or unfollowing people you don't really talk to. If you watch YouTube, unsubscribe from any channels whose content you don't actually enjoy.
Additionally, take this a step further by clearing out your email. Most of us have a bunch of unread emails, newsletters, and more taking up space in our inbox. Clearing out any messages you don't need will help you feel free, light, and ready for good news in the future.
How do you do spring cleaning? Tell us about it below.