This is it, I feel like shouting it: Spring is here!!! If this seasons brings joy to everyone in general, it has a particular meaning and effect on me. I was born on the first day of Spring and I feel blessed for it. It is my favourite season because get to witness the magic of nature, the symbol of rebirth. It a partially good time for a Spring cleaning. We all deserve to live in a relaxing and beautiful environement.
For centuries, people have used this time of the year to reconnect with Mother Nature and clean their homes from the spirit of Winter. It is indeed the best time to do a Spring Cleaning. Not only will it have a positive cleansing effect on your mind, body and soul, but it will give you a boost of energy to embrace the coming seasons with more bounce. In my previous blogs (How clutter affects your energy level), I talked about the benefits of decluttering on your energy level. It is freeing, sometimes challenging process. The physical process of letting go of material stuff becomes a huge mental relief. It makes you feel lighter. "Letting go of physical objects requires to let go on a much deeper level. It represents something different for everyone and always echoes within ourselves". It is something I keep saying but I truly believe that we live in a world that has gone crazy with consumerism. I want to make people realise that we don't need all the stuff that we surround ourselves with. Time to let go!
So where do I start you may wonder? Here are some tips:
- First, make sure that the household as a whole is on your side. It would take so much more time and effort it it isn't the case. It is a team effort and everyone should be playing its part (you can motivate the kids by telling them that they can sell their stuff and keep the money). Also, by involving kids from an early age will teach them to be mindful of what they bring into their lives and how it affects them. It is important the they learn to let go early, it will help them growing up as mindful adults.
- Have a vision of what you want to achieve, it will help to keep your motivation high. Make a list of the area you need to work on: clothes, garage, food cupboard, the 'shit' drawer... Break the tasks down and give everyone one or more tasks. Careful not to overload yourselves. Multiple tasks divided in 45 min slots will be more palatable and will make your the exercise less daunting.
- Make an event of it: have a substantial and yummy breakfast to motivate the troops. Make sure everyone has a designated task to complete (sort toys and books out for ex) before putting some lively music on. You can actually make it fun. You can also choose to do your Spring cleaning over a few days.
- Donate the unused and unwanted things in your life. Ditch the Just in Case. the But it was a Present, the Maybe I'll fit in it Again one Day. These are the most common reasons why people find hard to let things go. It is really important to keep only the beautiful objets that make you really happy and the useful ones. The rest have to go.
- Stop the clutter from coming back. Be mindful of what got you in a cluttered space. Which bad habits should you change from now on? Do you pile the paperwork up on the kitchen table till it is so high that it al comes tumbling on the floor? Do you never sort out your clothes and end up with a pile of clothes on your bedroom floor that you can't face dealing with? Do you keep buying and wasting the same tinned tuna because you can't actually see what is in your kitchen cupboard?... When one realises what their 'weaknesses' are, it makes it easier to come up with a plan.
- Keep at it on a daily bases. I always say that 10 minutes a day should suffice to fight the clutter. Once your space has been rejuvenated by your Spring clean - and that you have found an organisation system that works for you - put things back where they belong once you're done using them. It may takes some will at first but if you keep at it, it will soon becomes a healthy habit.
- Celebrate! After a few hours of hard work. Treat yourself and your posse with a nice drink or meal or a hot relaxing bath. Acknowledge your hard work and enjoy! It is after all something that you will benefit from.