Spring has sprung, or at least it’s trying to spring. After a winter that would seemingly never end, we’re ready to rid our minds, bodies and homes of the winter blues. After all, a little spring cleaning is good for your mental health—transforming a cluttered space can improve your mood on a daily basis, while ridding your home of items and foods that do not serve you physically or emotionally will help you keep your health goals on track.
We’re here to help you tackle the three main spaces in your home, so let’s get started! Open your windows, blare some music, and let the spring cleaning begin.
Oftentimes the heart of the home and a high traffic area. Start with your food cabinets by identifying the foods that aren’t going to keep you on track with your goals, tend to trigger an emotional response, send your body into a sluggish state, or have been stuck behind the first-tier groceries for months (we’re looking at you, can of Cream of Mushroom soup). Toss anything expired, separate out the non-perishable items and place them aside so you can find them a new home. Donating to those in need is a great way to give back and improve your mental state!
Next, move on to the pots, pans, and storage containers. Organize your cookware and do a lid audit. Anything that doesn’t have a match can go. (There’s a rumor that missing lids somehow come back as socks in the dryer, which seems feasible, but we’ve been unable to confirm the accuracy.)
After your cabinets are good to go, you can start with the physical cleaning. Sweep, mop, clean out the refrigerator, wipe out the microwave, wipe the counters, etc. Once your cabinets are organized and your kitchen is clean, add something to the space to propel your mental and physical momentum. You could post a quote that keeps you motivated on the outside of the refrigerator, hang a sign that makes you happy when you walk into the room, be diligent about filling out your calendar, post a short-term goal, or add a vase of flowers to your table. Once you’re satisfied with this space you can move on to other areas of the home.
A cluttered, chaotic space can oftentimes trigger stress and anxiety, so taking the time to Feng Shui your room into a place that promotes peace is well worth the time and effort. Shift your mindset from “this is just a place to sleep” to “this is a place to getaway at the end of a long day” and make your bedroom a more relaxing space.
Start by emptying out your dresser drawers. Take items you haven’t worn in a while, or have kept for six years with hopes of fitting into them again someday, and place them aside to donate. If it’s something of sentimental value that you never wear but can’t seem to part with, place it aside for alternate storage. We’re going to contradict the name here and mention your unmentionables. You know what needs to happen here, so we’ll leave it to you. As for your socks, if they don’t have a mate they don’t need to stay—we wouldn’t count on the Tupperware lid theory.
Next, onto your closet. Use the same process as your dresser to sort and donate. If you’re feeling ambitious, try hanging your clothes back up in color order. This helps eliminate the need to search as hard for a clothing item and adds a pleasing aesthetic to your closet.
Finally, clean the space and make it your own. Wash your sheets, dust your ceiling fan and fixtures, and sweep or vacuum. Once your space looks and smells great, add some personal touches that create a more inviting atmosphere. Buy a plant, revamp your bedding, find some wall décor that makes you feel serene or happy, or add any other personal touches that allow you to relax in your room at the end of a long day.
The Living Room
We’re not proud to admit that a family of dust bunnies found refuge under our couch during the winter months, but now that it’s warming up we can sweep them out the door with no remorse. Take some time to tackle the tasks that typically fall by the wayside for months at a time: dust your ceiling fan, fixtures, and vents; get under the couch with the broom and pull off the cushions to vacuum underneath; open the windows and clean the windowsills while you’re rewarded with a lovely spring scent.
Now that your living area is clean, why not add a pop of color? Some simple ways to add color include new throw pillows, blankets, or fresh flowers. There’s something about adding touches of yellow during springtime that puts a smile on our face, but if yellow doesn’t mesh with your current décor, try adding something upbeat that complements your current color scheme. This is also the perfect time to open those curtains and let the natural light shine in!
When you’re done with all this cleaning, reward yourself for a job well done by kicking your feet up on your freshly cleaned furniture, closing your eyes for a moment, and taking in the smell and sounds of spring.
Your Last Step: Donate Used Items
Do the right thing and donate your used items. You’ll feel great, and remember, everyone else is spring cleaning too, which means you can usually score some awesome thrift store finds! The adage “one person’s trash is another person’s treasure” works both ways, so allow yourself some extra browsing time and break through the winter blues without breaking your budget.
Cleanliness, organization and giving back are all great ways to jumpstart your journey to enhanced mental, physical, and emotional happiness. So spring into action and embrace the change to another beautiful season.