It is the time of year when things come alive in the United States. The winter slowly begins its thaw. Random days of sunshine and rain usher in thoughts of picnics, beach vacations, and sunshine. With it, the sun shines into our homes, bodies, and minds reminding us of the clean up that is needed.
Start with the easiest of the three: home. While many of us live in homes of various shapes and sizes, spring cleaning does not mean turning our homes upside down to get absolutely everything clean and tidy. The trick to spring cleaning is to organize, sort, and wipe. Start with simple things such as a small junk drawer, tidying up cleaning or storage closets, and then slowly work into your wardrobes and seasonal storage.
Sort through one item at a time. Have a goal each week for a month to sort through 1-2 closets so that you have it all done before Spring truly beings its beautiful form. Begin by general sorting, getting rid of things you haven’t used within the past year. Determine what items can be sold at a yard sale or given as a donation to Goodwill or Salvation army. As you sort, wipe the shelves clean with a mild disinfectant. You will feel accomplished by slowly and methodically cleaning the nooks and crannies of your home.
Now that you have a goal for mild and conquerable spring cleaning for your home, your mind may wander to thinking of cellulite, tans, and stretch marks. Yes women, I’m talking to you. It is the Spring cleaning of our bodies where we feel we must prepare our figures for lighter clothing. To prepare, begin with your pantries, refrigerators, and anywhere you stash unhealthy snacks. While I still recommend keeping a very small emergency pile of chocolate or other sweet you enjoy, get rid of the frozen maple waffles and foods that are high in fat and calories such as ice cream, etc.
Then make a list of foods that you not only enjoy, but are healthy. Shop for snacks that will satisfy your cravings, fill your tummy, but not ruin your health goals. Be realistic and reasonable, and only choose things you will eat and enjoy. Trying to convince yourself that you should eat 5 servings of vegetables a day, and choosing something you enjoy. If it means you like apples, and want to eat 3 apples a day, go for it.
While you’re filling up your frig, consider walking to the grocery store or local farmers stand or market. Get outside at least once a day for 30 minutes and enjoy walking, playing with your kids, or even just stretching and running in place if you have nowhere enjoyable to walk nearby. Take advantage of the warmer weather and stretch those tired winter muscles. Just moving a little bit each day can make a huge improvement to your body, and your soul.
Spring cleaning your mind can be the hardest of the three. Finding time to de-stress is one of the most difficult things to do. Mental health always takes a back seat to the stresses in our life, but it is one of the most important. If you have low funds, consider getting a massage from a local massage school for a cheaper cost. Give yourself a pedicure, and each week take time to do a home facial with some yogurt, or a cheap facial mask from the local pharmacy. Taking 5 minutes to do something for yourself makes a huge difference in our attitudes.
Walking can lift your spirits and allow you to sort through the difficult things in life. Make lists and ways in which you intend to accomplish the items on it. Relieve your brain of having to remember every detail and become a post-it-note junkie. Write yourself encouragements, send yourself flowers, and enjoy being queen for a day if you can spare it. Take time, even if only 5 minutes, for yourself and relaxing.
Spring cleaning can be easy this year. Take the pressure of and take a bite at a time to cleanse your home, body and soul.