By Annette Colby
When I was growing up, my German raised mom, dad, and live-in grandmother Oma participated in a yearly spring cleaning ritual. Spring cleaning involved a complete top to bottom cleaning of every square inch of our home. Our family would spend at least two weeks deep cleaning, washing, and polishing everything to create that spring-fresh feeling. And I mean everything.
Dad would be outside on the ladder cleaning out the gutters, washing down the siding of the house, and scrubbing the outside of the windows. When he was done, he’d reorganize the detached garage. After that, he’d be down in the garden turning over the compost pile in anticipation of planting the garden.
Inside, mom and Oma were busy washing every curtain and window lace, and then removing the blinds so they could be washed by hand in the bathtub. Every light fixture was meticulously made to sparkle. The entire contents of the china hutch, including the china, crystal, and silver, was washed, dried, and polished. Each piece of furniture was dusted and then moved so the carpets could be scrupulously deep cleaned and the wooden floors buffed. When those tasks were complete, there was also an attic and basement that required attention.
My sister Elke and I didn’t escape the flurry of spring cleaning activity. As part of the family we had our many chores… and there was no playing until those chores were complete.
Today’s spring cleaning may not be as involved, but when the warmer weather arrives, it’s a perfect time to great time to generate some new energy by packing away cold weather clothing, engaging in clutter control, and playing in the yard. Here are four reasons spring cleaning will immediately invigorate your life.
There’s nothing like the entrance of springtime to prompt us to clear out clutter and make space for new energy and opportunities. Clutter usually accumulates over time. We become used to living with closets stuffed with too many clothes and shoes, kitchens filled with old boxes of food and trashy catchall drawers, and workspaces overflowing with piles of magazines, stacks of paper, and unfiled receipts. All that clutter can leave us with low energy levels, feeling irritable, inefficient, and even mildly depressed. It’s never easy to start cleaning your clutter. But as spring offers our bodies a burst of liveliness, we can funnel that energy into organizing our living spaces. When it’s done, you’ll be feeling confident, accomplished, and ready to enjoy life!
Enjoy the Great Outdoors
After hibernating indoors all winter, spring offers a great excuse to get out into the fresh air and sunshine. On those perfect spring warm weather days, get yourself outside and spruce up the yard. Being in nature can have a profound effect on both our psyche and our health. Sometimes we need to feel the earth under our feet, to dig in the earth and plant flowers joyfully with enthusiasm. Spring is when we reawaken our quiet fascination with life.
Unleash Your Creative Spirit
Spring is characterized by excitement, energy spurts, and air of creativity. By channeling some of the energy into opening up space in your home, you also provide an opportunity to open up new spaces within your creative spirit. You can be quite surprised to suddenly discover so many new ideas for creative ventures. By lightening your load and cleaning your environment, you gain a sense of what it is like to be unburdened. New avenues of flow open up and with that flow comes a new excitement about how you want to spend your time.
Focus on Dreams from the Heart
Spring cleaning offers a unique opportunity to inspect all the dark corners of the closet, seldom looked at shelves, and deep inside cabinets. As you pick up your items and clean them off, you get to ask yourself, “Do I need this? Do I use it? Do I love it?” These types of introspective questions allow you to look inside and set your priorities. Instead of going through your days on autopilot, you stop and question what is important to you at this stage of your life. Go through your clothes, knick knacks, office supplies, and reading materials and ask yourself, “Is this a reflection of who I am right now?” As closets are organized, drawers tidied up, and garages cleaned, you allow yourself a sacred opportunity to lovingly say goodbye to who you once were and create a new space to welcome who you will become.
Spring cleaning your home and yard is deeply satisfying on many levels of your mind, body, and spirit. Whether you’re an advocate of an all-out session of spring cleaning, or tend more toward the small, simple jobs, both can bring the season’s freshness into your life.
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