We’ve made it through one of the worst winters in decades, and at long last the temperatures are rising, the sun is shining, and the grass is turning green. Life always looks a little brighter in spring. But before we can bask in the sunshine there are few things we need to take care of.
Yes—it’s time for spring cleaning; time to tackle the closets, and stacks of clothes, books, and junk that has piled up all winter long. There is a tried and true method for this. Sabrina Soto of HGTV, Good HouseKeeping, and many other home care professionals recommend this method.
Find four large boxes and label them with four categories: (1) Trash,(2) Give away/Sell (3) Sort/Store, and (4) Put away.
Trash any items that you don’t want or need, along with anything that is broken. Old magazines, broken household gadgets, the boots with the hole that you meant to get repaired all winter long, but never found the time—all these things are just cluttering up your life. Get rid of them.
Give away clothes and household items that are in good condition, but that you’re not using. If you have items in excellent condition, you may want to take them to a consignment shop or sell them on one of the many online resale websites
Take time to sort through things like old mail, bills, games, and socks to see if there is anything worth keeping. Store anything you cannot part with. Some things may need to be stored until you find a missing or matching piece. But don’t get bogged down in this project.
Lastly, put things away in their rightful place. Winter coats, boots, hats, gloves, space heaters, blankets, and other things you won’t be using should be carefully stored in closets, bins, or on shelving for use again next winter.
It may take some work to get through every room, but it will be worth it. We are more relaxed and happy when our environment is tidy and in order.
But our external environment isn’t the only thing that needs order; our internal environment needs order too, and believe it or not, we can use the same type of organizational system inside as out.
Give yourself some time to sit and reflect. Then, divide a clean piece of paper into four. Label each quarter of the page the same as you labeled your boxes: trash, giveaway, sort, and put away. Get rid of any negative emotions you’re holding on to. Feelings like bitterness, resentment, and self-doubt have no place in a healthy environment. Let them go. Next, jot down a couple of ways you can give of yourself. Sometimes the only way we find what we need is to give others what they need. It’s one of life’s great balances. Then, sort through your own thoughts, hopes, dreams, and feelings and keep everything that is positive. It’s ok to store the good things. Finally, put away all positive thoughts, memories, and feeling. Keep them safely tucked in your mind and heart and pull them out as needed.
When we really clean house—inside and out, everything around us seems to sparkle. A good spring cleaning can be cathartic, and leaves us with an incredible sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.