Spring Cleaning Beyond the Home

It’s safe to say we’ve entered spring (two months later). Because of the cold weather, I’ve had little motivation to get any “spring cleaning” done. When it came down to choosing between wiping my counter tops and cuddling up with a cup of coffee and Brooklyn Nine-Nine, well, I think you know what I ended up selecting.

Cue this late, but actually pretty timely (70 degrees and sunny for the first week of May!), spring cleaning post that extends beyond breaking out that mop. I’m also feeling very motivated because it’s my birth month, and I always get excited around my birthday. I got, like, seven emails filled with free birthday stuff two days ago. Go me.

Plus, there are a ton of benefits that come with spring cleaning. Yahoo! Lifestyle names a few:

  • It reduces stress.
  • It clears away negative energy.
  • It helps you live in the moment.
  • It helps you stay healthy.
  • It improves your mood.
  • It gets you motivated at work.

Those all sound great to me. Remember, spring cleaning doesn’t have to be limited to cleaning your living space; it can extend beyond the walls of the house. But, traditionally, we’ll start with…

Cleaning your home.
Where has the time gone? All of your winter sweaters are piled up in a corner of your closet, there’s a weird stain on your floor… has that dust on your T.V. stand always been that noticeable? Time to kick it in gear. Start with a checklist for each room: list the things you need to do and the products you need to do them. Get organized. Most importantly, don’t try and cram cleaning your entire house or apartment into one day. Take one room per day, one corner per day if you have to, so you don’t feel overwhelmed and give up on yourself early. And please, please… don’t forget the germ magnets. DOORKNOBS. HANDLES. Clean everything. We don’t have time for allergies here.

Better yet, while you’re decluttering, get motivated and sell some things! Me and my coworkers are all over Poshmark. You can buy and sell new or used fashion and beauty items. It’s a really simple process and I’ve made a ton of money off of it. It gives you that final push when you’re staring at a sweater you haven’t worn in years, trying to convince yourself that you’d eventually wear it again. Nope. Sold it for 20 bucks. Much better.

Cleaning your finances.
Do you know exactly how many subscriptions, memberships, etc. you’re paying for? Take a look at your bank statement next month and start to cancel whatever you’re not using. It could be that $7.99 for Hulu, or your $30 gym membership to a place you haven’t seen in four months. That little bit of cash can go a long way in your budget, and you should not be paying for things you don’t use. An app called Trim can help find those recurring costs and cancel them; it can even negotiate your cable bill for certain providers!

Cleaning your health habits.
What happened? You were doing so well with those New Year’s resolutions! You got a gym membership, meal prepped for, like, the first three weeks of 2018 and essentially had it all together… until you didn’t. If you’re all about using dates or events as an excuse to get your sh*t together when it comes to your health, use spring cleaning as the next opportunity. The best advice I can give someone who’s just starting out with a new fitness and health routine and is as lazy as I can be is to plan, plan, plan. If you take classes like I do, sign up in advance and write them down on your phone calendar, in your planner, post-its on your fridge, everywhere. If you’re a member of the gym, schedule time as if you were attending a class. Try to go the same days of the week every week, so it becomes routine. If you plan ahead and forcibly make time for it in your schedule, you won’t have any excuses. P.S. You have t-minus 25 days until Memorial Day.

Cleaning your mental health.
I need to make a conscious effort to do this one. Part of your spring cleaning this year should include organizing a few hours a week dedicated to you and doing what makes you happy. Yes, you. Spend this time doing what calms, rejuvenates and interests you. Is it reading a new book? Meditating? Cuddling with your pets? Whatever it is, do it. You can’t give, give, give if you’re running on empty, and that goes for both your personal and professional life.

If you’re up to it, start a gratitude journal. Each night, write down one thing you felt grateful for that day. If you’re ever feeling down, you can look back and see all of the incredible things that happened to and for you over time.

Cleaning your contact list.
Well, really, cleaning out some of your negative relationships, but I couldn’t pass up the alliteration. Losing friends is sad. Cutting people off is sad. However, you are a reflection of who you surround yourself with, and their actions can affect you, both physically and mentally. If someone has a negative influence on your life and/or causes you to feel badly about yourself, it’s time to let them go. Having two or three close friends who support, engage with and love you is healthier than having a big group of friends who don’t care enough to check in.

Cleaning your social media.
I’m scrolling through my Instagram feed yesterday and see some random chick from high school who I could not care less about post a food picture. I had to stare at her name for a good five minutes before I realized we were in the same graduating class. Unfollowed. It’s not like she offended me with her picture, but why the hell do I care? I don’t – I barely remembered her name. Clean out your “following” list of these people; while you’re at it, take a look at your “follower” list, too. There may be some people who snuck in who you just don’t want seeing your stuff anymore. Imagine a timeline of pictures of people and places you actually cared about.

Cleaning your tech (and BACKING IT UP!!!).
Buy a hard drive and get to work. You have a birthday list from 2008 where you asked for a new pair of Uggs and put a polkadot border around the edges. That list is taking up precious space on your laptop (and probably slowing it down a bit). Next to it, you have a list of contacts you made at a conference. Probably something you want to keep and back up to the hard drive. Organize your folders on all your devices. Delete some apps off your phone. You’ll thank yourself later.

Anything else you’re cleaning up this spring? Drop it in the comments below!

-D

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