It’s that time of year! Spring is coming soon. Well, maybe not in north-central Montana, but we can hope! And the sooner we get it done, the sooner we can enjoy the nice weather! But did you know that there is more to cleaning out the clutter than cleaning out your closets? Spring is a time to start anew! It is a time for new and re-birth. It is a time to awaken our senses and our minds and give our bodies a recharge.
I have come up with 5 things that we need to consider when we are spring cleaning. When it is all done, think of how refreshed we will feel!
This is a tough one! It is a very daunting task which is no fun to tackle, but a good one while it is cold outside and still snow on the ground. It is not as hard as it looks, if you don’t try to tackle it all at once. And rather than run to the nearest Wal-Mart and buy storage bins that we have to, well… store, get some cardboard boxes instead and clean out! If you haven’t used it in a year, do you truly need it?
Pick a room to start in. Go through each closet, shelf, drawer. Some rooms may take you more than one day, but that’s ok! Be sure to take everything out of drawers, closets, and off of shelves and vacuum them and wipe them down. Wash the walls in the room. You can save the windows for a warmer day, but be sure to wipe off the tops of the windows, door frames, and door!
Having a hard time deciding about your clothes? Put the hangers on the clothes bar backwards, and by May you will easily be able to see which ones you wear on a regular basis. Do you want or need to clean out the rest? Try doing this for each season of clothing. Are you keeping clothes for when you lose weight? If you lose the weight, will you want to buy new ones that are more in style?
Another good tip I have, is to keep an open box handy yet out of sight. I have mine in my dining room, and every time I open a cupboard or find something that I haven’t used for a year or two, it goes in the box. When the box is full, take it out to the garage or other storage.
Enlist help from your kids and then be sure to offer them a great treat when you are done. Maybe a family game night or a movie night. How about going ice skating? Make it worth their while and they are more apt to get rid of stuff they don’t use anymore. If you don’t have kids or don’t have any old enough to help, check with a church youth group or a club at your local high school to see if any kids are willing to work to raise money for their organization or a trip.
So now you are saying, “How do I spring clean my body?” Easy! Detox!
When you detox, your body flushes out all of the chemicals that we ingest, breath in, or are absorbed through our skin. Your liver stores these toxins as well as your fat cells. And did you know that your colon can carry 10-15 lbs. of extra sludge in it? Detoxing is a great way to flush your system, and restart your body, allowing it to start out new. It is recommended to detox every season, or four times a year.
There are several different ways to clean out your body and refresh it. You can detox though food and following a special diet. Check out This month’s issue of “Whole Living” for their 2013 action plan. You can detox through juices and/or smoothies, fast, or you can purchase a detox kit from your local health food store. Whichever method you decide to use, be sure to check with your doctor about any health concerns and which program is right for you before you begin.
I also recommend if you haven’t already, to start an exercise program. Even though we move a lot during the day, it is not the same as regular exercise. Exercise raises our endorphins which not only helps our bodies, but helps our minds. Plus it keeps things moving and helps to avoid your colon being stagnant. Any exercise is better than none, so don’t think you need to start off with “Abs of Steel.” Normally the best exercise for you, is the one you are able to do. And always check with your doctor before beginning any exercise routine.
Spring cleaning the mind is one of the hardest things we have to do. I know my mind is going a million miles an hour with everything I need to get done during the day. Not to mention, things that are bothering me or upsetting me. Even something as small as forgetting to send a birthday card when I should. Or like today, when I realize I forgot to have my daughter decorate the living room for Valentine’s Day. Important to me? Not usually. But it is important to her, therefore, it is important to me.
Make sure you start each day with gratitude. When you start off on a positive note, it helps your day be more positive. Also, try to turn each negative situation into a positive. For example, Mark was changing the lightbulb on the font porch yesterday and dropped the fixture, shattering it. True we had to clean up the mess and now find a new one, but I haven’t liked that one for nine years. I thought it was a win-win situation!
Try to organize your thoughts. Make to do lists. Do you have daily goals? Weekly? Monthly? right them down on separate lists. For example, what would you like to accomplish this month? What are the weekly goals you need to reach to do that? What do you have to accomplish daily to get your weekly goals done?
Organize your time! Do weekly meal planning and grocery shopping. Try to run all of your errands in one day so you aren’t wasting so much time and fuel running around town.
Spring cleaning relationships is very important for your health! Do you have a friend or a loved one you had a falling out with? It doesn’t matter whose fault it was, forgiveness and apologies are the key to fixing things. Find them both and start over. Is there a friend or a loved one who sucks the energy out of you? Sometimes we just need to say “no” when asked to do tasks and put our needs first. Haven’t seen one of your friends for about a year because you have both been busy? Get in touch with her. It would be good for both of you and give you a chance to renew your relationship. Getting rid of your emotional baggage with troubled relationships will help refresh you.
Whose spirit doesn’t need a lift? I know mine does! And often!
There are so many ways to lift our spirits. Yoga, meditation, get a massage, call a friend. Those are the easy ones. There are a few other ways to lift your spirits.
Find a Bible Study group and start participating. You can generally find a few with women that have similar situations. Such as a “Moms” group. Check with your local church. If they don’t have one going on, consider starting one of your own. Not sure how to do it? Check with your church. Your pastor can help you find resources.
Go have fun with your kids! Be silly and don’t care who may see you! We get so caught up in our busy lives we forget how to have fun. And who knows better than kids? Finger paint or play with play-dough. Play dress-up or super heroes. Whatever your kids desire! And you never know what they will come up with! Last night my daughter got the bright idea to play “hotel.” And lucky me, her hotel has a spa! I got a foot rub, a back massage, breakfast in bed, and she put a little tray of “necessities” by my bed which included raisins and coconut water if I woke up in the middle of the night hungry. She did the dishes and made my coffee this morning. And she is the happiest girl in the world today because I played along. And I am the happiest mom because she tended to my needs!
Try getting back in touch with nature. Start planning your garden and get your hands in the dirt while you plant seeds. Go for a walk, or a hike. If you are like me and surrounded by ice, go buy spikes to put on your shoes. But get some fresh air and get in touch with God and all of the glorious gifts he has given us! And don’t forget to show him gratitude while you are at it.