Ahhh spring, it is so good to see you my friend!!!
This time of year makes my heart so very happy: the days are warming up, the birds are chirping, and the blossoms have arrived on the plum tree in my front garden. Spring is a time of renewal, birth, and growth and it is definitely one of my favourite seasons. It is the entrée to summer but it has a gentleness and beauty to it that is often lost in the searing heat of the Australian summer months.
As we come out of the winter darkness and damp the desire to spring clean often emerges. The other day I opened my house up fully to make the most of the glorious 24 degree day. The warm breeze swept through my home and geez it felt good! Everything – including me – had a thorough airing.
This simple act, in combination with the fact that I am about to go away for a month, triggered the “Spring Clean Gene” in me. I started opening cupboards and finding things to throw out. I then moved on to my wardrobe and found immense joy in letting my inner “brutal culler” rise to the surface. I find it so funny that I hang on to stuff because it’s good quality or I think I might wear it one day – I never do!
Well not anymore – it got chucked!
By chucked, I mean put into piles to be rehomed, regifted, recycled or donated. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure so they say.
I do believe that our external environment is a reflection of our internal environment. If you live or work in highly cluttered space with no order then I believe that it will impact upon how clear and focused your thinking is. I also have a great belief in energy and the movement of energy in our homes (and lives generally). In fact, the Chinese practice of Feng Shui is all about maximising energy flow in your home and ensuring the home is best set up for health and abundance – and it’s thousands of years old.
After starting my spring clean a bit haphazardly, I developed a good strategy and it made the process much more effective and enjoyable, so I wanted to share some tips with you. Here are my three top tips to help you clean and energise your home and make it ready for this new season.
Work Room by Room
I am all about achievement and being able to cross things of my list so spring cleaning room by room allows for lots of little wins on the journey to the grand prize. If you have limited time I recommend you start with the laundry or the bathroom. These rooms are usually small and won’t take too long, so you get to experience the sense of achievement that comes with completion. This is then a great motivator to tackle the bigger, more challenging spaces in your home. Start by throwing out anything that you no longer need/use/want and any old products that are expired. My bathroom cupboard seems to accumulate A LOT of stuff that doesn’t get used, yet for some reason I seem to think they are essential to me as a human being!
Yep, get your hard, cold, heartless persona on before you open a single cupboard to throw anything out. Leave your emotion at the door and treat this like a military operation. Marie Kondo has made the art of throwing out famous and the question she asks when tidying up and throwing stuff away is “Does this item bring me joy?” If it no longer brings joy, then it gets thrown out (or recycled), after being lovingly thanked for its presence. For women, clothes seem to have an especially strong emotional charge. As I mentioned above, I have had things in my wardrobe for years and not worn them but I didn’t want to let them go either. Honestly, by de-cluttering and only keeping the things you really love, you create space and energy in your home and that is way more valuable than a possession that is never used or appreciated.
My mum used to say “all hands on deck!” – this was the family catchcry that meant we all needed to help complete whatever task was at hand. I am a firm believer that “many hands make light work” which is a saying my mum also loved.
The thought of spring cleaning the entire house can be overwhelming. We think about it and we see days of work ahead of us, so why not ask for help? Get the kids on board to do their share. This teaches them that they too have to contribute to the family space, and they start to learn about how run a household: great soft skills preparing them for adulthood. Ask your partner to be a part of it too. Often there are areas that are already assigned to each partner – for example, my dad always took care of the outside and mum the inside – very traditional I know – but it worked well in my family.
If you live on your own, ask your friends to come and help. I remember when I moved out of my house years ago. I sent a group text message and asked my friends to come over and help me clean my entire home before it was rented out. I had four friends turn up and it took a mere three hours to do the whole house. I made everyone lunch and it was a great morning because we also had fun and caught up on each other’s news as we cleaned. It turned two days of work on my own into three hours of work for five of us. Don’t be afraid to ask for help – people like to help people, and the law of reciprocity means that most people would willingly come and help you when you are in need.
Also if you can’t do the job or fix the thing, find a professional who can come and take care of it properly – stuff like leaky taps, roof issues or broken cabinetry.
I still have a long way to go with my spring cleaning but I am soenjoying the process and LOVING the cull!
Room for new energy I think…..