Spring is all about renewal, the balance of light and dark, and the return of new growth, both in nature and in ourselves. Here’s how to have an epic spring clean that will declutter your “corners of doom” and get you ready to smash the rest of the year!
Spring is all around us, with every lengthening day, with every new bud on the tree, and with every lit BBQ and cold beer in the sun. Spring Equinox is on 20th of March according to the Astronomical Calendar – the Meteorological calendar puts Spring at 1st March. However way you look at it, Spring is basically here, and it’s an exciting time!
I for one have taken to the Astronomical Calendar (see my side project at weeklywheel.com) as a way to mark the seasons, both the seasons of nature and the seasons of the soul! Spring is a time to sow seeds and celebrate the fertility of the land. But we can also think of it as a time to awaken our own inner dreams, projects, and ambitions. I for one have a few things on the agenda this year (long distance walk, a vegetable patch, a new business). With the sleepy days of winter gone, now is the time to set the scene for positivity and success!
Which brings me to spring cleaning. Spring cleaning sounds cliche but it can be a great way to lay the foundations for positive spring and summer: clear out the cruft, remove distractions, make space for new projects, crafts, ideas, and dreams.
Over the last year our cottage has accumulated numerous, what I call, “corners of doom” – it began with a fairly annoying corner kitchen cupboard that became a chaotic storage space for just about every kitchen pot, pan, gadget and gizmo we own.
But before I get ahead of myself, let’s count the plus side: Andrew moved into the cottage almost a year ago, and the year has been an amazing flurry of new projects, celebrations, and endless hours in the kitchen. The corners of doom are in a sense the output of some of these great times: a disorganised array of books on cooking, camping, and walking; shelves that have accumulated jars of various pickled creations (and an alarming number of empty bottles of gin); a shelf stuffed with various bits of outdoor gear. Our house is clean but cluttered. It’s time to get rid of all the stuff that was “so last year” and organise the things that are still relevant so they can enable our new projects. So here’s my strategy…
Spring cleaning in 3 steps
1. Identify all of your corners of doom
Write a list of all the areas in the house and garden that you’d like to spruce up. Here’s my list, which is rather daunting:
- Monica’s desk (do people actually “file papers” these days?)
- Spice cupboard (jam packed, impossible to use, and dirty)
- Corner kitchen top cupboard (when you open it, all of our empty containers pour out)
- Corner kitchen bottom cupboard (you have to crawl inside to find anything)
- Mudroom closet (see above re shelves stuffed with outdoor gear)
- Office bookshelf (poor use of space)
- Living room bookshelf (not so much a book shelf but shelves of piles)
- Sideboard (see above re jars and empty gin bottles)
- Fridge clear out (why do I have two shelves of jams when I never eat jams?)
- Wall area next to the fridge (is this really the best place to store flour, dog food, and the kelly kettle?)
- Fridge door (paper clutter!)
- Garden veg beds (a haven for dandelions!)
- Garden corner of doom (the remains of our greenhouse which blew over earlier this year)
2. Make a schedule to tackle each corner of doom one at a time
Andrew and I have a spreadsheet system for projects (more on this in a separate post coming soon). I’ve labeled my corners of doom projects “CoD” and slotted each item into its own day so as not to bite off more than I can chew. On work days, tackle something simple and easy to accomplish within a half an hour: cleaning out a shelf, sorting through a drawer, putting away that pile of papers on your desk (guilteeeeee!).
3. Just do it!
With the schedule in place it should be pretty easy to smash through your spring cleaning. You may find that you’re a little slow to get started but once you get going it’s actually hard to stop!
Spring cleaning for the soul
It’s easy to put all of the spring cleaning focus on your physical space but it’s worth taking the time to think about your own inner cobwebs that you’d like to clear out: unhelpful thoughts, bad habits, negativity. Cleaning house is a good first step – getting rid of clutter can help create a space for more positive thinking and productivity. But be deliberate about that time. I’ve been collecting a few ideas for springtime positivity projects from my friends. Here are my favourites:
- Say one nice thing to yourself every day and take at least a few moments to reflect on that
- Collect happy things: get rid of “stuff” and instead collect positive vibes. Keep a notebook of things that make you happy (avocados, dog cuddles, sleeping in a tent); make happy playlists (80’s, tropical house, musicals); make a collage, just like in preschool!
- Make an effort to be nice to yourself. And practice at it. Don’t indulge negative thinking. Create a stockpile list of “positive thoughts” so that when you have a negative thought you can quickly replace it with something else.
- Treat yourself to a fresh new thing that will make you feel nice. I know we’re supposed to be getting rid of stuff here but I think replacing the old with something new can help support the whole “fresh new start” vibe that Spring is all about. My sister is a big fan of sexy new underwear! As someone who spends most of her time in sports bras and hiking clothes, this is possibly a little lost on me, but I do totally get how wearing a nice pretty thing can be a handy confidence booster! This year I went a bit more functional with my fresh new thing: I replaced my crappy toothbrush with a ludicrously cool Oral-B Pro 4000 CrossAction Toothbrush which I heard about from ToothStars. Yes, I’m excited about a toothbrush! It has bluetooth features which feedback details about how I’m brushing my teeth to my iPhone. No corners of doom in my mouth!
Any favourite tips for spring cleaning that I should know about? Any corners of doom that you need help facing? Let me know in the comments!