Spring Cleaning for Self-Care: Tips to Declutter Your Home and Your Mind
As we head into Spring and we notice the days getting warmer and longer, now is the perfect time to give our homes and our lives a spring cleaning so we can live in the most spiffy, organized, and comfortable environments possible.
Not to mention, if you’re somewhere that’s enforcing self-isolation due to Covid-19, there ain’t no time like the present! You’re cooped up anyways, so why not take on the big project of making your home… well, homey?
It’s well documented that our environment greatly affects our mental health. Specifically, our environment can affect our moods, impact our behavior and motivation levels, and create or reduce stress. In fact, a study regarding home psychology found that people with cluttered homes or that had many unfinished projects were more likely to be depressed and tired than people who lived in environments that are considered neat and comfortable.
Here are some top tips to jumpstart your spring cleaning this year, with a special checklist at the bottom to help get you started!
Tip #1 – Make a List
Spring cleaning is a big job, and before you start tackling an area of your house, make a list! Write out all the things you plan to accomplish and categorize them into areas or sections.
Physically seeing everything you need to do right in front of your eyes — and then physically crossing items off your list as you go — will help keep your to-do list top of mind and motivate you to continue.
Make sure to cover every area of your house including washing walls, baseboards, doors, lampshades, etc. (there is a full list at the bottom of this post).
Tip #2 – Break It Up
It can feel overwhelming to think about spring cleaning an entire house, apartment, or property. It is a huge job, after all! But in order to avoid overwhelm and keep your brain in the game, break up the job into smaller steps.
Personally, I find that tackling my house room by room is a great way to see my progress and feel motivated to continue. However, you may realize that you feel equally motivated by breaking up the jobs into even smaller tasks — for example, first you deep clean all of your floors, then you clean your windows, then you sort the storage room, etc.
Not putting too much pressure on yourself and viewing spring cleaning as a process will help greatly with seeing through the project to the end.
Tip #3 – Deep Clean
As I mentioned briefly above, deep cleaning is essential to a good spring clean. However, not only is this greatly beneficial to your home, but it’s also great for your mind.
Don’t fall off the wagon by thinking that you can get away with just tidying up common areas in your home. Instead, get as down and dirty with your environment as you can, and leave no stone unturned while doing so.
It’s amazing how great it feels knowing that your home is as spick and span as it can possibly be.
Tip #4 – Create Empty Space
Keeping in tune with the home psychology article mentioned above, creating empty space in your home will do a lot in helping it feel clean, neat, and purposeful. You don’t need to fill every nook and cranny with things, and having an empty corner or area can go a long way in creating flow in your house.
A few tips for creating empty space in a home is to play with seating arrangements, use decorative rugs, use shelving and storage units, and incorporate plants instead of things if an area feels empty.
Think about if you use the items in your house, and if they make you happy. Often we can feel weighed down by our possessions, and in this way, less is truly more.
Plus, if you don’t need to store or keep your things, then you can always put them aside for donation!
Tip #5 – Round Up the Troops
Let’s be honest, unless you live alone, there is no reason you should be doing a deep spring cleaning by yourself. Instead, make the process fun and fair by getting the whole family involved.
Delegate tasks or areas that each person should be focusing on, play some music for motivation, and get moving!
Tip #6 – Clean Out Your Fridge
Your spring cleaning doesn’t stop with the open areas — it also includes your cupboards, fridge, and the food you eat. During this spring clean, give your refrigerator and cupboards a deep clean, and take stock of the food in them.
Is there food in your cupboards that has been sitting stagnant for over a year or more? Is there food you’ve purchased that represents a habit you’re looking to get away from? Then clean it out!
That said, if you feel guilty about throwing away food you bought but don’t want to consume, then either donate it if you can or have a gathering of friends and use it as party nibbles (after self-isolation, of course!).
Speaking of which, if you’re currently in self-isolation, consider these tips for holistic self-care!
Tip #7 – Clean Your Calendar & Your Digital World
Now that your house is in order, have you taken a good look at your calendar, social media, and your inbox? How do you feel about how much free time you have versus how much is taken up by activities and appointments? Does the state of your inbox stress you out? How about what you’re looking at every day on social media?
Use this time to do a full re-haul of your virtual clutter and what you’re giving your energy to. If there are things in there that you feel aren’t good for you anymore, then take action to replace them.
On this note, if you find yourself feeling stressed out due to the uncertainties of the world we live in today, check out these 4 ways to manage fear and anxiety.
Tip #8 – Donate
Once you’ve gone through every room and have amassed a pile of things you no longer use, eat, or wear, consider donating them!
Whether you know of a friend who could use some of your goods, or whether you know of a shelter or family in need, repurposing items is good for both humanity and the environment.
Of course, depending on the situation of your home city, donating may be difficult with the social isolation measures put in place. Be sure to research if you’re still able to drop your items off at donation centers, or set them aside until the Covid-19 safety situation changes.
Tip #9 – Don’t Go Crazy With Cleaning Products
In our modern world, store shelves are overloaded with a million and one chemical-filled cleaning products that, quite frankly, are unnecessary and can be bad for the environment.
Instead of buying every cleaner under the sun, choose some basic supplies including a good all-purpose cleaner, a glass cleaner, and a wood cleaner. But of course, you could even make your own super environmentally-friendly cleaners if you so choose. There are tons of recipes online!
From there, you can use old rags or cut-up t-shirts to wash stuff down.
A Spring Cleaning Checklist
– Wash floors, baseboards, walls, doors (and the tops), and windows
– Dust blinds, vents, fans, overhead lights, and lampshades
– Vacuum furniture and carpet
– Dust any fixtures and decorations
– Polish any wood furniture
– Wash pillows and blankets
– Shampoo Carpets
– Clean and wash pantry & fridge
– Deep clean oven
– Clean behind fridge
– Wash out cupboards
– Wash all bedding & laundry
– Dust all fixtures and decorations
– Flip mattress
– Clean out dresser & closet
– Organize side tables
– Deep clean toilet, sink, shower, and tub
– Wash bathmats and towels
– Wash or replace the shower curtain
– Sweep/vacuum porch
– Change batteries in smoke alarms & carbon monoxide detectors
– Restock first aid kits
– Wash and put away winter clothing
– Clean your office area and disinfect computer equipment
– Donate unused items
– Give your calendar an overhaul
That’s it for our spring cleaning tips to declutter your home and mind! A clean, positive environment truly goes a long way into keeping us physically and mentally healthy. Let us know what some of your favorite spring cleaning tasks are in the comments!