It has officially been spring since March 20, but I wanted to use my column today to talk about the idea of “spring cleaning” and why I think it is important.
Spring is a time of renewal with trees regaining their leaves, grass finally turning green and flowers blooming. It is a time of sunshine and warm breezes and finally a break from the long winters that blanket Iowa.
Because of that change in weather, it is also the best time to spring clean, which is where people tend to clear out their homes of unneeded and unnecessary items that accumulated over the fall and winter. Spring cleaning takes place during the spring because it follows the idea that it is a time of renewal, of freshness, of sunshine and brightness.
So what do the experts say we need to do to get our living spaces fresh this spring?
“Create cleaning checklists for each room to help you get organized and to remind you of the areas that need extra attention,” The Spruce’s website stated. “Feel free to skip the areas that have been cleaned recently, and focus on the parts of your home that were largely neglected over the winter.”
For the kitchen, remember the kitchen sink, the grout, the countertops, the oven, the microwave, the cutting boards and the cabinets.
For the bathroom, remember the shower curtain, the grout, the shower drain, makeup brushes and the bathroom cabinet.
For the living room, remember the couches, the curtains, the bookshelves, the ceiling fixtures and the kids' toys.
For the bedrooms, remember the bedding, the closet and the mattress.
For other miscellaneous things, remember the purses and bags, the vacuum, the walls and ceilings, the floors, the rugs, the windows and the doormat.
Remember when spring cleaning that you don’t have to do everything alone. Instead, make spring cleaning a household endeavor. Try throwing on some music as you all clean or establish an incentive so that everyone can be interested in getting the work done.
Another important thing to remember is that cleaning a whole home can be a daunting task and very time-consuming and not every person has that kind of time to dedicate to it. Instead, the Spruce’s website recommends that households try establishing ongoing cleaning habits.
“For instance, don't try to do all of your spring cleaning in one day or even one weekend. Instead, tackle items on your spring cleaning to-do list for just 15 minutes each day,” the Spruce’s website stated. “That will help to get you in the habit of tidying up for 10 to 15 minutes per day even after you're done with your spring cleaning tasks.”
Another important aspect of spring cleaning is to do a sort of “mental spring cleaning.” That means you take some time to reflect on your mental health and see what you can do during this time of freshness and renewal to better yourself.
The Alo House Recovery Centers’ website has 10 tips to help people spring clean mentally.
1. Give up a bad habit
2. Let go of drama
3. Prioritize positive friendships
4. Restructure your time
5. Cut out negativity from your past
6. Practice gratitude
7. Speak kind words to yourself
8. Clear out complaints
9. Start a new wellness ritual
10. Let go of perfection
Use any of the tips from this column, whether they are about cleaning mentally or physically, and do some spring cleaning today, I promise it will make you feel better.
Also please share your spring cleaning experiences with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.