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All over the United States this winter there has been unpredictable, unexpected and generally unappreciated winter weather. Now, with March 20th just visible on the horizon, people are starting to seek out signs of spring. The bright spears of daffodil and crocus leaves, their green points poking through defrosting ground,their purple and yellow flowers blooming right above the melting snow.
The chirp of birds outside the window, or the orange and black cloud of migrating monarchs. With the warmer weather comes a craving for fresh air and open windows, a need to crawl out of the blankets and snow suits we’ve been sheltering in and air out our houses and our lives. People say it’s time for a spring cleanse, a time to clear out the space we’ve been hunkering in, day in and day out, while waiting for warmer weather.
Even for people who love winter and whatever weather it brings to their area, there are still more days during this part of the year when the weather keeps us inside for longer, and the advent of spring is the perfect time to clean out and refresh both our living spaces and the lives we lead in them.
I propose that this year, instead of just dusting, sweeping and washing windows to let in the sun, we spring cleanse by clearing out the unnecessary, both in our homes and our hearts.
Spring Cleanse: Clearing Out Many Kinds of Spaces
To begin with, what can you donate, recycle or just plain get rid of that’s cluttering up your space? Now is a great time to reevaluate what you’re keeping around that you truly don’t want or need – and why.
De-cluttering can help us feel more organized and productive, and it can also help us simplify, and perhaps even reassess our consumption habits. A sweep through our house (or condo, apartment, dorm, room, etc.) can help us physically and mentally clear out the stuffiness of winter and prepare for a new season.
Not everyone has the time (or inclination!) for a major house clean, but even a quick car or backpack clear-out can be satisfying. Even more important is the mental and emotional de-cluttering.
Spring Cleanse Our Minds
A new, sunny season is coming and if we organize and simplify our thoughts, we can prepare to greet it with a matching attitude. Clearing out an actual, physical space is one way of doing this, but there are other ways to do it as well.
I personally am making a list of all the bad habits I’ve somehow seemed to acquire this winter (I’m blaming it on too many days stuck indoors with toddlers) and then throwing those bad habits out (OK, I’ll actually be putting the list in the recycling bin, but you get the idea). I hope to leave my shortening temper, self-pity and thinning patience behind with the last of the melting snow.
Just like keeping a clean house, of course, I’ll need quick check-ins and straightening ups with myself in order to stay on track. But with the days growing longer and the sunny ruffles of daffodils bobbing on the breeze, I look forward to welcoming the spring with a fresher, simpler outlook.