We've already been living in the Spring for a good two and a half weeks and I haven't preached about a hearty Spring cleaning yet. I can make excuses and claim that 'wah wah the weather has been so cold that it barely feels like Spring' or 'I've been too busy watching inspirational videos that I haven't yet had the time to sit down and write.' But truth is that it's inexcusable and for that, I am sorry. But guess what, I already did my Spring cleaning and it was freakin glorious! I somehow managed (I say 'somehow' because I swear I do a Spring cleaning at least once a month) to compile FIVE GARBAGE BAGS worth of stuff to donate, throw away or sell. Just writing about it makes me want to go strip off a layer of mercy, attack my closet, and get rid of more. You see, a big yearly cleaning is incredibly important in order to keep your living space, and by default your life, in order. We live in a buyers' society where purchases are made on the daily - and let's admit it, they're often stupid, unnecessary ones. Our belongings can pile up, get out of order, and then we run the risk of losing track of what we own. And if that happens, YOU MAY AS WELL NOT OWN THINGS AT ALL. But if you take the time and thoroughly go through your clothing, food supply (God knows what's growing in that fridge) and storage spaces, you'll know exactly what you have. And you'll throw out the things that you don't need and use, right??
Today is the day for you to start your Spring cleaning so here are a couple of tips to keep in mind before you embark:
- HAVE NO MERCY! If you don't wear something, get rid of it! I generally abide by the one-year rule. If I haven't worn something in a year, I most probably won't want to wear it in the next year or in the future altogether. And there's NO reason to hold on to things for the sake of a potential future costume. That kills me! Granted, the shiny yellow leggings that you loved to wear in eighth grade may be the perfect piece to complete your banana diva costume, BUT THAT'S NO REASON TO KEEP THEM. You'll find something else to complete the look and the leggings are better off at the thrift shop. So if you haven't been wearing something and you don't want to wear it tomorrow, kiss it goodbye.
- If you have multiples of something and you will only need one, get rid of the others. I can't tell you how many people have excessive small-sized light-blue straw basket collections or 'backup appliances.' I understand that it's hard to get rid of things, but it's ridiculous to have stockpiles of items that should not exist in multiples. The more you own, the less likely you are to use your belongings often. I'm not telling you to fully embrace the minimalist lifestyle (don't those people crave variety??), but moderation is key.
- Try to keep your collection of 'sentimental items' in check. Sentimental shmentimental. This is probably one of the hardest things for people. We tend to hold on to our pasts and think that the future will give a hoot about what once happened to us. Our children and grandchildren will appreciate some relics from our pasts, but they don't care to read every last birthday card that you got from your great aunt Paulina. No one is going to appreciate your vast collection of stained, yellowed clothing in the future. Go through your sentimental keepsakes and weed out the ones that don't actually matter. Try to contain the sentiment in one box so it can be the go-to for a trip down memory lane.
- If it's moldy or ruined, chuck it. I hope this lesson is an obvious one. In regards to food, I can't imagine it's not but when it comes to ruined or broken items, there's potential for that need to hold on to things, even if they're broken. Well, get over it. If something is broken or ruined, you can't use it. And if you can't use it, then you don't need it in your life.
- YOU WILL FEEL SO MUCH BETTER ONCE YOU'VE GOTTEN RID OF THINGS. Like I've said, a neat and organized living space will promote an organized lifestyle and headspace. Once you lighten your load of belongings, you will feel lighter altogether. Heck, this may even be the future in weight loss since it's so effective. Taking time to remove the unnecessary items in your life can be cathartic and the first step in getting your entire life in order. If you don't feel like you need to get your life in order, it will still feel amazing to see all those bags full of garbage that you were able to produce. And now you have room for new purchases. But promise me that you won't get out of hand again. Keep in mind that you're going to be doing this again next year (if not before).
You're ready. You're excited, I can tell. Open up those windows, feel the Spring breeze in the air, and GET STARTED! I challenge you to get rid of more than I did.