When I started this post, I’d planned to write about early spring trends. After spending a great deal of time online, I forgot that in my real world, spring really hasn’t arrived. The trees are still bare, the snow hasn’t melted, and there is still a frosty chill in the air. Rather than “springing forward”, I found myself looking back. After reviewing my writing, design, and photography from the beginning of this blog, I started thinking about what I wanted to change. That got me thinking about spring cleaning.
There are a few theories on why we clean in the spring. Some historians trace it back to house-cleaning for the Persian New Year, which is on the first day of spring. Others point to the Jewish custom of cleaning the home before Passover. Some cite the practical need to clean soot after heating with wood all winter. (For the record, our wood burning stove is still going!) Since I tend to start new things in the fall, spring is the half-year mark, so a good time to reevaluate. I like to declutter (purge items), detox (purge habits) and develop (improve) what remains. If you’re not ready for spring activities, this is a great time for spring cleaning. Ready to join me?
- Declutter: As much as I respect the KonMari method of decluttering your house in one fell swoop, I find it easier to clean up at the beginning of each season. I use a simple method that I wrote about in my Declutter Your Closet in 3 Easy Steps post. Take your spring clothes and accessories out and lay them on your bed or floor. Look at them with a fresh perspective, before deciding which ones to give away and which ones to keep.
- Detox: While you organize, you may start seeing habits that you’ll want to break. Mine was buying from the same brands. Most brands offer their most popular styles with slight variations, season after season. When I looked at what was in my closet I was less tempted by sales. What’s your worst shopping habit? Clothes that don’t work together? To many that you don’t wear? Too many basics?
- Develop: After “shopping” in your own closet, you’ll know what you’re missing, rather than what retailers want you to buy. I’m still working on finding new brands, adding more color, and taking more risks.
- Declutter: a few years ago, we renovated our entire house. I donated or threw out truckloads of stuff. I’m not saying you should knock down walls in order to tidy up, but Marie Kondo is right. Sometimes it takes a dramatic gesture to get it right. If there’s a certain part of your house that drives you crazy, it might require a spring cleaning. Perhaps it needs new storage, a renewed purpose or a different layout.
- Detox: Decluttering can be endless if you don’t evaluate why the mess happens in the first place. Is it because you don’t have a place for everything? Are you so busy that you don’t have time to clean up? We were hanging onto so many things “just in case”. Now that our kids are older, we’re indulging in more experiences than stuff. Birthday trips have replaced presents. Streaming has replaced CDs and DVDs.
- Develop: I can’t think of anything that brings spring into a home more than fresh-cut flowers, or a flourishing plant. I have a nasty habit of overwatering them (yes, I’ve even failed at caring for a succulent), but my goal this year is to bring the outdoors inside. Maybe I’ll start with fake plants. I’m not making any unrealistic promises here.
Mind & Body
- Declutter: This blogging venture has been a cornucopia of learning, but as I approach the six-month mark, I’m learning to simplify my creative process, my goals, and my research. In the early months, I was often so lost in my work, I forgot to eat or exercise. Now I’m striving for balance. What overloads your mind and body? The demands of social media or events? Sitting at your desk? Not enough sleep? Spring is a good time to evaluate how you spend time, and what you need to stay healthy. While you can’t declutter your body (an extra nose, anyone?) you may be able to improve how you take care of it.
Detox: One of the simplest ways to detox your body is to eat “real” food and drink more water. Now, I’m not a health expert, but I have read thousands of wellness articles, and have talked to many friends who are wellness coaches. They all have different ideas on the best diet to follow but they all agree that eating as close to nature as possible is best for our bodies. As Michael Pollan said, “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.”
Develop: The winter blues made it easy for me indulge in comfort foods (mmm, brownies) but as spring rolls around, I crave raw foods. In addition, I like to have a “clean” beauty routine and use the Environmental Working Group’s database Skindeep to figure out which brands are truly non-toxic.
Waiting For Spring
If spring hasn’t quite arrived for you, take a look at my 3 Easy Winter To Spring Transition Pieces and 3 Colors to Buy Before Spring Arrives posts, for style inspiration. If your weekend isn’t packed with activities, it may be the perfect time for some spring cleaning. Declutter, detox, and develop the part of your life that needs the most attention. Let me know how you do! Comment below, sign up for the next blog post or send me an e-mail because I’d love to hear from you!