18 Ways to Spring Clean Your Life
Spring: a time of new life, beautiful weather and…cleaning.
Whether a result of the fresher air, longer days or warmer weather, there is no doubt we are more motivated to clean as spring emerges. Getting the house cleaned and in order just seems to reflect the renewal of the season. But the house isn’t the only thing that could use some freshening up!
In addition to scrubbing the baseboards, cleaning out the fridge & scouring the oven, there are quite a few other places in our lives that could use some spring cleaning.
If adding anything else to the to-do list sounds impossible, don’t panic! Let me share my #1 trick that will have you amazed at how much you can get done…in just a few minutes. Let the cleaning commence!
#1 Tip to Get Things Done: SET A TIMER!
Set a timer for 10, 20, 30 minutes, whatever you have available.
And then work on something listed here until the timer goes off. And stop! See how much you can accomplish in ONLY that brief block of time. You will be so surprised that when you limit the time you give yourself, you suddenly become way more efficient. And you can do ANYTHING for 20 minutes, right?
Then repeat again tomorrow. You will feel os much lighter and more in control with every single session.
So now that we know how to work…what should we work on?
1. Morning Routine
Frantic, rushed mornings? Write down a list of every thing you do in the mornings to get the day started. Can you eliminate anything or plan to organize earlier in the week? For example, meal prep lunches for the week or choose outfits in advance? Also, decide how you can start preparing for the day the night before to eliminate the number of decisions you have to make each morning.
2. Cell phone.
Are you a slave to the buzz of your phone? Eliminate or reduce notifications, unsubscribe from emails. Don’t let your phone continually disrupt your concentration throughout your day.
Take the time to update or delete your contacts. Move photos and files to the cloud to eliminate clutter from your phone. Evaluate your apps and delete the ones no longer serving you.
3. Mindless Habits.
How many hours a day do you spend on social media, scrolling the internet or watching tv? Keep track for one week of how you are spending your time. Or maybe you already know!
Make a list of things you would like to do and post it somewhere obvious to remind you of what you would rather be doing with your time. Then eliminate or minimize the habits that are stealing time from accomplishing the things you say are really important to you.
Does your diet need an overhaul? Spend a few minutes making a plan you can reuse week after week with healthier choices: smoothies, rice based meals, salads you can premake and grab. Clean out your fridge & cabinets and get rid of anything expired or that you need to eliminate from your diet.
Are you in the habit of negative self-talk? Do you always jump to the worst possible conclusions? Keep track of your thought patterns for a week or ask someone close to you to help you identify where you could use a mental reset. Post reminders of what you want to focus on where you can see them. Make a positive playlist to listen to or a booklist of positive reading.
Do your finances need attention? Do you need a monthly bill paying routine and/or a budget? Do you need to track your spending? Take the time to make some financial goals and identify small steps to accomplish them. Look online for bill paying and saving trackers to download.
Schedule a review of your investments or find an advisor to discuss starting some.
7. Estate Planning.
Do you have a will? When did you review it last? Do you have the appropriate life insurance? Schedule a time to review and update as necessary.
How much attention have you given your closest releationships recently? Do you need to focus on being a better partner or parent? Make a list of ways you can show some love to your people and schedule a time for them on your calendar.
Speaking of relationships, evaluate your other relationships and determine who is bringing you up and who is dragging you down. Do you need to implement some boundaries with those who are a drain on your time and energy? Determine a strategy for dealing with or removing the most difficult people in your life.
Do you get enough good sleep? Evaluate your sleep hygiene and nightime routines. What can you eliminate or change to make sure you get enough rest? (Hint: getting ready to go to bed earlier can be a game changer!)
Update your calendar with important dates like days off, holidays, birthdays & anniversaries. Also include reminders for yourself, such as when you should schedule your next doctor’s appointment or mail gifts.
Go ahead and pre-book appointments for yourself with the stylist or manicurist.
Evaluate anything that is a standing commitment for you or your family. Consider if you are still enjoying that commitment or should it make way for something else.
Does your car need a tune up or maintenance? Could it use a good detailing? Window tinting? When did you last review your auto policy or your roadside assistance plan? If you don’t have a good mechanic, ask friends or online so you have a recommendation before you need one.
What unfinished projects do you have started that are lying around the house? Bring them all together in one place and evaluate each one realistically. Perhaps they are things you really would like to tackle but simply don’t have the time right now. Let them go…and let go of all the supplies that go with them. If you aren’t going to knit right now, let the yarn collection go to someone who will actually enjoy it instead of stuffed away in your closet.
You can always revisit a project later when you can give it the attention it deserves. Meanwhile, you will feel so much lighter for having let go of the weight of things unfinished.
14. Collections & Memorabilia.
Do you have collections of books, figurines, stuffies, puzzles, dvds, or porclain bowls? Do you still love them or are they hanging around out of habit? What if you kept only your MOST favorites?
Spend some time going through any treasure troves of old greeting cards, ticket stubs, programs, etc.
Set a limit on how much you will keep: ie one box for special cards and memorabilia. Choose only the best and dearest to keep.
If you are having trouble because items hold sentimental value, decide which of them holds the MOST value to you and consider letting the rest go. The one you keep will be all the more special if it stands alone.
15. Subscriptions & Automatic Renewals.
Take a look at how many subscriptions and automatic renewals you currently have. Do you still watch all those channels or use that service? Cancel what you no longer use regularly. Don’t keep them ‘just in case’; think of the money you could be saving. You can always decide to re-join later if the need arises.
16. Personal Care.
Do you have 50 makeup items that you no longer use cluttering up a bathroom drawer? 8 bottles in the shower? Expired cold medications in the hall closet? Go through these with the trash can at your side and keep only what is unexpired and still relevant to your current routines.
Conquer that pile of paperwork for good. Set aside a box designated for shredding. Go through your filing system and toss old utility bills and receipts. Organize what must be kept in a way that is easily accessible and file current paperwork away properly.
You can Google a local office store to take your paperwork to shred all at one time when you are finished.
18. Lingering Tasks.
Go ahead and make that master mother of all to-do lists. Take a walk around your house with pen and paper in hand and make a note of every single thing that needs to be done. That lamp that needs rewiring. Those shoes that need to be re-soled. Those donations that need to be dropped off.
Now…spend a few minutes and divide the tasks into Must Do & Would Like To Do. Consider what of those in the Would Like category that you could just let go of. There isn’t time to realistically get everything done: what could you just release and move on? You will feel lighter for letting them go.
Now that you have a shorter list, make a plan for getting them done.
Now, don’t you feel so much lighter?
Our lives get so busy and complex and we power through without stopping to consider if we could make things easier for ourselves and our people by ‘spring cleaning’ a few areas. Enjoy how much lighter you feel after letting some things go that no longer serve you well.
There is no rule that says we must do things the same way forever. Or keep the same hobbies forever. Or hold on to the same possessions forever. Let yourself change the game and embrace your ‘right-now’ life. It will bring you so much more joy!