How Spring Cleaning Freshens Your World

by Nina Osberg

March is the perfect month for Spring Cleaning. It is a time of great renewal and a wonderful time to let go of all the things you no longer need, use or wear before summer arrives. Literally! Open up the windows to your life, let fresh air and new energy in, and who knows, you might even lose a few pounds in the process! I know, because it has happened to me in the past. Are you ready?

Start with one room or even just a drawer at a time. If you go from room to room or think you’re going to get it all done in one big swoop, you’re setting yourself up for failure; your energy may simply become unfocused and scattered all over the place. Personally, I like to start with my closets or clothes drawers because I have a weakness for clothes. Do I wear them all? I’d like to think I do (or will), but the truth is that I don’t and they just hang there like empty, forgotten shells, longing to be picked up and admired by someone else!

First Steps
First, remove all your clothes from your closet or drawer. Take a hard look at each item before putting them back. Ask yourself, “Do I love it?” Don’t over think – it is either a yes or a no. If it is a “maybe”, you have to be very honest with yourself and admit you probably don’t need it! You may also ask yourself, “Is this something I use?” The question isn’t, “Is this something I will use?” because, let’s face it – we all have a pile of stuff we tell ourselves we’ll use someday, but we never do. Keep ONLY what you use and love!

Next, move through your living spaces and look at all the items. I once read that the more items you own, the more they own you! Each of these items takes up mental energy without our even knowing it. For most of us, a cluttered home means a cluttered mind! There is no room for new things or new energy to enter and even flow. We get stuck this way too, which isn’t good on many different levels.

Your house will thank you
You will probably start to notice that once you let go of all that stuff (and once you dust, sweep, wash and scrub) you will be left with a lighter sensation inside and out. Personally, I always notice a significant shift in my space when I have purged, de-cluttered and cleaned my home. If my home could speak, I imagine it breathing a big sigh of relief and saying, “Thank you, I really needed that!”

Give it away
Most of us have too much unused stuff that would greatly benefit someone else! -Give your stuff to someone you know who would love and appreciate it. -Take it to Goodwill or The Salvation Army.
-Recycle it.
-Throw away what cannot be mended or fixed.

If you need an extra kick in the pants to get started, I recommend Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up or browse through Leo Babauta’s wonderful free site called Zen Habits. There you will find many excellent tips! The point is, just get started! You will feel lighter and happier at the end of it, ready to enjoy the rest of spring and summer with a lighter home and mind!

Happy Spring Cleaning,

“I read recently that the average household contains 300,000 items. I thought that was an exaggeration, but I purged 653 items today after making it partway through two rooms! Now I believe that’s possible. I have winterwear and sealed toiletries for those experiencing homelessness, items to give away, items for sale, gifts for friends, boxes for the thrift shop and some garbage… here’s to minimalism in 2017!”

– Jenelle York

Nina Osberg is a member of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), a graduate of the T. Colin Campbell Foundation, and holds a Master’s degree in teaching. She teaches cancer and diabetes prevention, weight loss, and many other topics related to diet and health.