It’s never too early for a spring reset!
The first official day of spring is right around the corner (though in the North, it usually feels more like a seemingly random date on the calendar that doesn’t reflect the piles of snow still lining our driveways) and I’m sure we can all feel a slight shift in the air. The days are getting so much longer, and if we’re lucky, we’ve been getting the occasional sunny afternoon where the rapidly growing strength of the sun can be felt on our bare skin, once again.
Even though our neighbours down south may already be enjoying quintessential spring activities such as digging around in the garden, March 20, in the Yukon, is usually too early for such springtime pleasures. However, it’s never too early, even here, to do some spring cleaning. Coming off the full moon on March 7, now is a great time to shed some things that no longer serve you, whether it’s that layer of dust on your wood stove or some possessions that have become more of a burden than a blessing.
Cleaning has gotten a bad reputation: it’s used as punishment when we’re kids, and it’s something that, as adults, we often procrastinate on when it’s on our to-do list. In practice, however, spring cleaning can be a powerful way to begin a new cycle and to give yourself a bit of a reset in life. Often, fixing the really big problems or worries in your life can feel impossible, but washing that pile of dirty plates that’s been filling your sink, for instance, at least feels like a step in the right direction. There’s something energizing about cleaning, and once you start, you realize how much the state of your external environment really affects your internal state, as well.
A simple first step is opening your windows on a sunny day and letting the stale air that’s been filling your house, all winter long, be refreshed with a crisp spring breeze. Using some uplifting essential oils, such as eucalyptus or lemon, can have an additional air-purifying effect and give you an aromatic push to keep going with your cleaning.
Strip the sheets and comforter off your bed and hang them outside, if you can. As you begin to move through your home, give yourself the opportunity to realize what possessions are weighing you down. Sometimes we accumulate things without even realizing it and, instead of them adding something positive to our lives, they start to prevent us from feeling free. As Marie Kondo, the now world-famous organizing consultant/guru, loves to say: “Ask yourself if it sparks joy.”
The things you fill your home with should serve a clear purpose or bring some sort of sense of happiness to your life. Often we keep items out of pure habit or a sense of obligation—even though they are tied to negative memories or are never used.
Donate things you want to let go of (to the free store at your local waste facility, a thrift store, your church or any of the many other options available to us). If you have things that are broken or should no longer be used, but they can be recycled, consider bringing them to Raven Recycling on your next trip into town. You’ll feel a lot lighter, afterwards, and your donations will hopefully serve someone else a lot more than they served you.
If your home is already clean and filled with only the things you truly want to continue moving through life with, good for you (but you’re not off the hook). There are other ways you can go about spring cleaning.
Even though we spend so much of our days on our computers and our phones, most of us go about our lives online more in a habitual “haze,” rather than as something more deliberate and fulfilling. Maybe your email Inbox is in desperate need of a clean-up, maybe your internet browser is full of open tabs of things you’ve been meaning to look at, for months, but aren’t even interested in anymore … or maybe you’d feel a lot better if you unfollowed some of the social-media accounts or email newsletters that no longer “speak to you.” Our computers, much like our homes, are an extension of us (even if we’d rather it not be true) and therefore certain steps should be included in your spring cleaning so that your time spent online can be more intentional, conscious and can bring more inspiration instead of frustration to your life.
By now, you should be feeling much lighter and invigorated, but if you want to keep going, you could continue on your spring-cleaning journey with some ideas for an inner reset. Think about doing a juice cleanse, adding a five-minute meditation practice to your day or picking up a new exercise habit. Soon enough, other spring projects and seasonal chores will be waiting for us once the snow begins to melt. What better way to take advantage of this brief lull, before the frenzied activity of late spring and summer, than to clear out the old, make room for new things in your life and give yourself the best possible start to this new season.