Spring has sprung. Well, sort of. Here in the northeast, it’s been cold, snowy, and quite dreary for most of the winter. It’s now March and we are seeing a glimpse of some warmish weather. It’s all relative; it’s in the 40’s today, clear, crisp, not a cloud in the sky. Still cold but not like it’s been for far too long. Perhaps this may be it for the winter- the snow is all melted and although March is temperamental, we’re hoping for the best. We’re hoping Winter is over. New Yorkers are smiling, sort of. So with all this talk about a change of seasons, it stands to reason that we need to change with it. And by that I mean: clean up, de-clutter, and start fresh in preparation for warm weather. This will mentally, physically, and spiritually liberate you from the chains of Winter, weighed down by all those layers- thermals, turtleneck, sweater, coat, hat, gloves, scarf- I’m exhausted just reliving this on my keyboard! By cleaning up your surroundings, you will find a renewed sense of anticipation, openness, energy, and expansion. This doesn’t have to be hard and in fact, it can be a lot of fun to purge. I’m going to make it easy for you, just some simple rules and guidelines to get the energy flowing in your home:
• Clothes: If you haven’t worn it in 2 seasons, get rid of it. Donate to your cause of choice, have a swap party with your friends, or leave it on the sidewalk (Trust me, someone will take it- what is your junk is someone else’s treasure).
• Drawers and doors: What is behind them? Have you just jammed stuff in and now only use whatever is closest and easiest to access? For me, I need to tackle the sock drawer and tool box- my 2 least favorite de-cluttering activities but do them I must! Most of this stuff can be trashed, I can almost guarantee it. If you can do the same as you do with your clothes, do it. I’m not a big one to just throw out- I hate adding to the landfill – so I go to FreeCycle.com and advertise it and of course you can always do Craigslist. I’ve sold a lot of stuff this way- some people are flaky but mostly it’s a good way to clean house and make a few bucks.
• Clean the windows: This is not my favorite thing to do, but on a nice day, I go to a Zen place mentally and just focus on the task at hand. When it’s done, I’m SO happy!
• Wash the slipcovers (if you have them): I did that this morning and now they’re clean, bright, fresh, and tighter around the cushions. I am often deterred by the challenge of pulling and tugging and shifting the freshly washed slip cover just so in order to get it back on the sofa frame that I avoid taking it off. But then I surrender to my resistance knowing my pristine sofa will make me happy.
• Move some things around: Literally. Just move some stuff around. One rule of Feng Shui is to move 27 things around in your home to shift the Chi and re-energize your surroundings. Even if it’s just pictures, re-organizing your bookshelf or swapping a chair for another. It’ll help.
• Smudge your home: By this I mean get a ‘smudge stick’ (that is really just a dried bundle of sage). You can get it at many alternative natural health stores or go on line to order one. I’ve smudged my home after boyfriend break ups to rid their energy from my home. It’s very helpful.
• Remove and clean up piles: This one is pretty basic: Go through your piles of paper and shred, file, trash, recycle and be done with it. I know, I am not wild about this one either but when it’s done, it’ll be like a huge weight has been lifted off of you.
• Clean out corners: Get the dust bunnies out and remove the stuff you’ve pushed out of the way and into no-mans land. Just do it.
OK- so if this seems daunting, just take a few deep breaths. Put some music on that makes you want to dance, tackle one thing at a time, take a break, and then go back to it. You WILL see progress and you WILL see a change in you! Have fun!!!