The Restorative Impact of Spring Cleaning
by Gabrielle Martin
It’s April, which means that spring will soon be in full swing—it’s out with the old and in with the new! No more four o’clock sunsets or seven o’clock sunrises, no (or just a few) more snowstorms to shovel out from. We’re seeing more sunlight, more bluebird skies—more bluebirds, too. It feels almost as if the planet is taking a collective deep sigh, a long exhale with the promise of a brighter tomorrow. Life’s great.
And as we begin to shift towards spring, and then again with our transition into summer, it’s important to take note of our bodies, our environment, our habits, and our mindset. I’ve found that I prefer to enter this season with a fresh start of sorts, to match the freshness in the air outside. To do so, I’ve spent these past few weekends cleaning out the apartment I rent, getting outside more often, working on mindfulness, and meditating on the qualities I’ve developed in the deep winter—both the seasonal and the metaphorical deep winter it seems we’ve been in since social distancing began this time 12 months ago. There are numerous aspects of the pandemic—from self-isolating and quarantining to working from home—that have promoted stagnant qualities that have settled over time. With the changing of the seasons, it’s time to leave some of these behind, to adapt them to the times.
I’ve found spring cleaning feels restorative, and practicing mindfulness while freshening a space promotes good vibes to take root and bloom. It’s a simple step to dust out the metaphorical (and a few literal) cobwebs after a long winter in our lives. It feels so good to have a clear space to come home to, practicing wellness in what we surround ourselves with. You can bet I’m doing all this in Life’s Great Apparel—dressing for success is another component of mindfulness, and wearing clothing with a motivational aspect helps internalize striving for greatness.
Here are some simple tips and tricks I used to step-up this season’s spring cleaning:
- Use cleaners enhanced with essential oils!
I first made the initial switch to green products because the smell of chemical cleaners often gives me headaches; however, I’ve found green cleaners are enhanced with essential oil scent, delivering a product that promote cleanliness as well as relaxation and self-care. It’s the little things, people.
- Burn (sustainably-sourced) sage or this blogger’s personal go-to, palo santo, a wood from South America.
This practice is often called smudging, and is used to cleanse a space of lingering energies to make way for positive energy.
An alternative to burning is white sage or palo santo mist; another option for cleansing a space without having to burn anything is gently squeezing orange peels to release their amazing, citrus-y oils into the air.
- Something I like to do when cleaning up the bathroom is a sink bath: I pull the sink stopper once the tap water is running hot, add Epsom salts (won’t damage your drain!), and top with orange peels. This combination cleans the sink, releases incredible stress-reducing odors into the air, and allows the option for a mindfulness exercise; while drawing sink baths, I work to be intentional in doing so and use the ritual as a time for reflection and manifestation.
Bathrooms are the space where we clean ourselves, where we prepare for our day, where we confront our reflections and care for our bodies. Channeling positive energy into this space is important!
- Open your windows and let fresh air in. Clean the panes and the sills while doing so.
- Purchase fresh flowers to brighten a space and bring a little life to an area! If you want to level-up this tip, plant something yourself and foster its growth: for example, I’m working on some window boxes for my fire escape! A garden is a great way to celebrate the season.
This spring, do some serious self-care with some cleansing deep cleaning! There’s nothing like the feeling of a just-cleaned home: it seems to sparkle and shine, it looks and smells amazing, and now that it’s tidied up, it’ll be easier to maintain a fresh-faced space. Take inventory of your belongings and count your blessings.