“In winter, I plot and plan. In spring, I move.” – Henry Rollins
Sweltering summers and frigid winters may have their own fan clubs, but one season seemingly unites everyone with its loveliness – springtime! It’s not hard to see why! The freezing weather finally gives way to a balmy warmth. Skeletal trees sprout fresh new leaves, vibrant flowers smile in full bloom and birds chirp happily across the sky. It’s a time for renewal, freshness, and new beginnings.
And that is why it is the perfect time for spring cleaning!
Most people associate spring cleaning with an inside-out, top-to-bottom cleanup of their homes. But do you know that it is also a magical time for personal and energetic cleansing? Let’s explore the many facets of spring cleaning. Let’s ask; how we can make this yearly ritual a holistic and earth-friendly one?
What is Spring Cleaning: A Brief History
For Ancient Babylonia, China, and many regions around the world, the first day of spring actually marks the start of a new year! To kick it off on an invigorating note, people traditionally chose to thoroughly cleanse and spruce up their living spaces. From furniture to silverware – the entire family pitches in to help.
The Jewish custom of Passover, which commemorates the Exodus, involves deep cleaning the house, especially the kitchen and dining area. Similarly, the Iranian tradition of Khaneh Tekani or “shaking up the house” before the arrival of the Persian new year also resonates with the idea of spring cleaning. Centuries passed by but this annual ritual has persisted across cultures and is now informally referred to as spring cleaning.
From a practical standpoint, spring is the perfect time to shake up your house. After the wet and freezing winters, spring’s milder weather makes it easier to get started with deep cleaning. For starters, you can finally open your windows – and since it’s still early in the warming world, you don’t have to worry too much about insects flying in.
Perhaps most important of all – with these longer days comes more sunshine and energy, inspiring us to take up the task of cleansing and revitalizing our external and inner spaces.
Using The Principles of Spring Cleaning To Rejuvenate Your Life
At first, spring cleaning might appear to be all about scrubbing, cleaning, and getting rid of the junk – but there’s so much more to it than that! We’re talking about holistic spring cleaning of not just your living space but also of your body, soul, and mind.
Refresh Your Living Space
With windy and snowy winter mornings making way for warmer days, spring is the perfect time to give your home and yard a thorough clean. And while the task of making your house spotless might seem overwhelming at first, there’s an easy way to go about it. Here are some handy tips that might help:
- Start by making a checklist of all you need – a functional vacuum cleaner, dust rags, eco-friendly cleaning agents for all surfaces, gloves, furniture polish, the works!
- Go one room at a time – this helps focus all your efforts in one space at a time, and also gives you the feeling of accomplishment as you move from one sparkling room to the next!
- Don’t be afraid to shake it up! Move the furniture around and go for hidden spaces, cracks, and corners that are usually overlooked.
- Empty your storage space and lay all the contents out – discard or donate any old items that are no longer in use. Then, organize the retained items neatly in drawers, cupboards, wardrobes, and storage boxes.
Cleanse Your Mind, Body and Soul
In many cultures, the idea of spring cleaning goes beyond rejuvenating your physical space to also include your spiritual self. It’s a beautiful time to lighten any pent-up emotional burden, so don’t be afraid to introspect and sift through lingering negative thoughts, suppressed emotions, or reevaluate toxic relationships that might be dragging you down. Use this time to let go of fears that might be holding you back. Doing this from time to time is key to good emotional and mental well-being.
This is also a great time to prioritize your physical fitness, as it is very closely linked with your mental and emotional well-being. Eat clean, exercise, and cultivate hobbies that make you happy.
Switch to Clean Beauty
As the body’s largest organ, our porous skin absorbs everything it comes in contact with – both good and bad. This is why we must pay close attention to the products we apply to our skin. Consider trying out clean beauty products, as they are made from natural ingredients and are free of any harsh ingredients that may be harmful to us or the planet.
This spring cleaning session, when you’re tossing out expired, empty bottles and tubes of your skincare and makeup, try swapping them with toxic-free, organic, and clean beauty products. Instead of the usual cotton cleansing pads, opt for eco-friendly, reusable, bamboo velour, and cotton makeup removal pads. Your skin and the planet will thank you for it!
Adopt Nature-Friendly Fabrics in Your Spring Cleaning Process
It’s a good idea to revisit your clothes and linen stock during spring cleaning! While you’re replacing your heavy-duty winter wear with lighter knits and warm weather clothing, don’t forget to make a pile of all clothing and linen that you haven’t used for a while that can be donated.
If you find yourself holding onto clothes even though you haven’t worn them in years, spring cleaning could be the perfect time to consciously move away from this habit! If you’re looking to refresh your wardrobe and bed linen, consider going organic. Brands like Peponi Fashion, Gigi Design, Daily Mantra make clothes using hypoallergic cotton, bamboo, and other such natural fabrics that have been produced sustainably without any harsh chemicals.
Why Spring Cleaning is Good for You
The benefits of spring cleaning go beyond the obvious. Not only does it turn your home into a sparkling clean and organized living space, but you’ll notice some intangible benefits to your overall physical, emotional, and mental well-being too.
Spring cleaning can lead to a resilient body, mind, and heart. Why do we say that? Well, for starters, it is a physically laborious task that can shake off our winter hibernation and jumpstart a healthier routine.
Plus, decluttering the space around us can boost our overall mood and happiness! By vacuuming, washing, and dusting out dirt and allergens, you’re making your space more hygienic and fresh. Now, imagine when you walk into a sparkling clean, great smelling room – doesn’t it make you happy? Add to that the fact that it’s the result of your hard work – the feeling is so gratifying.
That’s not all – organizing our books, drawers, kitchen, and wardrobe can take our overall productivity up several notches! Simplifying the way we live works wonders in reducing stress and bringing about mental clarity. With everything neatly laid out and organized, we become more efficient versions of ourselves and wrap up daily chores quickly and easily.
6 Things to Keep in Mind for an Eco-Friendly Spring Cleaning
We’ve just talked about how magically spring cleaning contributes to improving our well-being. How about we make it great for our planet as well? By making small changes to our usual spring cleaning routine, we can make it more environmentally friendly – here’s how:
1 – Skip the Chemicals
Detergents, cleansing agents, and bleaches might disinfect your space, but harmful substances like ammonia could still end up in the water, damaging aquatic life. Not only that, the toxic fumes from bleach that you could breath are bad news for your skin, eyes, and lungs.
The all-natural, non-toxic Starter pack by YOKUU is free of harmful chemicals and relies on the cleansing power of good bacteria to make your home. It stays active long after use, protecting your surfaces, and is safe for use around kids and pets.
2 – Ditch the Paper Towels
Single-use paper towels may seem like an easy grab-and-discard solution, but they aren’t exactly eco-friendly. You can minimize waste and lower your carbon footprint by going for reusable, biodegradable dust cloths instead. Plus, you can repurpose your old clothes by cutting them up and turning them into cleaning rags!
3 – Go Easy on the Water
Even in the wet part of the world, like the Netherlands, we should conserve water as much as possible. Whether we’re spring cleaning or doing our day-to-day chores. Start by filling buckets and containers with water instead of letting the tap run continuously. You can also choose to clean hard surfaces with chemical-free cleaners that don’t use much diluting.
4 – Declutter and Repurpose
When you decide to discard an item, ask yourself if it can be re-tasked for any other purpose in the house. For example, you could turn an old cup into a toothbrush holder, refashion a pair of old denim jeans into shorts, or turn socks into dust rags. Put on your thinking cap and let the imagination fly!
5 – Swap Old Expired Products with Eco-friendly Alternatives
We recommend repurposing and reusing as much as possible. However, if there are expired items or things that are no longer useful or wanted, give their sustainable, eco-friendly alternatives a shot. Go for clothes and linens made from organic fabrics, and choose cruelty-free, chemical-free personal care and beauty products. Also, to make your clean house smell beautiful, you could explore vegan, eco-friendly candles and home fragrances that use pure essential oils!
6 – Discard Waste Responsibly
Once you’ve collected all the unwanted items, including junk, from your kitchen and fridge, it’s time to sort them. Figure out what could be donated, sold, recycled, or sent to compost. Only the items that don’t fit into any of these categories should be tossed out altogether.
A Final Word on Spring Cleaning
There’s something about springtime that makes us want to start afresh. As spring comes round this year, use this feeling to not only cleanse your living space, but also to revisit and refresh the hidden corners and depths of your soul.
Wishing you a lovely spring!