Spring Cleaning Tips

by Ana L. Palles

Sweeping Away ... Spring is in the air.  The day coaxes us to come play outside and leave our coats hanging bleerily in the closet.  The snow has melted from the neighborhood baseball field and a father and son play catch on a sunny Tuesday morning.  The warmth that met me as I stepped out from my morning yoga class immediately brought a smile to my lips and a deepening of my breath. I took great satisfaction in filling my lungs with this bright, clear air filled with the sounds of an awakening spring.

The robins had been cavorting in our crabapple trees for some many weeks now, it seemed they were ready to start on springs long to do list. The yardmen who take care of our property were out in a frenzy gathering up the last of the remnant leaves, raking the lawn alive again, and trimming winter’s dried out branches.

The yard reminded me of a mountain man coming back into civilization after spending time living in the woods. While there is a clear masculine attractiveness in a stubbled face, woolly sideburns and hair that has outgrown its shape, spring invites us to lather up. It’s time to pull out the razor, washing up and trimming the hair to once more appreciate the beautiful face that hides beneath.

Spring cleaning is more than just an old fashioned tradition. It is about clearing space so that new growth can sprout. Removing those old dead stalks allows space for those buds to pop through the thawing earth. This is true for our yards, our homes and our hearts.

Spring is a good time to embark on a clean sweep of your area. I began my deep cleaning last year. I finally decided to donate items that I held onto simply because they carried memories of long ago lost love.

The romantic memorabilia not only reminded me of the man I loved, but his love for me in return. It is a beautiful thing to love and be loved. But I finally realized that the time for grieving was over and many years have passed since his death.  I didn’t need to keep every single memento to remind myself that I had loved and been loved. All I needed to do was to walk outside and look at the beauty of the countryside that surrounds me, the trees, the running stream, the hushed tread of a silver fox. These things all speak to me of love.

So it is with love that I put my hair up into a ponytail, don my bright pink rubber cleaning gloves, and get to work deep cleaning nooks and crannies that sat well camouflaged under Halloween pumpkins and Christmas décor. It is especially important to me that everything smell fresh and clean so I open up my windows and let the breeze drape through the house end to end.

I love the smell of my cleaning products, already getting into an aromatherapy ecstasy feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. And I’ve called for my Salvation Army pickup to come and get a porch-full of stuff I suddenly realized that I could so easily live without. With a kiss of gratitude at the years of service these mementos and household accessories provided, I released them to their next owner with love.

I gave away pictures that I’ve liked very much and kept on the walls these past 15 years. It was time to change it up a bit. Funny how taking pictures down lets us look at new ways we might rearrange ourselves. It felt really good and I loved how great the house looked.

Spring cleaning, it’s good for the heart!

So, the weekend’s coming up again, why not plan a day of refreshment for you and your space? Here are seven easy tips to help you with your space clearing. 

  1. Put on Your Work Clothes
    Pull out those work clothes and cleaning gear, it’s time to get down to business. The very act of putting on that faded shirt you always use to clean will put you in the right frame of mind. Your body instinctively knows it’s going to be a productive day.
  2. Grab some Empty Boxes
    Decide up front that it is time to clear things out. Gather some empty boxes for yourself to make the job easier.
  3. Let it Go
    Remember, if you haven’t used it in over a year, it is likely you never will. Use the empty boxes to fill with those things that you realize you no longer need. You may have loved that old video game, but when was the last time you played it? Maybe it’s time for someone else to enjoy it.

    What about those knick knacks around the house purchased during sundry vacations? Do you really need a shot glass picturing the state of Texas in a cowboy outfit? What about those wall hangings? Weren’t some of those hand-me-downs? Yes, they are good quality and yes, they have great memories, but your home should not be a mausoleum. It should be vibrant and growing as you yourself are budding.

    We women are notorious for storing clothes that we wore during our younger, thinner years. Not only do these clothes hold memories, but gosh darn it, we looked way cute in them too! We also know that if we stay focused on our diets, one day we’ll fit back into those clothes.

    What we have trouble seeing is that often times those clothes haven’t held up well to the test of time. What may still look magnificent played on the screen of our memory channel actually looks faded, worn out and dated to the average person.

    Remember, you look good now. Enjoy today.
  4. Clear the Energy
    Have you ever walked into a relative’s house, picked up one of their knick knacks and immediately your mind was filled with thoughts of the owner of the item? We all leave energetic imprints, on our clothes, our possessions, even in the walls of our home. It is no surprise given that we are energetic beings.

    As you put things in your give away box, remember to thank it for its service to you and release your ties. You want to feel good about your space and this includes refreshing that energetic soup we create around ourselves.

    A friend of mine actually blows across the items she is giving away to metaphorically dust off her energy fingerprints.
  5. Out of the House
    Even if it will be a few days before you can take the items down to the donation center or for the scheduled pickup to arrive, it is important to move those give away boxes outside. Put it on the porch, or in the back of your car. You have gone through a lot of work to sort and clear, you want to reap the benefits and make sure you don’t inadvertently undo your hard work. Once it is gone, you have a better sense of what your space can now be.
  6. Let the Sun Shine
    Open your windows, let the sun and the breeze wash through your house. Do your best to establish some cross ventilation. The wind is your ally and will help you cleanse the stagnant breath inside your home. Consciously invite new light and life as the stale air is swept away.

    Enjoy the bright sunlight brightening up your space. Sunny days and refreshing breezes are a blessing and a gift. Invite them into your home with a smile and real joy.
  7. Give Thanks
    After clearing my space of clutter and dust, I like to sit still and give thanks for all my blessings. I like to celebrate the freshness of my space by spraying a light, floral hydrosol in the corners of the room and giving thanks and appreciation. Rose is a wonderful choice because her fragrance is one that evokes a sense of hope, harmony and beauty in many people. You may want to experiment with your favorite essences.

    Mint, for example, is quite clean and crisp and is a wonderful choice if your home has recently played the role of sickroom. Remember also if someone has been ill to wash all the bed linens, including the pillows, and perhaps lightly spray the mattress with a linen mister.

    Rosemary also has a very stimulating and energizing aroma. It has long been used for its antiseptic, antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties. A friend of mine dampens a cloth with a light rosemary oil spritz and wipes down doorknobs, phones, furniture arms, etc.

    The very popular Thieves product line featured in our online store utilizes the YoungLiving Thieves essential oil blend containing clove, cinnamon bark, rosemary, lemon and eucalyptus, among other ingredients. This blend has been university tested and found to be effective in supporting the immune system and wellness.

    Citrus fragrances are both sweet and purifying. Our bodies respond to citrusy fragrances with a sense of well being since lemon helps to detoxify the liver and kidneys. This is also a good choice of fragrance for your Spring Cleaning project.

    Whatever you choose, remember to spray lightly into corners of the room and don’t overpower your space. Light a candle and bless your home. Focus your intention on the new growth you would like to see this season. Let the candle flame warm your space as it magnifies that blessing and intention throughout your home.