23 WAYS TO SPRING CLEAN YOUR LIFE
FENG SHUI YOUR HOME.
Switch up your furniture arrangement by keeping in mind how energy flows through your home. “Pay attention to the details in your life and the environment around you, which is directly connected to your internal space,” interior architect and feng shui designer Anjie Cho advises. New to the art of feng shui? A beginner's guide like this one can help break it down for you.
DONATE OR CONSIGN FORGOTTEN FASHION.
While you're packing up your winter wardrobe and evaluating what you have for warmer weather, use this opportunity to clear out anything you don't wear anymore. Haven't worn it in a year? It's time to donate or sell it. (Whatever you do, don't toss apparel — old clothing often ends up in landfills.) If you're really looking to downsize, services like Rent the Runway make it easier than ever to consolidate your wardrobe.
Use the energizing spring season as an opportunity to reconnect and ground yourself through meditation. “Create extra time in the morning before getting out of bed to do a simple five minute meditation or breathing exercise,” suggests Tal Rabinowtiz, Founder of DEN Meditation in Los Angeles. Meditation has been shown to fight aging, increase mindfulness, decrease anxiety, and improve concentration.
DISPOSE OF OLD BEAUTY PRODUCTS.
It’s time to toss all the stuff collecting dust on your vanity — and maybe even some stuff you're trying to use every last drop of. “Beauty products used beyond their expiration date can cause ill reactions like infections,” organizing expert Jeffrey Phillip says. (Not all products note an expiration date, but many will indicate how many months the product will last after opening.) “To stay on top of their expiration date, use a thin-tipped permanent marker to write on the date you opened it,” Phillip suggests.
GET YOUR BROKEN STUFF FIXED.
Spring is the perfect time to focus on restoring and repairing, so stop putting off that trip to the hardware store. “It's important to repair or let go of broken items," says Cho. "Stress is created when we actively (or unconsciously) ignore tasks. Also the energetics of a broken item in your home may also manifest or point to a broken something in your life.”
THROW AWAY OLD RECEIPTS.
Everyone's a little bit guilty of receipt-hoarding. In order to break your habit, follow a rule set forth by professional organizer Matt Baier: “The best rule to discard excess receipts is to organize them into folders: taxes, returns, capital expenses, or possessions-value for insurance. If they don’t fall into these categories then recycle away!”
LET GO OF TOXIC RELATIONSHIPS.
If you have friends that only amplify your anxiety, it may be time to distance yourself. That's easier said than done, and by no means has to happen overnight, but life is too short to be surrounded by people you don’t love and respect — and who may or may not love and respect you.
When the sun is shining, birds are chirping, and flowers are blooming, you've got no excuse not to head outside and show Mother Nature the attention she deserves. Commit to spending a day hiking or picnicking with your phone off. But simply being more conscious of your tech time is also step in the right direction.
CLEAN YOUR CAR.
If food wrappers, water bottles, pet fur, and other junk has begun to accumulate in your car, it's time to clear it out. Take time to streamline your tech, too: “Messy cords are just as ugly in your car as they are in your office, and can even pose a hazard while driving," says Phillip. "Neaten up that tangled mess by using a sturdy car phone mount to keep your phone positioned in one safe spot. Next, use Command cord clips to neatly secure the wire between your phone and charger.”
REVAMP YOUR FITNESS ROUTINE.
Not only does sticking to one kind of exercise get boring, which can lead to a loss in motivation, but you end up working the same muscle groups and risking plateau. Try something new this spring — cycling, running, Pilates, whatever it is — to keep your mind and body entertained and in-shape.
DEVELOP A GREEN THUMB.
You don’t have to be a botanist to know that plants attract and generate good energy — physically and mentally. They're known to lower stress levels, improve air quality, and stimulate productivity while grounding you to the earth.
DECLUTTER YOUR KITCHEN.
The kitchen is a transient space, and thus one of the hardest rooms to keep neat and tidy. “You can quickly bring order to the kitchen by focusing on the drawers and adding dividers," says Phillip. "By simply grouping similar items together and organizing them with dividers, you will vastly improve the functionality and efficiency of your kitchen.”
CLEAN YOUR WINDOWS
“In feng shui, the windows in your home symbolize your eyes, and how you see your life and the world around you," Cho explains. "You begin to see the beauty and joy of everyday life through crystal clear precision. On a practical level, clean windows also allow the most sunshine for a bright and cheerful home."
GET MORE ZZZS.
The days are getting longer, but that's no excuse to stay up past your bedtime. Take control of your sleep cycle once and for all by making it your mission to get in bed and wake up at the same time every day. Be sure to banish tech from the bedroom, too — the blue light from screens can disrupt sleep patterns, affecting both the quantity and the quality of the sleep you get.
CLEAN OUT YOUR FRIDGE.
Even if you do your best to stay on top of expired produce and dairy, there are probably staples you've forgotten about still hanging around (like that bottle of mustard from 2015). To keep things as neat as possible moving forward, Phillip suggests dividing your fridge into "zones" where you store similar kinds of food.
MAKE TIME FOR BREAKFAST.
Celebrity nutritionist Kelly Leveque says spring is the perfect time is to mix up your breakfast routine. Her smoothie formula, which incorporates 20 grams of protein, 10 grams of fiber, 1 T. fat, a handful of greens, and 1/4 cup fruit "naturally helps to elongate and balance your blood sugar curve," Leveque says. "This combination keeps you from crashing before lunch and sabotaging your healthy eating efforts."
UNSUBSCRIBE TO EXCESS NEWSLETTERS.
Your inbox doesn’t have to as overwhelming as it seems. Nix any daily, weekly, or monthly newsletters that you haven’t opened in the past six months. They simply bombard you and cause distractions from emails that are actually important.
CANCEL RECURRING CHARGES.
Spring is a great time to scrutinize your bank statements for recurring charges that no longer serve you. Whether you're paying for storage for stuff you haven't used in years or a streaming service you open up once every couple of months, it's time to cancel and give your bank account a much-needed break.
ADOPT A SELF-CARE ROUTINE.
Embrace the things that relax your mind and body. Mona Dan, acupuncturist, herbalist, and founder of Vie Healing, recommends weekly epsom salt baths. “To take it to the next level, spend bathtime focusing on everything you're thankful for," says Dan. "If negativity comes up, note it to yourself and adjust the reason when you depart from the tub."
PUT A LABEL ON IT.
They may seem trivial, but labels have a bigger impact than you think. “Whether it's your fridge, closet, storage room, or bathroom cabinet, put a label on it," Phillip says. "They help clearly define your groupings so that you can be held accountable.”
CHECK UNDER YOUR BED.
“The under-the-bed area is a real estate gold mine when it comes to storage and organization," says Phillip. "However, it's also a place where dust bunnies love to live." He suggests cleaning under the bed at least once a quarter to prevent dust build-up which can cause allergies and product damage.
FIND WHAT BRINGS YOU JOY.
Discover the things that light up your life, whether it's reading, baths, walks, meditation, or a weekly catch-up with a friend. When you identify small happiness triggers, you can then strategize as to how to integrate them into your day-to-day.