Spring Cleaning

by CaReese

It’s spring! At least that’s what the calendar says. It’s still a bit chilly in Chicago. Still, it’s a time of hope and renewal.The days of winter are over and the season is changing. There’s something about spring that makes people want to change too.

Most people take advantage of the change in weather to shake things up. Everybody prepares for summer differently. Most people, however, use spring as a time for cleaning and rearranging their homes and lives.

The Changing of the Wardrobe

We are expecting 50’s and 60’s this week so the time for the wardrobe change is drawing near. It will be time to exchange the sweaters and turtle necks for tee shirts and tank tops. It will be time to exchange boots for sandals and pants with shorts. I am waiting to break out the summer skirts because that’s of my favorite things about summer.

This wardrobe change is a great time to purge. There are two things you want to do before putting winter wear into bins. First, examine your wardrobe. Is there anything you don’t want to wear next year? Are there things you’re just tired of looking at? If so, donate them. Also be sure to check the condition of your items. If you have sweaters that look worn and socks with holes now is the time to throw them out. Don’t bother storing things that belong in the trash.

Second, you should wash everything you intend to put away. If there is a chance that you wore it be sure to wash it. Moths are attracted to body oils, perspiration, and saliva. You don’t want to pull your items out in the fall only to discover that they are full of holes. Once you have pared down and put things in storage it will be time to continue cleaning elsewhere.

Down and Dirty

This is the time to give your home a deep cleaning. There’s just something about a good deep cleaning that feels good. Here are some ways to clean yourself happy.

Focus on the furniture. I may dust from time to time but in the spring I like to polish the furniture. I also go through the pile of mail that accumulates in my bookshelf. I also evaluate old magazines to see if I still want them or if they should be recycled. I like to make things neater as I go into summer. Make sure to vacuum your furnishings (sofa, chairs, etc.). You may even want to move things around for a new look.

Next, clean out the cabinets. Check for food that has gone bad. Look for boxes and bags that have been opened and check to see if the contents are still fresh. If they’re stale, throw them out. If there are nonperishable goods you know you won’t use donate them to a local food pantry. This is also a good time to clean the shelves and the doors of the cabinets.

Do some mattress maintenance. This is a good time to vacuum your mattress (dust mites!) and to rotate it on your bed. You can turn it, flip it, or both. If you use a mattress pad be sure to wash it. Mattress pads take a while to dry so be sure that you start early enough in the day.

Consider cleaning the carpet. If you have a carpet shampoo machine this is the perfect time to clean the carpets of all the salty residue from the winter. If you don’t have a machine, consider having your carpets professionally cleaned.

Washing windows? Some people do it, some people don’t. If you are among the latter, consider hiring a professional.

Prune your plants. Check for any dead leaves and pull them off. Also check to make sure that your pot is big enough. Your plant may need to be repotted. If you’re ambitious you can attend to your plants in your yard and garden as well.

What about the random things? Shower curtains can be washed, linen closets can be purged and organized, freezers can be cleaned out, and refrigerators can be sanitized. If you’re really ambitious you can even tackle the attic or the garage.

Clean Inside

This takes Spring Cleaning to a whole new level. A friend of mine does a body cleanse every season to remove any toxins from her body. She does fruits and vegetables, and supplements with protein shakes. I have done a similar cleanse in the past. I haven’t decided whether I will do it this year but I am thinking about it.

Check In

This time of renewal is a good time to reevaluate your Life Plan and see how you are moving toward your vision. Making good progress? Great! Keep it up. Is there room for improvement? Don’t beat yourself up. Just make some adjustments and move forward. Spring is a great time of year because it holds so much potential. New things are coming. Get ready. Make this your best Spring Clean ever.

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