Spring is officially here in Sydney - the days are getting longer, I'm no longer having to wear cashmere on cashmere to stay warm, and I'm using less blankets to sleep at night! With spring comes new beginnings - I always feel refreshed and somewhat reborn (corny, I know) and that means I want to deep clean out my entire house and revamp my entire closet. I love it! Shaking off the winter blues (which, to be honest, weren't that bad this year -- the change from gloomy, gray Wellington winters to sunny, crisp Sydney winters really did wonders from my seasonal funk), the sun has charged me up!
I recently had an "unplugged" week (i.e. off electronics, social media, etc) and the freedom (and less migraines -- no, really, I had a seven day migraine leading up to that week and I swear the digital detox, sun, sand, and actual sleep helped revive me) made me look at multiple aspects of my life when it comes to tidying things up. And I'm not just talking about my house but my priorities, my passions, my relationships, etc. There’s definitely more I’ve been itching to clean up or dive into other than physically cleaning.
How to Spring Clean Your Home
Traditionally when people talk about 'spring cleaning' they mean their physical spaces... so I guess we should tackle that first.
First and foremost, I always focus on my bedroom. Why? It's my 'relaxation' space and if it isn't clean and tidy then I can't really relax. I try to keep this space serene and focused on just sleep - that means no TV in this room, and no electronics! I lay out all my warmer month clothes (shorts, short-sleeved shirts, dresses, etc.) and make an inventory of what I have, what I need (if anything) and then put everything in my closet so I can see what I have. I hang up shirts and dresses, fold and stack shorts/pants. I also go through my nightstand drawers and take out old prescriptions, used up hand lotions, books I have already finished, etc. I don't like too much clutter on top of my nightstand, and leave it to a candle (the Limoncello 3-wick ones from Bath & Body Works are on repeat during the warmer months), a picture of my husband and I on our wedding day, and a fresh bouquet of flowers. Oh, and my glasses when I take them off at night! In my drawers I have my wheat bag (to heat up), my silk sleeping mask, hand lotion, and whatever book I'm reading that week!
We recently got new sheets from ettitude that we are LOVING, and may get another sheet for the upcoming summer months. It gets HOT at night and we don't like blasting the A/C, so sheets that breath are a must. I'm also going to get another silk pillowcase so I can alternate between the one I have and the new one so both can last longer! Speaking of lasting longer... we have two bathrooms and I like to switch out the heavier winter towels for lighter turkish cotton towels we have, too. I also go from taking "showers from hell" as my husband likes to say to more lukewarm showers. I go through my beauty products and toss out anything that is about to expire (or I've had 6+ months) and re-organise under the sink so the most-used products are up front but everything can still be seen.
This is the time of year to pull out the couch and clean underneath, scrub the baseboards, pull out everything on your shelves and wipe down. I won’t pretend that I do this weekly, but this is totally the time of year to really leave every inch clean. If it’s in your budget, think about hiring a house cleaner to do a deep clean of your home.
How to Spring Clean Your Technology
I use my tech daily and am not the best at keeping everything tidy on my computer. Having had bad experiences before (not backing things up, losing copies of content, etc.) I became paranoid and saved EVERYTHING I downloaded ever. Seeing the "storage" % I had left continue to decrease, I decided to take the plunge and go through ALL files on my computer (including things like Dropbox) and getting rid of the old stuff. Overall, I deleted over 18,000 files - YIKES. But hey, it led to a computer with a lot more room!
How do I keep on top of my many side hustles? FOLDERS. I create folders to organize the files I need to keep (such as "CVs and Resumes," "TFUI," "ConCiencia Azul," "EcosMarinos," "Taxes," "Budgeting," etc.). It allows me to find things quickly when someone inevitably needs something. I did the same thing with my phone recently, deleting over 2,000 photos, unused apps, texts, contacts, etc. I then grouped apps into relevant folders, such as "Finances," "Traveling," you get the gist. My gmail account saw a recent purge and I feel so much more organised now! Refreshing, ahh.
Next up for technology? My Netflix queue, TV recordings (that I've already watched), and unsubscribing to newsletters, emails, and any RSS feeds I'm no longer interested in. Once you're doing doing all of that, don't forget to wipe down your tech devices with antibacterial wipes! I try to wipe my headphones, keyboard, and phone down at least once a week.
How to Spring Clean Your Budget
Still don't have a budget? As a graduate student it is HARD, but to be honest it's what has helped me reach my savings goals when it comes to an Emergency Fund and retirement account. It doesn't have to be a complex Excel spreadsheet- I just go through all of my expenses (I use a debit card for everything, rarely cash) and begin to see where I spend the money the most. From there, I try to eliminate things I don't really need - the gym membership I have never used? Gone. The lunches I buy during the work week? Nope, bringing food from now on! You get the idea. Assess all of the expenses you rack up during the month and see where you can cut back to save some $$ to put into a retirement account or emergency fund. If you are debating on whether to put the little money you have into a retirement account or emergency fund, always do emergency fund first. You never know what can happen!
Spring Clean Your Relationships
We go through a lot of transitions in our lives from the age of 18-30. We move (possibly multiple times), are in and out of platonic and romantic relationships, maybe settle down, try to find our 'true calling' and follow our passions, etc. I'm here to tell you that you should no longer be around people or in commitments that don’t make you feel your absolute best.
Are you in a fitness group where you feel shamed every time you go? Do you have a toxic relationship with someone who has been your friend longer than they have not been? Are you in ANY type of relationship that no longer makes you happy or serves you? Then get out.
Easier said than done, I know. I've recently cut ties with people I thought would be friends for life, but I realised many of those relationships either ran their course or were toxic. It never ended nicely.
As I grow older I become more introverted and my friends group shrinks to a more intimate circle of people. These friends are from ages ago or just recently, but they all make me feel good, give good advice and constructive criticism, are supportive, have similar values, and who are genuinely good people. Time is the most precious resource you have, and I know that now more than ever as I juggle the little bit of I have within all my commitments. I want to be intentional with who I share this precious commodity with, and so recently I've been going through my life and assessing whether the people I let in my life are a good or bad influence. As you spring clean your spaces, make sure you clean up the relationships you have with people, too.
And that's it! Have you begun spring cleaning?
This isn't your average blog. THINK OF IT LIKE THE BRITISH LIBRARY, EXCEPT WAY SASSIER.
Hi! I'm Melissa, an Australian-based Latina science educator, podcaster, and freelance writer. I spend a lot more time on Instagram and Twitter, but blogging is my first love. Thanks for stopping by — I hope you stay a while.
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