Spring Cleaning is Good for Your Soul
It has always fascinated me how much better I start to feel when I clean my room, house, car, garage, or whatever else..
However, inversely, it has also fascinated me how quickly I forget about the mental cleansing powers of cleaning, lol. Despite my most valiant effort to find more unconventional means of personal fulfillment and satisfaction, few seem to have the immediate benefits and effects as a well-structured and organized cleaning session. I’m sure I’m not the only one that feels this way?
As it turns out, many studies have been conducted, and multiple sources have identified that clutter and mess in our personal lives can create more stress and anxiety that translates to other parts of our lives. But by cleaning, organizing, and reducing the clutter around us, we can begin to take control of our environment and thus create a more relaxing atmosphere that helps us focus better on the more pressing issues in our lives. Not to mention, it just feels good to walk into a clean room or come home after a work trip to a clean house.
I might even venture to say that cleaning is more than just a lifestyle hack but rather an essential part of a healthy soul. If you are interested in reading more life hacks stuff, I wrote an article about it as well that you could read here.
What does cleaning mean?
Obviously, I need to fill up an entire article about this, so let’s start by clarifying what I actually mean by cleaning. And it should be noted that my interpretations are relative to my experiences, and you as the reader are more than welcome to translate or transcode these interpretations into your own life. Or you can just read with relax, believe, and trust me, haha.
To me, cleaning is a number of things. In one aspect, it’s the process of decluttering or sorting things in a proper way. Cleaning also means throwing things away like those empty LaCroix cans on your desk or the three-week-old concert tickets stuck to the bottom of your bed frame. Cleaning also means to me the process of organization and putting things in the right places. I have been known to come home many a night and simply throw various items around the house in places where they probably don’t belong. A solid cleaning day will allow me the time and the opportunity to recover these scattered objects and escort them to their proper homes, like a parole officer with a detainee. Of course, cleaning also means vacuuming, dusting, and washing your clothes and sheets. Basically, anything that has to do with amending an otherwise dirty environment into a clean and organized one. Fun, isn’t it?
How to make cleaning fun?
I feel like such a Millennial writing this article, but yes, cleaning can and very well should be a fun process. Maybe it’s the way I was raised, but there’s a certain satisfaction that comes with watching and participating in little tasks that contribute to restoring something to a more optimal condition. Cleaning, to me, is kind of like watching those watch restoration videos that are 10 hours long on YouTube; it’s just satisfying to watch the process, ha ha. That said, here are some ways to make cleaning a little bit more fun, from my experience.
Put on some music or your favorite podcast in the background; I think you will be surprised at how productive, efficient, and enjoyable the cleaning process will be. If you’re a headbanger, put on some Dubstep and rage away. If you’re more into the swanky oldies vibes, put on some Frank Sinatra and sway your way with a Swiffer.
Cleaning can be a fun process if you do it with your partner or friends as well. The obvious option is to Tag Team a cleaning endeavor with your housemates or romantic partner, but I’ve seen and experienced many use cases for cleaning sessions with friends. Especially if you’re cleaning something like a man cave or a closet full of clothes, it could help to have the Homies there to sort and organize through all the memories.
This last tip might be hyper-relative, but I have always found it enjoyable to clean various parts of my house at the same time, jumping around between them almost like a mad scientist scuttling around his laboratory. It also helps prevent me from getting stuck in one place for too long; I think that probably means I have ADHD.
Setting reminders to clean
Now cleaning definitely has its pros and cons, but I have found in my experience that even getting to the point to remember to clean can be a challenge, which is why setting reminders to clean is fundamental to the process. Thankfully, now I am at the age where I can simply tell myself that on a certain day I will clean XYZ. But I know that wasn’t always the case, and so I’ve had to adopt a variety of reminder mechanisms to make sure I get down and dirty and clean.
For starters, perhaps overkill, calendar reminders on your iPhone can be one way to give you a heads up of a cleaning day coming up. If you’re an Android user, I’m sorry, I don’t know what to tell you (JK just use whatever monstrosity of a calendar application you have on your phone). If you’re a bit more of the Stone Age type of human being, then you can utilize a physical calendar located somewhere in your house that is good for visibility and that you pass often, marking off certain days for specific cleaning tasks. Just make sure the calendar isn’t in some random corner where it will get forgotten. Lastly, it can be helpful to set reminders for cleaning dates with friends, texting them and setting up cleaning sessions as a method of hanging out. As I get older, I have to start being more creative with the reasons to invite friends to hang out, and I found that cleaning can be a meaningful activity. To be honest, I don’t really understand why it works, but I’m not here to question the system, just to share my experience.
Honestly, this is a very good question: why does spring get all the hype with cleaning? I think, first and foremost, spring has a similar connotation as the new year's effect, where we have been indoctrinated to affiliate the springtime with a sense of renewal and thus, cleanliness. I will say that the sense of renewal also has a physical component, as the winter cold waves and we emerge from our hibernation like a grizzly bear post-slumber. What better way to celebrate the coming of the seasonal bloom than to wash off or cleanse the sticks and mud on our hides and bathe in the rejuvenating sensation of cleanliness. Honestly though, right now and today is the perfect time to start cleaning, even if it’s just cleaning your desk or one room at the house or if you want to go on a binge clean out your whole place, it doesn’t take a seasonal trend to make a smart decision.
Overall, spring cleaning is good for your soul. The process of decluttering, throwing things away, and organizing, preferably in a fun way through music or with friends, can help us take control of our environments and thus create a more relaxing atmosphere that reduces stress, anxiety, and helps us focus on the other, more pressing issues in our lives, while sitting in a pot of our own good work.
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