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Friday, March 4, 2011

6 Reasons to Start Spring Cleaning Before Spring Starts

STIR-CRAZY from being snowbound?  

LETHARGIC from lack of exercise?  

Suffering from SPRING FEVER ever since that one brief burst of spring weather? 

If you answered "YES" to any or all of these, you don't have to wait for freak weather to feel better.  Starting your spring cleaning now can lift your mood and raise your energy level even if it's still too cold and miserable outside to leave the house.

Here's WHY:

1) Clearing OUT is a pre-requisite for cleaning UP.  You know those friends who are always moaning about having to clean their homes before the people they pay to clean for them arrive?  This is why.  No matter who does the actual cleaning, you can't get rid of dirt you can't get at.  If you ARE one of those people who's always frantically cleaning up before the cleaners come, now's a good time to ask yourself why it's more important for your cleaners to think you live in a neat home twice a month than it is for you to actually enjoy living in a neat home all the time.

2) Out with the old, in with the new!  With all of nature gearing up to start growing like mad, it's natural to crave change at this time of year.  But if you want change in your life, you need to make room, literally, for it to occur.  Before you plunge in, make sure you have somewhere to keep the keepers from among whatever you're about to sort through.  If you're storing things on the stairs, on the seats of chairs, on the kitchen counters, or on the dining room table because your closets, drawers, and shelves are overflowing with stuff you never use because you can't get at it, then you need to prioritize cleaning out your storage areas first.  Otherwise you'll just be moving your clutter around, not clearing it.

3) Clutter attracts energy the same way it attracts dust bunnies.  Just as anything you leave lying around untouched for too long starts collecting dust and dirt, random objects abandoned in awkward locations interrupt the flow of energy through your home and become stagnant spots that make you feel lethargic.  Not only are piles of clutter "stored" on the floor a tripping hazard, they literally drag your energy down to their level.  If this sounds unlikely, don't take my word for it.  The next time you need a quick pick-me-up, pick a few things up and see for yourself.  The more clutter you clear out of the way, the more energy you'll free up to energize YOU.  Just cleaning out one desk drawer or one kitchen cupboard will give you such an energy boost you'll WANT to do more.

4) You don't need to be methodical to reap the benefits--especially not if you're someone who tends to stall out in the planning stages of household projects.  Start with whatever most appeals to you--or whatever most annoys you.  The main thing is to START.  And then to STOP before you burn out.  There's no need to embark on an all-out cleaning frenzy--especially not if the prospect feels so daunting you get overwhelmed and abandon the whole idea.  It's better to start small, take baby steps, and give yourself frequent breaks to apply the energy you've released to other areas of your life before you plow it all back into more cleaning projects.

5) More daylight means more time to see more clearly what you're doing while it's still too cold to go outside.  You know how hard it is to tell if a color looks good or bad on you under the artificial light in department-store changing rooms?  The same principle applies at home: it's much easier to tell whether or not that old sweater you haven't worn in years is a keeper by daylight than in the semi-dark, or if that painting you bid on at the fundraiser because nobody else did really belongs in your living room--or in a motel room.

6) Last but not least, you know you're even less likely to spend time indoors clutter-clearing once the weather turns warm, so why wait and struggle against that?  Your success rate will skyrocket if you plan to get things done when you're more likely to do them.