With everyone on high alert and preparing to #flattenthecurve by way of self-quarantine, I’ve taken this opportunity to clean out rather than stock up. In general, we mamas know the drill come spring! Something inside us stirs, and we feel the need to clear the cobwebs! It’s time to clean out the wardrobes, dust those forgotten places, and bring order to a house that lost its luster in the dark winter months. Spring cleaning is a THING, and I am here for it! But, because I’m honest, I’ll tell you that I have done a dismal job of giving my home, my family, and myself the proper care that they deserve over the years.
Coronavirus has drastically changed the landscape of daily operations, family and friend interaction, and essentially forced us all to slow down and care for ourselves and immediate family in ways we may have neglected for a while. So, to that effect, I’ve decided to take a much different approach to the typical “spring cleaning” guide this season. Here’s mine:
1. Talk about your feelings.
Ever walked into a room where you could feel the tension? We all have things we need to get off our chest. The phrase “clear the air” comes to mind, and I can tell you from experience that expressing your thoughts will, in fact, clear tension from the air. Nobody needs that negative energy floating around the room – especially when you are under WFH conditions. Call a friend, set aside time to talk to your spouse who’s probably working in the next room. And for heaven’s sake, call your mother.
2. Make use of those casserole dishes.
One of the things about cleaning out each spring is that you find items tucked away in back corners that you haven’t used in 6 months. When it comes to clothing, I take the “didn’t wear: donate” approach. But for the kitchen, I tend to hoard pots, pans, and utensils. This spring, instead of being ruthless about throwing out unused items, I’m going to get them out and give them a good cleaning before channeling my inner Martha Stewart. While social gatherings are being discouraged, playing a game of “ding, dong, ditch a meal” could be a fun way to engage with neighbors.
3. Clean up your expectations.
This is a big one for me. In uncertainty, I tend to over-organize and create expectations for myself that border on unreasonable. In no way am I saying don’t have an idea of how you want things in your home and life, but be flexible. Have grace for yourself and your kids. We are all doing the best that we can with the information and abilities that we have.
5. Get organized.
There’s research to support the idea that organizing your physical space can help your mental and emotional state. I know I always feel better when I open a drawer and it’s organized, or walk into a room in my home where everything’s in its place. Take some time each day to clean out drawers, baskets, closets, etc. Donate what can be used, and toss anything that’s broken or beyond mending. Our local non-profits could really use our help right now. Spring cleaning couldn’t come at a better time, even if it is under crummy circumstances.
6. Take a deep, cleansing breath.
As much as possible, get outside and BREATHE deeply. Soak up the sun with a run, or find rest under the cloud cover. You get benefits either way. Make time for daily, varied activities that promote an aerobic state! There are also lots of YouTube channels for exercise and breathwork. Om gonna be using them daily for myself and my kids! See what I did there? #namastehome
As we say “so long” to winter and hello to social distancing, let’s all remember that we can make a difference from where we are by doing what we can. That includes spring cleaning! But it’s not just dusting those forgotten corners and disinfecting every surface of our home. It’s cleaning up mental space for grace and peace. It’s wiping away tears of worry and clearing the air of our negative emotions. It’s taking time to slow down and connect with those closest to you. Dust off the board games, turn off the TV – then sanitize the remote- and play a good ol’ fashioned round of Monopoly Jr.
See? Spring cleaning IS fun!